Monday, October 24, 2011

How to repair Mini Christmas lights

We get a ton of questions asking if we can or know how to fix Mini lights. Well, we can't fix your light strings, but we can give you some tools and tips on how to fix your own sets.
  1. 9 times out of 10 if a new light string is not working it's a loose or twisted bulb. Quickly look over the lights to see if a bulb has came out of the socket or somehow twisted and broke the connection. We get strings back all the time that people say are 100% broken and a bulb has just popped out.

  2. Another common problem is overloading the wire and blowing a fuse. Most Mini light strings only allow 3 sets to be plugged together end to end. If a string has a fused plug then the fuse will blow, or it could potentially burn out the bulbs themselves. Don't think you can light your how house with one continuous run of lights.

  3. New light strings have shunted bulbs, so that if a bulb burns out the rest stay lit. Old sets don't have this technology (if you call an extra piece of wire inside the bulbs technology). These older sets require the use of mini lights testers / repair boxes.

  4. Using mini light testers, the small handheld mini light tester devices find where the flow of electricity is. You want to take the tester end and put it near the socket, if the flow of electricity isn't found near a socket then you're closing in on the culprit bulbs.

  5. Mini Light repair boxes, they will actually repair the light string and any burnt out or problem bulbs will not light. Now, if you have a loose bulb these repair and testers won't solve your problems.
Our Commercial Mini Light Repair box is our best seller and the number one repair box we have ever found.
The Magic Box Isolates Twisted bulbs, empty sockets and bad fuses by forcing electrical current through a non-working set. You can start repairing your defective lights instead of of trashing them. It makes "dollars and sense" to easily repair a set as opposed to to throwing it away. Essential for lighting professionals and crews, this little box will pay for itself in no time.
Miniature Light Tester Instructions
This special machine is designed to electronically isolate malfunctioning bulbs and/or bad fuses in miniature light sets by sending a controlled current through the string. There is no one particular way that problems are Indicated and it will take a while to become adept at using this testing machine. By following the detailed instructions below you will find that repairing bad sets is easier and faster than any other method available. Please read the following carefully before using the machine.
Testing Procedure:
  1. Plug machine into any standard 110-120-volt circuit.

  2. Turn machine to "on" position by flipping toggle switch on bottom left upward.

  3. Plug brown 6-ft. extension cord Into the outlet in the middle of machine. Then, plug only ONE miniature light set into the brown cord. (Remember the machine will test only one miniature light set at a time. Do not use on C-7 or C-9 light sets ...or any miniature light set that is operated by a computer chip, for example, chaser or fader sets).

  4. The machine is designed to test single circuits. An example would be 35 or 50 light sets, both of which feature only one circuit. Additionally, a typical 100 light set is constructed with 2-circuits (i.e. they have two (2) 50-light sets wired back-to-back). To test 2-circuit sets, you'll need to remove one bulb from the circuit that is working in order to test the non-functioning circuit. When you test a 100-light set that features 5 circuits, pull out 4 bulbs (one from each circuit, which is every 20th bulb and usually color-coded) to test the 5th circuit.

  5. If the circuit doesn't light up, push and release the large red button and the set will usually light up Immediately (with all bad bulbs that need to be replaced remaining unlit of course) or one or more of the sockets will make a loud "buzzing sound" which indicates a bad bulb or one which is simply "missing" from its socket. By listening for this buzz and watching for any sign of a socket "lighting up" with the arcing electrical spark inside, you can usually Isolate the problem area right away. You may have to spread the string out to discern just where the buzzing sound is coming from but it should be fairly easy to Identify the problem area. It may require two or more short buzzes for you to realize just where the buzz is occurring. Replace the bulb(s) and the set will light up unless there are other bad bulbs. Sometimes one of the wires is off to one side on the bottom of the bulb (straighten them up and reinsert).. .sometimes the bulb is a "one-legged" bulb (wire broken off) and other times one of the brass contact points Inside the socket is too far down inside the socket for the bulb to make proper contact. If the latter is the case, be sure to unplug the set first, then, pull brass contact "up" to correct position with sharp nose pliers, then re-Insert the bulb.

  6. If all the circuits have been repaired and a "buzzing sound" comes from within the male plug, it usually Indicates a bad fuse. Replace fuse and the set should work.

  7. If you have tried all of the above procedures and still can not get the set to function, you probably have a improperly wired set or a set with a direct short. Discard the set or return to manufacturer.

NOTE: The protective plexiglass cover on top of the machine is designed to insulate and protect the user` from any potential shock which may occur when testing a light set with faulty wiring or 'a direct short. To reduce possibility of. electrical shock when using this machine, avoid touching the side of machine when testing. Position fingers on top of plexiglass when pressing the red testing button. Always use caution and work in a dry environment. SOME models have an external plastic enclosure.

Click Here to view our Mini Light Tester Box

All American Christmas Co.