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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7594
Experience:  Proven Professional 48 years Experience
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Trying to fix a prelit christmas tree that ha

Customer Question

I am trying to fix a pre-lit Christmas tree that has "constant on" feature. There is a socket that has a white ring (all others have green ones) and if that goes out it takes 2-3 branches with it. GE says that is a permanent bulb cannot be replaced. It is out of warranty and I want to bypass it but it has five wires going into that socket. Need to understand how it is wired.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 years ago.

If the plug doesn't have a fuse in it, what you described is a fuse lamp. If the string is out the lamp should be replaceable.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The plug has a fuse in it and half of the strand is working. What is out is about six feet after the white ringed socket. GE says it is not replaceable. I have replaced a couple of them with a regular bulb last year and it worked. The same procedure does not work now. Please explain how I can rewire the five wires that go into that socket.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 years ago.

The lamps on Christmas trees are in series. If one is out, that section doesn't work because of an open circuit. My suggestion would be to replace all the lamps rather that go through the effort to check and replace one. They are all of the same age and use and they will soon fail and you’ll be right back where you are now. Easier to change them all and be done with if for a couple of years.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Mike, This is a "constant on" and they all do not go out when one does. On a working strand, I can take a bulb completely out and it does not affect the others.

A short section goes out only after the one with the white collar. I need to know how to get around that socket that GE says cannot be replaced.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 years ago.
That would mean each lamp would be 120V and I've not seen that on string lights, so I'll opt out and possibly one of the other experts can help with that set up. Good Luck.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Tech "opted out". I guess I have to ask for a new tech because no one else has responded yet.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Not impressed so far. An hour and a half and still not getting what I need...
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 years ago.
Please understand the of all the electrical manufacturers, GE is the worst for providing online information on their products. After opting out I continued looking into the matter for my own satisfaction and found a link for you to check out for the solution. See the link below.

Repairing GE "Constant On" Lights
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So, if I understand what you sent me, I could shove a piece of tinfoil in the socket and the rest of the strand should light?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 years ago.
That will work.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I cut the socket open and connected the two sides and it still doesn't light. I just don't understand.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 5 years ago.
I would re-read the information on the link. The test of each socket with the fabricated test assembly, the replacement of the lamps and the work on the white ringed lamp are all spelled out. I was happy to find anything on the product, it being from GE.