Electrical Question

kroberts2131

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I know some of you guys are way handier with electrical stuff than I ever will be so I need some help. Our christmas lights are old so we upgraded to LED this year and had someone come install them today. Once they got done hanging them, they kept flipping the breaker when they tried to test them. They tried them on 3 different outlet's (each on a different breaker also) with same conclusion, the breaker would flip. Eventually, they ended up isolating 2 runs of lights and ran them on their own timer, without any issues (so far). They are off duty firefighters and suggested we contact an electrician, just in case.

Our house was built in 2017/2018 so everything is new, with arc-fault breakers. We do have breakers flip more than I would like, but a friend of mine that used to be an electrician said arc-fault breakers are just overly sensitive by design. Typically, about once or twice a month the washer will end up flipping the breaker when it changes cycles. Outside of that its not very common. My back patio breaker will also flip on occasion also.

My buddy says not to worry about it and the breakers are just doing what they are designed to do. I personnally think somewhere in the string of lights is a short or something else since its happening on multiple outlets, but i'm dumber than a box of rocks when it comes to electrical stuff.
 

918evo

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Are you running the same amount of lights? I would first see what amperage the lights pull, and then look at the circuit and see the total amps. With LED, I highly doubt you are overloading the circuit, and most likely your friend is correct, and the initial LED startup is just tripping the sensitive breaker, and staggering the lights as they turn on will bypass that.
 

montesa

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One of them are 15 amps and the other is 20 amps. I have no idea how many amps the lights pull or how to check that?
Might say on the package. Like someone else said, it’s probably not over loading with LEDs. The gfci is so senstive that any issue in that string of lights could trip it.
 

Catt57

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I'd guess there is either a short or a ground fault in one of the light strings. Could be a bad wire or even a single bulb socket being assembled incorrectly or damaged.
 

kroberts2131

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I'd guess there is either a short or a ground fault in one of the light strings. Could be a bad wire or even a single bulb socket being assembled incorrectly or damaged.

if that’s the case, wouldn’t it cause the breaker to flip, even after they are split up?
My neighbor is an electrical engineer and he thinks it’s the lights also, and that maybe a hot and neutral are flipped or touching etc
 

Catt57

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if that’s the case, wouldn’t it cause the breaker to flip, even after they are split up?
My neighbor is an electrical engineer and he thinks it’s the lights also, and that maybe a hot and neutral are flipped or touching etc
It's hard to tell honestly. It could have even been moisture in one of the plug connections
 

kroberts2131

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Yeah who knows. He checked the lights string with his multimeter and got some reading around 40 when he should have got 0 so who knows. Electricity is confusing as F LOL
 
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