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Dawgsteve

Really Blown Fuse...thoughts?

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Got home tonight and Channels 1-8 were out (only actually using 1-6).

 

Have had GFI tripping the past couple of days on one of those channels that uses some older mini lights due to a lot of rain here in the Seattle area.

It dried out today so I plugged that channel back in and they worked fine.  I was gone several hours and when it was out again I assumed GFI but it was on

 

I checked and the fuse for that side of the controller was blown.  The rubber cover for the fuse is black inside and the below pic is what the Fuse looked like.

 

This seems off and is concerning.

Thoughts or questions I need to be asking?

 

Don't want a fire.

 

Thanks in advance

 

post-13821-0-16480400-1387869054_thumb.j

 

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was that a original fuse that came with the controller? Is there a voltage stamped on one of the end caps? I cant say I have ever seen one burn through the side of it like that on a ceramic fuse. Seen glass ones shatter. One possibility is that an arc started when the element opened. The arc is very hot and produced plasma that burnt through the side of the fuse and the cover containted the soot. I am wondering if a 32v fuse got mixed into your supply. And installed by mistake. Not the only reason for this, but possible.

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Were those older mini lights fused?  And did their fuse{s} also blow?   And do they happen to be on a wire frame?

 

I came home the other night and found my wire frame deer was no longer lit, found the fuses blown and fused! in the plug.  Never, ever had seen that before.   So I cut the old fused plug and replaced with a known good one, fuses blew out and so did the fuse in the #03 controller on channels 1-8, fuse I took out had gotten very hot, but didn't see any burn marks as yours did, but the plastic cover was all very sticky and gooey like it had been melted!

 

Before the fuse blew, and I had put the new plug on exactly the same as the original, when it blew I was also touching a part of the wire frame, gave me a nasty jolt, and that's when the controller fuse blew out.

 

Found out the light strand on the deer had gone bad, it lit for a second before the fuses all blew in the plug and controller, and as soon as it lit is when I got a short zap, then everything went dead.

 

Removed the original incandescent lights from ol' Rudolph and put on 4 new strands of 20 count incandescents, couldn't have an unlit deer out there, not since he is an integral part of a few sequences!   So now he looks a little odd, but at least he has some lights on him, I'll rework them after the season.

 

But the point is, your old incan's even though they may be working, may have something wrong along the wiring somewhere that could cause the controller fuse to blow like that, so I'd recommend replacing with another known good set or a LED strand.

 

Best of luck and let us know what, if anything, you may find out that caused your fuse to blow like that.


Fortunately I had a spare 250V 15A Ceramic Fuse I could steal from a currently disassembled controller, replaced after changing the deer lights and no more issues.  At least for the moment, everything is functional once again, knock on wood!

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was that a original fuse that came with the controller? Is there a voltage stamped on one of the end caps? I cant say I have ever seen one burn through the side of it like that on a ceramic fuse. Seen glass ones shatter. One possibility is that an arc started when the element opened. The arc is very hot and produced plasma that burnt through the side of the fuse and the cover containted the soot. I am wondering if a 32v fuse got mixed into your supply. And installed by mistake. Not the only reason for this, but possible.

This is a replacement fuse that I purchased.  End says 15A/250VP   Not familiar with VP, assuming voltage?  If so, much higher than you mentioned.  I am completely ignorant when it comes to electrical matters....did I buy the wrong thing?

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Hi Orvile, 

 

Thats the strange thing.  The mini lights are just laying on hedges and their fuses are intact.  All the strings still work.  Only thing that tripped was the GFI and then this fuse on the controller.

 

I'm betting the mini's are older and the water from the rain we've had is just seeping through the crappy cords.  I made sure all cords were off the ground.

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Hi Orvile, 

 

Thats the strange thing.  The mini lights are just laying on hedges and their fuses are intact.  All the strings still work.  Only thing that tripped was the GFI and then this fuse on the controller.

 

I'm betting the mini's are older and the water from the rain we've had is just seeping through the crappy cords.  I made sure all cords were off the ground.

Yes, that is odd, usually the fuse{s} in the male plugs would also blow, usually before the controller fuse would.  So that is a bit strange!

 

BTW: Just checked the blown fuse I took out and the ones in my controllers, all are 15A/250PV, so you have the correct fuses.

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BTW 2: I believe the VP on the fuse stands for "V"oltage "P"ower.

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Dawgsteve,

 

Na, sounds like the right ones. As you know or have now guessed. When a fuse opens under load, it will do a flash arc. The high rated voltage is that this fuse is suppose to suppress the arc for the higher voltage. Where as if this had been a fuse with a 32 volt rating, it might not supress the arc till much damage is done.

 

So yes you have the right fuse for this application. Higher voltage rating is always a good thing with fuses.

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Hi Orvile, 

 

Thats the strange thing.  The mini lights are just laying on hedges and their fuses are intact.  All the strings still work.  Only thing that tripped was the GFI and then this fuse on the controller.

 

I'm betting the mini's are older and the water from the rain we've had is just seeping through the crappy cords.  I made sure all cords were off the ground.

don't know if this helps but the times I have had this issue happen it was almost always that one cord that I didn't have plugged all the way in.  Some folks here will use waterproof electricians tape around those connectors, maybe Max-Paul could further educate us on that.

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The waterproof tape around connections is actually a bad idea.  Unless you get it PERFECTLY air-tight, water will still get inside.  The tape, however, while not up to the job of keeping water out, will definitely keep water that does manage to get past it inside.

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I had the same problem with the fuses,my question is we're do you buy them?

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I had the same problem with the fuses,my question is we're do you buy them?

Radio Shack has them or did.   Haven't checked lately though, but I think that's where most folks buy them at.   Just make sure it's the 15A/250PV Fast Acting Ceramic fuse.   If you get a slo-blo fuse, and something like this happens, your controller may risk severe damage or even the possibility of a flash fire from the overload getting though that slo-blo fuse.

 

Also LOR does sell them as well.   Maybe LOR should start doing what the Christmas Light manufactures do, add a couple of "spares" with the controllers when sold.   Just know that it'd be nice to get a couple extra ones just in case one does happen to blow at a time when you can't buy a replacement immediately, like on a holiday and the store that sells them may not be open!

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The waterproof tape around connections is actually a bad idea.  Unless you get it PERFECTLY air-tight, water will still get inside.  The tape, however, while not up to the job of keeping water out, will definitely keep water that does manage to get past it inside.

Completely agree with George on this one.   Electrical or any tape doesn't really hold up.

 

 And it's why I use those plastic child proof electrical outlet safety caps on all my open male/female pass-throughs, all light strand female ends, and even on extension cords that don't have an insert, or locking cover on them where only one outlet is used on that extension cord.

 

Been using them for years and no GFCI trips and no water has ever gotten in, or been trapped in any of my female outlets.

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Also LOR does sell them as well.  

 

http://store.lightorama.com/12pafu15afaa.html

 

 

I keep 4 or 5 boxes of fuses in stock, just in case, although I've never had to use one. They are the 15A fuses though, 20A's, like Orville said, can be gotten from Radio Shack, or Mouser, Digikey, Newark, etc..

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Just checked Radio Shack online and they don't have them, they have a 15A ceramic, but not enough info on it to know if it would be the same fuse.

 

LOR seems your best bet to get replacements, aside from the other places bisquit476 stated to find them at.

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