Could we have blown all lights if a spark happened at plug in

JoanndjDecember 5, 2011

A week ago we decorated the front of our home as we always do for Xmas and all of the lights and decorations were working except for the few that we had not run extension cords to yet. Yesterday upon finishing up and connecting more extension cords to things that had not been connected yet, we plugged in one extension (to the same outside receptacle that everything has been working from) which controlled everything on the "left side" of the house and everything lit up fine. When my husband asked me to plug in the second extension cord which controlled everything on the "right side" of the house, there was a spark as I tried to plug the extension cord into the outlet and everything on the right side came on and then went out, except for a few items. Upon looking over to the right side of the house, we then realized that that whole side was completely out now as well. This is an outside receptacle to a house only 6 1/2 yrs old. It has a GFI switch in the garage that we normally have to reset when it rains too much and gets too wet. We always put up the same amount of lights and decorations so I doubt very much that there is anything different about the voltage of lights we were trying to connect. The GFI switch did not trip b/c the led light was not on, but we unplugged everything and pressed the re-set anyway, just in case. We then changed the extension cord that caused the spark (by the way the plug part did look a little purple but nothing major, like fried or anything) and tried plugging everything in again, and this time even more stuff went out on the right side than originally and still nothing would come on on the left side. My husband checked the breaker box in the garage and it doesnt appear as if anything was tripped and there are still a few items lit on the right side of the lawn so clearly the receptacle is still working. Can anyone explain what may have happened and why almost all the lights will not light up when prior to this spark everything I am referring to was lit? What else we should be looking for?

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You can blow fuses and trip GFCIs but you are very unlikely to have blown lights.

If these are the very small lights, be sure to check the fuses in the plugs.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 4:16PM
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In addition to what brickeyee said, I wanted to ask how big the load is. Do you have a huge quantity of lights on light-gauge extension cords?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 3:24PM
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