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Yankee1423 10-31-2010 05:30 PM

Holiday Lights and Outdoor Outlet
My wife hung up some Halloween decoration lights on a front porch. She tested the lights before hanging them up and they worked just fine. The outlet she plugged them into outside is a switched outlet with the switch inside for convenience. However, when they were plugged in they didn't work. We hit the switch several times and nothing happened. So we plugged them into a different outdoor outlet and they lit right up. Thinking it might be the switched outlet, we plugged something else into it and it worked just fine, switch and all.

I can't figure out why they would work on every other outlet except that one and yet something else works just fine in that outlet. What am I missing?

kbsparky 10-31-2010 05:32 PM

It's possessed .... :devil::icon_evil::devil2:

bobelectric 10-31-2010 05:55 PM


Yankee1423 10-31-2010 09:27 PM

I had thought about the G.F.I but I would plug in the lights, get nothing. I would then plug a palm sander immediately and it ran no problem. If it was GFI wouldn't it trip and need to be reset before it would work again? This outlet was put in the covered area specifically for holiday lights so I'm not even sure why they would trip the outlet in the first place.

nap 10-31-2010 09:41 PM

I would look to a broken wire in the lights. The wire may simply be positioned differently so where you ended up plugging them in caused the break to make contact.

jlhaslip 10-31-2010 09:42 PM

Twist the prongs of the light cord plug about 10 degrees so that they are not parallel.
Sounds like it simply is not making contact inside the receptacle.

Yankee1423 10-31-2010 10:03 PM

I'll try twisting them but what was odd was that she took them back into the house and tried them inside and they worked without problem. I even tried putting an extension cord between the outlet and the lights and that did not work (palm sander did work however).

I'm starting to think the possessed theory may be correct.

AllanJ 11-01-2010 07:02 AM

If you jiggle the wires going into the plug or the plug in the receptacle, does it work (or stop working)?

If this is the case you would want to repair the power plug (Or snip off the power plug if it is molded and indestructible and install a new one.)

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