Don't let your Christmas decorations burn your house down!

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119
http://actvra.in/Npz

It's that time of year where lights fill neighborhoods; flashing, flickering and glowing everywhere.  It's Christmas lightsbeautiful.  Ironically, Christmas lights can reveal electrical problems with your home, or they can create them.  So far this season, we've answered two service calls related to Christmas lights.

The first one came in with this description:  Half of the lights and receptacles were no longer working and the homeowner could not find the cause.  The cause?  The cause was a couple dozen interior styled extension cords plugged together and lying on the ground outside.  The cords were exposed to water every time it rained.  They were plugged into an exterior receptacle that was GFI projected.  It tripped early on and continued to trip every time it was reset. 

Exterior lights need to be on GFI protected circuits, but the cords that connect to the strings of light should also be rated for exterior use. Where the male and female cord ends plug together should also be weatherproof. 

The second call had this description:  All of the lights in the house do not work any longer.  The cause?  More Christmas lights than the circuitry could handle.  This was an older home with an exterior panel.  Electric ShockThe homeowner had so many lights plugged in that it was blowing his 30 amp fuse.  Finally, it melted his fuse base.  The fuse fell out and all of his lights that were on the same fuse went out

The solution was to pull the old fuse box off the wall and replace it with a small sub-panel.  A breaker replaced the fuse and the breaker size was reduced to the correct size to avoid creating a fire hazard.  The former circuit was a 30 amp single phase circuit.  It was 100% too big.  The new circuit was a 15 amp circuit.  It is no longer safe to put the Christmas lights on that circuit.  To make sure the homeowner didn't try, we removed the exterior receptacle that was non-weatherproof.

Christmas lights are beautiful, and they do inspire a warm fuzzy feeling this time of year.  It's important to make sure your electrical service is capable of handling the extra load.  Also, make sure any exterior wiring or lights are appropriate for a wet environment. That will mean they are controlled by a GFI circuit and have weatherproof cords and junctions. 

On a side note, emergency electrical service calls are very expensive.  Save yourself the expense and the aggravation by doing your decorating safetly.

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the world to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Frederick County Winchester
Groups:
"Whacked"!!!
Dedicated Bloggers
The Lounge at Active Rain
Active Rain Newbies
Addicted to Active Rain
Tags:
dont let your christmas decorations burn your house down

Comments 6 New Comment

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the tree to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainmaker
718,205
Mike Cooper
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc

Thanks, E & C.  Have a great Christmas.

December 23, 2012 10:02 AM
Rainmaker
481,695
Jill Sackler
Long Island's South Shore Real Estate Agent
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. "Said and Done!"

No matter what time of year or what kind of circumstances, there will always be a positive trickle down effect for somebody's business. It's all good as long as it's an emergency call you can solve.

December 23, 2012 07:46 PM
Rainmaker
718,205
Mike Cooper
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc

Very true, Jill.  We were fortunate this time.  We caught the problems early.  Have great holiday!

December 24, 2012 01:27 AM
Rainmaker
917,096
Conrad Allen
Webster, Ma, Realtor
Re/Max Professional Asociates

Hi Mike.  They are lucky the house didn't burn down.

December 24, 2012 03:43 AM
Rainmaker
878,191
James Dray
AR., MO., or OK. I can find the home for you.
Wise Custom Realty

Morning Mike the second picture is me when I mess with electrical stuff.  I try and avoid that at all costs and just go ahead and call someone experienced same with pluming

December 24, 2012 04:13 AM
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the key to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Rainmaker
718,205

Mike Cooper

Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro
Winchester has a place for you! Call me.
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the sunglasses to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information