Home Care Library
Holiday Lighting Short Circuits
The Home Wizard app calculates your ideal home care program to avoid problems with your Holiday Lighting, but sometimes trouble can still occur. Here are answers to questions about holiday lighting short circuits.
QUESTION FROM joel.schacter
I have an exterior plug in my soffit area which is switched and is intended for plugging in my exterior Christmas lights. I plugged in one string and the GFI circuit "popped" on the other exterior plug located on my front porch a few feet away. Obviously the lights now won't work. I have checked the switched plug with a polarity tester and it states that all is correct. I have tired other appliances in the switched plug and everything causes the GFI to pop. Any ideas??
ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD
As you may know, since the GFI is "popping" nearby, these plugs are most likely on the same circuit, and there is something shorting out the circuit. It could be the switch, it could be the plug, or something could be shorting the wires in this circuit inside your walls (a nail, mice chewing on the wires, etc.).
You want to be very careful with this. The GFI (ground fault interrupter) is there for a reason, to protect your house from short circuits, especially in areas where there could be water that could conduct electricity to a person, for example in bathrooms, kitchens, and exterior locations.
I would think you would want to call in a qualified electrician to inspect your plugs and wiring.
And in the meantime, if you can, to be safe you should consider turning off the breaker at your fusebox, if there is a separate breaker for this circuit.
Hope this is helpful.