fixing the plug on a string of christmas lights

textilejoNovember 11, 2008

I have a string of Christmas lights that I pulled the end plug off, it is the end that you connect another string to. How can I fix this? Can I put 2 pig tails on the end of the string, is that safe? This is an outdoor set of lights, not mini lights and I hate to just throw them out.

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Christmas lights typically have fuses in the plug. It's not safe to replace the fused plug with an unfused plug and I'm not sure that you would be able to find a replacement fused plug to install.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 10:12AM
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They're cheap. Buy a new set.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 10:38AM
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If the plug pulled off then the rest of the string is probably shot. Buy a string of the new LED lights to replace it with

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 11:04AM
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Thanks for the replies. I was hoping to save money and not add to the land fill:-)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 12:53PM
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take the string to your local metal recycling place if you don't want them in the landfill.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 1:18PM
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If you pulled the socket receptacle off the end that would power another string, exposing only two wires, and it still has the male plug to power this string, then just insulate the exposed ends and use this string at the end of your chain of lights.

If you pulled the male plug off, then it probably isn't worth fooling with. The cost of a new plug, IF you could get it properly attached, would go a long way toward new lights.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 2:39PM
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billhart, that is the end that came off, not the male plug. It has the two wires and I was hoping to use the pig tails they use in regular wiring to close them off and then cover with waterproof tape.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 3:27PM
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If this is a small 1.5 V string the parts alone may cost as much as a new string.

If it is a 7 W per bulb string, it might be worth the couple bucks for a new female end.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 2:23PM
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textilejo is talking about the RECEPTACLE on the END of the string, not the plug on the beginning.

The receptacle is not fused, and does not need to be.

The "pigtails" he keeps referring to are wire nuts. Wire nuts are a good solution. A better solution, depending on how the wires are attached to the bulb sockets, might be to remove them from the last socket, disconnect and discard the wires in question, then reattach to the socket.

This "It's broke and cheap, buy new" mentality is insane.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 3:56PM
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I am not an electrician but my dad was. He only taught me a few things, but one of them was: don't try to fix extension cords and don't try to fix Christmas lights. So I would disagree with the last post and get something that won't keep you awake at night, or worse.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 8:56PM
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I viewed this as a 'If you don't know the proper way to terminate a cord and are somewhat unclear on how to do it and make it safe, sell it for scrap and buy a new string.' I have no problem trying to help someone with most anything.. and a Christmas light string seems to be of little threat to health or safety. They can separate your mind from your spirit just as fast as any 120v contact can. I just caution doing many repairs on strings of lights because even a frayed spot in a set of Christmas lights looks far less hazardous than a frayed spot in extension cord laying on the floor.

Do you inspect your extension cords as you unroll them looking for bad spots or worn spots... most do.

How easy would it be to unravel a string of lights and miss a few spots where a mouse chewed on them over the summer while in storage? Plug them in... all bulbs work and worst of all leave them plugged in as you string them while you stand on an aluminum ladder clipping the lights on the aluminum gutter with one hand while steadying the rest of the string and holding onto the ladder with the other, providing a perfect path across your heart to ground.

Would you rather be shocked till you almost wet yourself because you forgot about that repair that got weakened the year before from the ice or snow and didn't check it.. or would you rather buy a new string?

I am sorry if I rambled on here but I do not want ANYONE'S family to have to grieve the loss of someone during the holiday season over something so easily overlooked.

I have to... and I do not wish it upon anyone.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 1:20AM
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