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lights wires melted and crossed...


johnny christmas
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johnny christmas

i left for work at 6am and at 7 i called my fiancee to wake up so she can get the kdis up (alarm clock doesnt like keeping the right time so i have to call)

ANYWAY

when i left NO lights were on...my night time floods go off at 6 am and thats it till my show starts at 5:30pm

so when i call home she asks why the tree by the street is on...no clue
walked her through HWU and nothing turned the lights off so i had my father go over and unplug the controllers...lights obviously went off


i get home, plug in the controllers and the bottom of the trunk is white, top half is green and the branches are red and white

troubleshooting left and right, checking bulbs, flipping plugs (which oddly changed the colors that were lit) tottally perplexed and not knowing whats going on...until....ZAP...i catch a little voltage...not much but enough for my middle and index fingers on my left hand to go numb for a bit...the strand of green, strand of red and strand of clear had melted at the same spot exposing the copper and crossing all wires (whiche explains the different colors and why colors were changing when i flipped plugs)

my main question in all this rabmling is WHY if the controllers arent sending power to the lights...why was power going through them and why was it enough to cause the wires to melt the way they did?

and FYI...where this happened on the tree the strands were 2 strands end to end so it had nothing to do with overload


i fixed everything and replaced the lights...im just lost as to the power going through when it wasnt supposed to

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fire_paramedic

The only way for the lights to melt that way would be through a short of some sort. Could have been a small nick and but usually would have to be one on the other side of the wire also. Could it have been rubbing against something? Could be just a crack and current leakage during the show when it was on causing it to melt but not going nuts and frying due to short bursts? Do you have GFCI outlets?, it may have stopped that from happening. There could be several things in play. as far as controller leaking power i think thats a possibility couold have daaged a triac causing it to hang partially on, maybe. Lots of possibilities here.

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johnny christmas

i dont think the triac is damaged...i fixed everything before the show started tonight and almost 4 hours later everything is still working fine *knocks on wood*

maybe the tree had a growth spurt and stretched the wires to the point the copper would get exposed...its been 4 weeks since i did that tree (i do have the lights KINDA tight...not TOO tight...just tight enough to stay in place)

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Squirrels.. Several years ago, I wrapped a cottonwood tree.. the next weekend, lights were out in it.. Went back up and looked and I was missing about a dozen red bulbs.. along with the sockets and wire. No chance of vandelism.. The missing bulbs were 35 feet up in the air. Had to get to them with a 60 foot zoom boom..

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Brad Bilger wrote:

Squirrels.. Several years ago, I wrapped a cottonwood tree.. the next weekend, lights were out in it.. Went back up and looked and I was missing about a dozen red bulbs.. along with the sockets and wire. No chance of vandelism.. The missing bulbs were 35 feet up in the air. Had to get to them with a 60 foot zoom boom..

Rabbits, I have an issue with tem eating my wire and shorting them out. Anyone like rabbit stew?
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