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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 128224  
Subject: Re: Weird landscape lighting issue Date: 10/9/2012 8:49 AM
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Since each is clipped on with those little "puncture teeth" as you call them, that means they're effectively in parallel, right? So if all 5 are out does that imply there is something wrong with the main line? Any hunches or tips on how to figure it out?

Replace all the non working bulbs. The space between the last work and first non-working is where your problem is. (Tiny chance the first non working is just broken and your line break is further up.)

With a long run there's a chance someone has spliced together two cables, there are connectors to do that, or they may have stripped and twisted the wires together. Either way it's probably gone bad due to moisture, critter, or other cause. Using a connector is generally better, but there are wire nuts meant specifically for in ground use which insulate from wetness. A couple bucks for a pack of four.

Dig down and find the cable, follow it along. Often, if it is in garden soil, you can just pull it up without having to dig the entire length. Fix the splice or get a new length of cable and splice in line, rebury.

Depending on the length of your run you may not want to replace the entire line, but may not know exactly where the break is. Is so, go to just before the first bad fixture, cut the cable, strip and attach to a 9v battery. Your "dead" lights should light, albeit very weakly. If they do, the break is somewhere in the stretch between your last good light and the cut. Replace that section.

If you have an actual circuit tester, so much the better. It's hard, but not impossible to use a multimeter on the fixtures to find out what section is bad, because sometimes it's the connection to the fixture itself. Probably worth trying that before cutting the cable, tho.
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