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HELP fuses keep blowing


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Ok so my show started November 23rd, I have had one of the fuses in my LOR1602W to keep blowing about ever 2 days. I have kept replacing the fuse. Tonight I swapped out one of my big trees for a mini tree greatly reducing the amount of lights on that side. Then it still blew so I went to the other box for my other 16 mini trees and swapped another big tree with a mini tree on it reducing the number of lights greatly.

However its almost as if now that the fuses are blowing even quicker, I have gone through about 4 in like 3 hours. It is seemingly getting worse. The fuses are 15 amp Glass Fuses.

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Nevermind I figured out that I need the 15 amp ceramic fuses after reading on the package a little lol. Going in the morning to radio shack I just called and they have like 10 packs of them

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FWIW ... the original fuses in my LOR lasted less than a week, and that was with a very minimum amount of lights plugged in.

I replaced the fuses in the LOR. Now I have a different problem...

I have my full Christmas display up (7,000 lights or so) and at full tilt I pull about 10 AMPs on a 15 AMP circuit.

For some bizarre reason, the outdoor outlet (where LOR is) shares a circuit breaker with the outlet in the master bathroom on my wife's side of the sink.

Which means if the Christmas lights are on and my wife plugs in a blow dryer, curling iron, or any other bathroom "necessities". On top of that, I have two daughters. So, shower and "primp" time lasts 3 hours at our house.

We'll be doing some rewiring this spring/summer.

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Russ, you just made a light go on in my head (luckily, the fuse didn't blow). I have my current 32 channels on a single exterior outlet and I never checked to see what else might be on the circuit, or even the size of the breaker. It has never tripped in my non-animated lighting days, so I ignored it. I think I have only one load (a refrigerator) but I should check before I load it up more heavily.

Controllers 1 & 2 are on a separate plug from 3 &4, but they both plug into the same outlet. I may have to rethink that this weekend.

I keep telling my wife that we'll use LESS power this year because the lights don't stay on solid for any length of time.

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Russ wrote:

For some bizarre reason, the outdoor outlet (where LOR is) shares a circuit breaker with the outlet in the master bathroom on my wife's side of the sink.

Which means if the Christmas lights are on and my wife plugs in a blow dryer, curling iron, or any other bathroom "necessities". On top of that, I have two daughters. So, shower and "primp" time lasts 3 hours at our house.

We'll be doing some rewiring this spring/summer.


Russ:

It is very common practice for this sort of sharing. The reason is that any outside outlet must be GFCI protected, and any outlet near a sink in a bathroom must be too. So when the electricians wire up a house, the GFCI is an expensive device (compared to a standard outlet) so they daisy chain them from bathroom to bathroom and then outside. My garage outlet is tied to the circuit in one bathroom GFCI, the back outside outlet to the other bathroom. There is another good reason for keeping the GFCI inside - the moisture would cause the electronics to fail prematurely. So it is not really bizarre, just typical.

Mike
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Russ,

Same situation in the house that we moved into in '98. I found out quickly that both of my outside outlets (on the front porch and outside the back door) that came with the house were wired into the GFCI outlets in the kitchen, master bathroom, full bathroom upstairs and half-bath on the first floor. Needless to say, having the lights on and three (:shock: YES THREE) teenage daughters trying to "primp" did not work. I was not happy. Ended up running extension cords out the doors to power the lights that year.

Since then I have added six additional cirucuits that are pretty much dedicated to my lights.

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Several years ago, I mapped out the electrics of the house, down to which breaker controlled which light plug/socket/outlet. It was a little tedious and time consuming, but well worth it!

I found out that my guest room is on 2 breakers. Guess it was easier to wire one guest room plug with the office and the other guest room plug with the living room!

I also found that my carport breaker is shared with my kitchen. So my kitchen is "off limits" from 5-10 pm when the display is on, because when I use the microwave, stove, or dish washer "pop" goes the breakers! :laughing:

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That same rule is in effect at my house too Kathy. My wife likes to ccok using crock pots, but she knows that at 4pm (gets dark early in Alaska) the crock pot goes off! Same as no music in the garage or plugging in our cars. Not till after 10pm that is. B)

Yes we plug our cars in to keep them warm!!! :D:D:D

Jeff in Alaska

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Im going to have this issue too, I know my gfci plug in my garage goes to all 3 bathrooms and the backyard in my house. My light display pulls less than 7 amps, but adding the hair dryers and such it'll be an easy blow. Though the gfci plug should be good we just replaced it 2 years ago, for the 4th time in 20 years. (gfci plugs never last long in this house.

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logan_moore wrote:

Nevermind I figured out that I need the 15 amp ceramic fuses after reading on the package a little lol. Going in the morning to radio shack I just called and they have like 10 packs of them


Home Depots and Lowes, etc have what is called "Microwave oven" 15 amp ceramic fuses. This is where you find them.

Its also likely maybe you are running 15.25 amps on your 15 amp fuses and you are blowing them based on going over the amps. WHen I get this problem I visit my problem circuits and lower the maximum brightness levels just a little bit and before you know it, fuses stop getting blown. You can also choose to delete a string of lights or two on the problem circuits but usually lowering your max brightness by a few volts is enough to do the trick and it often is totally unnoticable on the display. In fact if you are running things with 100% brightness... you can typically take 10% off your brightness and its completely unnoticable in the display. Most mini bulbs achieve maximum brightness at about 92 to 95 volts, so providing 120 volts is no benefit except to run your electric bill up more then necessary.
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