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Hi All,

I am new to the forums, and I need some help. I am putting up C9 lights, the package says I can connect up to two strands, Each strand has 25 bulbs with a 5A fuse. I need at least six strands, I don't want to cause some electrical failure or worse a fire. What are some tricks to connecting more C9 strands?

Thanks for the help all!

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Use an extension cord to "bypass" around strings. Also, start in the center.

For example:

Start with the outlet end of the string, work toward the plug end. Lay out two strings.

Use a multi outlet extension cord. Plug in the first two strings.

Now, plug in your next two stings and lay those two out.

Connect a second extension cord to the first. Lay it out past the 3rd & 4th string.

Connect th 5th & 6th string to the second extension cord and lay them out.

Make sure your outlet and first extension cord are rated to handle the entire load. The second extension cord can be lighter as it will only have the load of two strings.

Always do your math. Here is some good info on calculating your load.

Remember the 80% rule. Your load should not exceed 80% of the rated capacity of your outlet and extension cords.

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So am I reading the link you provided correctly, I can attach 8 strings of C9 lights to a 15A circuit? So, are the recommendations on the box outdated? My apologies on the newbie questions.

C9 incandescent bulbs

(7 watts each) 25 175 1.50 8 10

Edited by IamSergio
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I regularly connect 3 strands of C9s together with the 5 amp fuses. Never had one blow. 18 gauge SPT 1 wire, which most C9s use can actually support plugging 4 strands together, or even 5 (but that pushes it), but your 5 amp fuse will likely blow. To bypass this, I plug 3 strands together like normal, but on the 4th strand that plugs into the extension cord, I cut the fused plug off and install a vampire plug made for SPT 1 wire. Home Depot is actually selling these online right now. You can also get female vampire plugs. For 6 strands you will have no other choice but to run another cord, or start in the middle.

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No problem! You can also cut the strand anywhere along it's length to shorten it and place the plug there instead. Just make sure you get the polarity right. The neutral wire is usually marked with dots or lettering...that wire goes to the wide prong. That way the small tab in the middle of the socket is energized, while the screw base is not because it is the neutral. Keeps you from being shocked when screwing in a light bulb.

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I regularly connect 3 strands of C9s together with the 5 amp fuses. Never had one blow. 18 gauge SPT 1 wire, which most C9s use can actually support plugging 4 strands together, or even 5 (but that pushes it), but your 5 amp fuse will likely blow. To bypass this, I plug 3 strands together like normal, but on the 4th strand that plugs into the extension cord, I cut the fused plug off and install a vampire plug made for SPT 1 wire. Home Depot is actually selling these online right now. You can also get female vampire plugs. For 6 strands you will have no other choice but to run another cord, or start in the middle.

This is exactly how I would do it too. I don't use regular C9 tho.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I use the C-7 strands but this year switched to the C-7 led bulb. They are expensive but worth it when it comes to amps. My roof and gutter line last year was 15 amps for red and white incadescent bulbs. I am now at 2.3 amps for over 150 led bulbs in green and 2.4 amps for 160 led bulbs. Something to consider during the off season when the sales are good.

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I use the C-7 strands but this year switched to the C-7 led bulb. They are expensive but worth it when it comes to amps. My roof and gutter line last year was 15 amps for red and white incadescent bulbs. I am now at 2.3 amps for over 150 led bulbs in green and 2.4 amps for 160 led bulbs. Something to consider during the off season when the sales are good.

Thanks for the info Pete! I too would like to convert my C9s over to LED retrofit. With so many lights, I'd have to convert in stages and C9s is the first jump. Sadly, right now I can't even afford that first jump since I have over 3,000 C9 bulbs. How do the fades work out for the LEDs? Do they look the same as incans at full 100% on? I know the colors are much fuller with LED.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The led retrofit bulbs look great. I switched to them this year and a friend of mine Ben switched the the c-9 retro bulbs. He uses lord and loved how they look. He did them in phases to. I still need to convert my white to led next year. I noticed a big difference in how they look and how the paint doesn't come of the bulbs. Hope this info helps. Pete

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