Christmas lights

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Just finished my outdoor lights and I saw the guy next door standing on the metal ladder with lights all around him connecting strings of lights together. Made me think about how many guys have been hurt --shocked or by falling from a ladder while doing a"Family Christmas" thing. I guess I have more respect of electricity than is needed, in fact I cover all connections with plastic wrap and try to seal them water tight. Just a thought for a Merry and safe Christmas. Frank
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You wanna hear about ladder safety? I took yesterday off to clean my gutters since the weather is supposed to turn colder and windier with freezing rain and snow all the way through the weekend and beyond. Yesterday's temperatures were in the mid-30's when I began the job.
The leaves were frozen in the gutters so I hooked my hose up to the hot water spigot and let the water melt the ice and keep my hands warm. After about an hour of trips up and down the 28' ladder, I realized that the ladder was getting slick from the water freezing on the rungs. I began to use the hot water to hose down the rungs before I went up or down, which gave me enough time to clean each arms-length of gutter before the rungs got slick again.
Even with the "warmed up" rungs, I was extra, extra careful with my footwork as I used the ladder.
The lesson? Just like bridges, ladder rungs freeze before other surfaces.
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The lesson? Do it when it's above freezing :)
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On Nov 29, 6:01 pm, snipped-for-privacy@nf.sympatico.ca wrote:

According to all my thermometers, the air temp never drop below freezing while I was working. The water did not freeze on the house, bushes, railings, deck, etc. Only the ladders (aluminum extension and aluminum step ladder) got a thin coating of ice on them.
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The frozen leaves or the fact that the rungs were starting to freeze while working would have been a good indicator to anyone with common sense to stop
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On Nov 29, 7:48 pm, snipped-for-privacy@nf.sympatico.ca wrote:

Who said anything about having common sense? ;-)
Based on the expected weather over the next week or so, my work and travel schedule and the need to get the gutters cleaned and the ice melt wires rarranged before winter really hit, I had a very small window in which to complete the project.
Considering that I was pretty close to being done when the ice started to form, and considering that I had the solution to the ice problem in my hand - a hose hooked up to hot water spigot - I wasn't really in any danger.
Heat up the rungs before going up and again before going down and my footing was fine.
It wasn't like icicles were hanging off every rung - it was nothing more than a thin glaze, easily rectified by a few splashes of the hot water. Since I hose out my gutters as part of the cleaning process, the hose with a spray gun handle was always with me anyway.
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On Thu, 29 Nov 2007 13:21:52 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

Plus, hot water freezes faster than cold water. Hard to believe?
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re: Plus, hot water freezes faster than cold water.
This not a universal fact and was probably not the reason my ladder rungs got slippery.
Hot water freezing faster than cold water, known as the Mpemba effect, has indeed been known to occur under controlled experimental conditions. Luke warm dripping off my gutters, the mist/splashing from the hose and house, the mud and leaves from my boots, etc. was far from a controlled experiment.
I seriously doubt that the Mpemba effect was in play here.
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Phisherman wrote:

I know what you are referring to but that is normally NOT the case. Just set a cup of cold water and also a cup of hot water outside when it is below freezing and you will find that the cold water will freeze first. Heck, you can even try it in the freezer of your refrigerator.
Don
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re: Heck, you can even try it in the freezer of your refrigerator
Be careful with that one - you might inadvertently prove his point. Part of the theory as to why the Mpemba effect occurs in some cases is that the container of hot water will melt the layer of frost that it sits on faster than the container of cold water, and thus have better contact with the cold surface of the freezer, accelerating the cooling process.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Of course, technically you are correct, it could happen but I really doubt it unless the hot water container was set on a layer of frost which in turn melted and they refroze and created a MUCH better connection to the surface of the freezer.
Although the Mpemba effect probably does not lend itself to alt.home.repairs, it is an interesting subject that has been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and still has not been fully explained.
Cheers,
Don
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Should this occur, I would also suspect the hot water setting up a convection current that quickly cools the hot water heavily by evaporative cooling, and causes some of it to evaporate so that there is less of it to freeze.
Normally, the cold water freezes first.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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wrote:

Water can condense or enter the plastic. I found it best not to wrap the connections at all.
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wrote:

My wife broke an arm falling, while hanging christmas lights
Bah humbug
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In the interests of safety (cough, cough) I don't put any lights outside. Candles in the window for simple elegance.
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This is actually not a good thing.
Unless the connectors are literally encapsulated with proper material, moisture will easily and quickly penetrate the wrapping and RETAIN moisture.
After ensuring the plug ends are firmly and completely together, it is better to leave them UNwrapped and exposed. This allows any moisture to drain away or evaporate. They can lay on the ground, UNDER snow, with no problem.
Wrapping outdoor holiday light connections in plastic wrap is no more than a "feel good" activity. Save your efforts for more decorating.
--
:)
JR

No project too small
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I agree. Even if moissture did not accumulate it looks like a big time waster to me for no gain.
Harry K
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On Thu, 29 Nov 2007 20:10:21 -0600, Jim Redelfs

I don't wrap connections, but find it preferable to keep them a few inches above the ground. Rain or snow doesn't hurt, but standing water can.
Also, use GFCIs for any outside lights.

--
25 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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ease of removal. Especially the higher sets on my big (30 foot) tree. Nothing worse than trying to get them down and having one separate so I have to drag out the ladders and poles to continue my work (g).
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Agreed.
More good advice.
However, in my experience, a LOT of 120VAC lamps AND exposed connectors can wreck havoc with a GFCI-protected circuit, particularly in wet weather. The only solution here is to keep everything off the ground and in a good position to "drain" or dry out as much as possible.
--
:)
JR

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