Yesterday I cleaned the globes from the north poles. I soaked the globes in a diluted Rustaid mixture which worked really well. I had to lightly scrub each one with a kitchen scrubbing pad, but all 16 only took me 30 minutes. I was worried the Rustaid would etch the globes, but since I hosed them off, there was no damage.
I also soaked the fixtures in a baking soda-water mixture then scrubbed each one with a wire brush. There was green corrosion on the metal parts. I was very happy to use my new boat batter cleaning skills to clean up the north pole light bulb fixtures!!! Now, I just have to find out if I can put dialectric grease on the light fixtures...that's what I do with a boat batteries, so it would make sense to follow suit.
Today I also purchased the new couplers and 3 inch poles. I got the red duct tape and 3 cans of Great Stuff Big Gap Filler. Yesterday and this morning I experimented with crack filler and gap filler. Lesson learned........if you use a big stick to push down the crack filler, it will deflate and never expand.