Eletrical Problems

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by Pastaboy62, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. Pastaboy62

    Pastaboy62 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    When installing lights, what do you guys to make sure you don't overload the outlets. Last year i was running extension cords from the persons garage b/c there was only two outlets on the porch. Do you just work with what you got?
  2. Mowerboy04

    Mowerboy04 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,447

    yea i had the same question anyone know?
  3. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    I'm an electrician but I've never messed with christmas lights. There should be a load rating on all electrical devices. It will either be in amps or watts. If it is in watts simply devide the total wattage by 120, you're voltage, to find the amperage. If the load is given in amps your already set because that what the breaker on the circuit will be rated in, almost always 20 amps on a plugin circuit. A rule of thumb is to not load a circuit at more than 80% or 16 amps on a 20 amp breaker. I have heard of a few house fires caused by cheap foreign made lights that are not U.L rated. Hope this helps.
  4. crbrown17

    crbrown17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I'm no electrician, so this may be a stupid question. Is there a device which can be plugged into an outlet to measure the amps or load the outlet is currently under. Lets say the outlet located outside is on the same breaker as an indoor freezer in the garage. If you are unaware you can inadvertently overload the outlet from the amps being pulled by the Xmas lights. Do they make a device which can tell you if the outlet is under load and how much?
  5. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 183

    I'm not aware of any device you can plugin to get an amperage reading. You can remove the cover of the breaker box and locate the feeder for the circuit in question, use a clampon meter which will tell you the load. If an appliance such as a freezer or refrig. is on line make sure the compressor is running or you will get a false reading.

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