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Christmas lights safety

musanmanmusanman Registered User regular
edited November 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
so I put up christmas lights this weekend, and was wondering a few things:

1) Is it dangerous to have my lights outside with some holes in the cord? A couple times I stapled through the plastic and then just went back about my business.

2) Is it safe to plug in the lights if it's been raining on the ends of the cables? Unfortunately I don't have a switch that controls so in order to plug in the lights, and it seems terribly dangerous for me to plug in the cable if it's been rained on all day.

musanman on
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Posts

  • TrippyDKTrippyDK Registered User
    edited November 2007
    1) That sounds pretty dangerous, especially with it raining. Why not just grab some electrical tape from any store (i think even most Grocery Stores carry it) and wrap up the holes?

  • AtomBombAtomBomb Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    It's straight 110v AC running thru that cord, so it could cause some problems. It won't electrocute you to death (probably), but it could blow fuses and/or burn your house down. To fix the nicks in the wire I would suggest using liquid electrical tape rather than the actual tape. It goes on kind of like rubber cement, and it will do a much better job of waterproofing the cable. You can even get it in green. It should only be about $4, but you may have to go to an actual hardware store to get some.

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  • EverywhereasignEverywhereasign Registered User
    edited November 2007
    These are "kosher" outdoor lights right?

    Plugging in a wet 110 volt cord into a wet outlet while standing in a puddle, is not a great idea. Make sure the damage to the lights is repaired as AtomBomb suggests and buy an indoor/outdoor inline switch. It should be a tad safer. If you could run an extension cord inside or to a dry area so the switch or plug is dry, you'd be even better.

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  • musanmanmusanman Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    These are "kosher" outdoor lights right?

    Plugging in a wet 110 volt cord into a wet outlet while standing in a puddle, is not a great idea. Make sure the damage to the lights is repaired as AtomBomb suggests and buy an indoor/outdoor inline switch. It should be a tad safer. If you could run an extension cord inside or to a dry area so the switch or plug is dry, you'd be even better.

    they're outdoor lights yes

    I have an outdoor sort of "power strip" that runs up to the roof. It has 3 outlets on it and it's taped up in a plastic bag where all the connections are made. That's what I'm plugging in to the house outside my door.

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  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    If you were plugging it into a GFI socket, I'd feel much better. Happen to have one within reach of the cord?

    I would use electrical tape to cover any ends. The open insulation spots probably aren't an issue (assuming they're small), but cover those too if you like.

  • musanmanmusanman Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Fats wrote: »
    If you were plugging it into a GFI socket, I'd feel much better. Happen to have one within reach of the cord?

    I would use electrical tape to cover any ends. The open insulation spots probably aren't an issue (assuming they're small), but cover those too if you like.

    I covered all the connections between strands wiith electrical tape, and put my big connector "power strip" in a plastic bag and duct taped it tight.

    I don't know if it's a GFI outlet, the ones in my kitchen are labelled. It's an outdoor socket with a plastic cover that's under my front doorway...the outlet doesn't get wet. I think it's probably useful to know that the lights I'm talking about are the tiny xmas lights, not the big bulbs. I don't think they draw very much electricity, and at least the power strip deal that I plug in is grounded.

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  • FatsFats Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Sounds like you've done exactly what my Dad would do, then, and he's a lineman/electrical engineer. Should be fine.

    Though I wouldn't wrap myself in the lights and dance around in the rain or anything.

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