Setting up an artificial Christmas tree is a tradition that many families enjoy each year. The process can quickly become frustrating, however, if you unpack the tree from storage and discover that it’s in a state of disrepair. Before you rush out to buy a new tree, why not try to first repair the problem yourself? There are a number of basic repairs that most homeowners can do themselves, saving valuable money you’d probably rather spend elsewhere. In this article, we’ll discuss several of the most common problems that you might encounter.Lights That Don’t WorkNowadays, it’s hard to find an artificial Christmas tree that isn’t prelit, meaning it has lights that are already wound around every branch. While this is very convenient because you don’t have to string and un-string the lights every year, it can become a real nuisance if the lights fail. Damaged lights on a prelit tree are probably the most common problem with artificial Christmas trees. First, check to be sure that all the sections of the tree are plugged together correctly. If one plug has been inserted the wrong place, it can cause all or part of the tree not to light up. If you have the time and patience, closely examine each individual bulb, looking for one that is burned out or has a broken fuse. If this still doesn’t solve the problem, there are two other possible recourses. You could simply wind the unlighted section or sections with a separate string of lights. This is a fast and easy fix. The other option is to remove all the pre-wound lights from the tree. To do this, you’ll need a good pair of wire cutters, some gloves to protect your hands from the rough artificial tree foliage, and a good dose of patience. While this last remedy is long and time-consuming, it is often the best option, because it eliminates the possibility of more light related problems in future years.Broken Tree StandA broken artificial tree stand is a very common problem. Most stands that come with artificial trees are cheap and flimsy, and sometimes aren’t well designed to support the full height and weight of the tree. If your stand breaks, consider buying a replacement stand as opposed to a whole new tree. There are many replacement artificial tree stands on the market, and they’re usually quite affordable and very sturdy. Before buying one, be sure you measure the diameter of your tree’s center post to be sure it will fit in the replacement stand collar.Broken Branches or Pieces that Don’t Fit TogetherEven though we assemble our trees year after year, it can be easy to forget which piece goes where. If you find yourself struggling to make two parts fit together, don’t force them! This will undoubtedly result in broken branches or a broken center pole, both of which are very difficult problems to repair. For parts that fit together tightly, try rubbing each piece with a little soap or oil to make them fit more smoothly. If you do have a branch that is broken off, you may be able to take the section to your local hardware store to find a new bracket, screw, or other part that will reaffix the broken limb. If all else fails, you can always turn that side of the tree toward the wall for this season, and then pick up a new tree after Christmas, when they go on sale.The useful life of most artificial Christmas trees is about 10 years. For very well built trees, you may get an even longer life than this. Eventually, of course, every tree must be replaced with a new one. In the meantime, try to make your tree last as long as possible with some simple repairs you can do yourself. Not only will you save money, but you’ll probably take a lot of pride in the end result.
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