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Repair Section Home
Fix Damaged Mini Lights
Fix Mini Sets That Don't Light
Fix C7 Or C9 Lights
Modify Mini Lights
LEDs As Holiday Lights
Regular Lights As Decorations

    ColumbineLights

Do Your Lights Look Like This?
note: no sets of lights were damaged for the making of this page!!.. they were already that way
Image 1
Image 2
Image 3
WARNING: before working on any set of lights,
make sure it is UNPLUGGED! the 120 volts of
electricity in that set is easily enough to
KILL or INJURE you, and/or start a fire.

To fix a set of lights you will need
one or all of the following:

* A Soldering Iron
* Solder
* Heat-shrink Tubing
* A Small Nail
* A Hammer
* Wire
* Small Standard Screwdriver
* Label Peeler
* A set of lights to use for parts (keep your
  first standard set of lights that gets
  damaged for this)...(i'll call it a
  "parts set")
Easy Fix - Swap Parts:
Nail To Remove Wires
Nail Image
If you have a 'parts set' in most cases you
can use the following to fix broken wires
between sockets: (see image #1 above)
(if the broken wire is not the one that
runs between sockets, or if you don't have
a 'parts set' scroll down to the next block.)

First remove the bulbs from the sockets to
which the broken wire is attached. To remove
the wire from a socket insert a nail between
the wire, and the edge of the socket. Then
GENTLY tap the nail with a hammer until the
wire comes loose. (do this for both ends of
the wire then untwist it from the set)

remove a wire from the 'parts set' in the
same way as was done for the broken set,
and install it in the set being fixed by
lining the wire's metal tab up with the slot
that the old one came out of. Use the point
of a nail to push it in place... then
re-install the bulbs

if a socket is broken like in image #3 above,
follow the above procedure to removing the a
socket from the parts set
More Complicated Fixs:
Fixed Set
Fixed set Image
some sets made after 1997 can not easily have
parts swapped as described above. And as
mentioned above, sometimes a break is in the
wrong place (ie: one of the wires that goes
the entire length of the set. Here is how to
fix these, and how to fix Large bulb (C7/C9)
type sets:
In most cases you can simply solder the
broken wire back together, and cover it with
a piece of heatshrink tubing. If more than
one wire is broken, it is very important that
you get the right wires reattached - look
closely, there should be a slight difference
in color, or some sort of markings on each.

If the break is right where a wire attaches
to the socket (image 2), remove the tab from
the socket as described in the previous
section titled 'swap parts' (for miniature
lights), and solder the wire back to it. If
it is a set of Large lights (C7 or C9 type),
remove the socket, and enough wire to keep
the spacing even, then solder the wire back
together.. the set will be one bulb shorter.
Blown Fuses Fix:
Plug with Highlighted space
Plug Image
Part 1:
Fixing sets with 'non replaceable' fuses:
most newer mini sets have easily replaceable
fuses (there should be a small door on the
plug). Some cheaper new sets, and alot of
older sets were not meant to have the fuses
replaced. Here is how to fix that:
You will need a label peeler (sometimes
called a scotty peeler), a soldering iron,
and some thin wire. Make sure the set is
unplugged. Use the peeler as a pry device -
insert it in the seam on the plug
(highlighted in red on the image (If the plug
does not have a seam, scroll down to the next
section.) And try to pry it up on each of the
4 sides. If the middle part wont move up,
take a look at the side that plugs in. If
there is a small slot there, it is a clip -
jam a small screwdriver in it, and try to pry
the center section again. It should come out
somewhat easily now. After the thing is
apart, simply solder a piece of wire where
the 'fuses' were. After the wires are in
place, simply push the plug back together.


Note: the set will not be fused anymore--be
careful not to overload or you may melt the
wires on that set (or possibly even cause a
fire).

[I have seen sets (both fused and unfused)
where the plastic covering on the wires has
been partially melted, where a hole was
melted through the plug, and in one case
where it looked like the metal part of a
plug looked as though the end it of had
melted into an outlet, then was broken off]

Part 2:
If the plug on a set can not be taken apart
as described above (or if you don't care
about the extra plug-in on the top, go to
the hardware store and pick up a cheap
2-prong replacement plug. (make sure to get
one that has screw or solder terminals to
attach the wires.) If there is alot of space
where the wire enters the plug, use a
electric gluegun or some sort of sealer to
fill in the space.


Disclaimer:
all info here is provided as is without warranty of any sort
I can not be held responsible for any problems/damages/injuries/
etc caused by the use or misuse of this info

Warning: read all the following before you continue.

The info on these pages can be DANGEROUS.

Electricity can KILL or INJURE you, be careful and treat it with
full respect.

Electricity can also cause FIRES, again be careful with it.

Never work on any electric product plugged in.

If you don't know anything about electricity / electric products,
don't even try any of these.

There is no guarantee that this actually will work - fix at
your own risk.

Always have someone double check your work before connecting
power to anything you've worked on.

Electricity and Water do not mix.

Avoid working in any area where flammable products (such as gas/
paint/etc) are stored or used

Do not work with electric items when you are tired, being tired
will only increase the chance of mistakes

Avoid working on electric products if you have consumed any
alcoholic beverages or drugs (medical or otherwise) as these
will impair your ability to concentrate on your work

if you become frustrated while working on something, set it
down and walk away (turn off / unplug any equipment you have
on)

Keep your work area clean and organized. If you work in a room/
area without windows (or work at night) install a automatic backup
light... that way when you blow a circuitbreaker/fuse you will not
be in the dark.

Do not overload Circuits/Extension cords/Lightsets/ Etc

Some of the fixes remove built in safety devices (fuses)... Sets
that have the fuse removed should always be plugged into a
fused set. (by this i mean the plug at the end of a fused set,
not the stackable plug at the beginning)

Modifying any electric product WILL VOID any warranty on it

Using any electric product for other than its intended use WILL
VOID any warranty on it

In addition there is a chance you will void your insurance by
using modified electric items, if that item causes a problem
such as a fire

This is only a partial list of the cautions/dangers there are
many more not listed here (but still apply)

Always remember...
Be safe!
It is not worth risking your life or home over an electric item!



This page and the images on it (c) 1999 - 2016 James K