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#103956 - 12/15/02 04:08 AM Lampholders Are Not Allowed in Clothes ....
Joe Tedesco Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
CLOSETS



Because they are a FIRE HAZARD when used with open light bulbs!!
_________________________
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

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#103957 - 12/15/02 04:20 AM Re: Lampholders Are Not Allowed in Clothes ....
Electricmanscott Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
They must have been allowed at some point as there seem to be millions of these around. I see the potential danger here but I can't recall hearing of any house fires caused by these. Any stats on this?

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#103958 - 12/15/02 05:02 AM Re: Lampholders Are Not Allowed in Clothes ....
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
they are everywhere here......

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#103959 - 12/15/02 05:49 AM Re: Lampholders Are Not Allowed in Clothes ....
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
I see similar installations all the time in England as well.

I think it comes down to common sense on the part of the homeowner to not stack stuff where it will too close to the bulb. Unfortunately, common sense seems to be a vanishing commodity these days.

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#103960 - 12/15/02 07:30 AM Re: Lampholders Are Not Allowed in Clothes ....
spyder Offline
Member

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 211
Loc: Massachusetts
When I come across them, I recommend changing them. On renovation projects my local inspector requires them to be changed or removed.

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#103961 - 12/15/02 11:18 AM Re: Lampholders Are Not Allowed in Clothes ....
jes Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/02
Posts: 103
Loc: CT
OK, here is my recollection of the history of this prohibition. There are two fundamental problems with lampholders such as this installed in closets. The first is that they are rated typically for up to 600 W or so with NO warnings as to use a certain wattage bulb. Now it is unlikely that the "average person" will put much more than a 100-200 W in there it has been established that 100 W and higher MAY develop bulb surface temperatures that can ignite light combustibles. Here you have essentially an unprotected bulb. Secondly, it is not usually predictable how the "average person" will configure (reconfigure) a closet for storage, or literally cram the space full. 100 W and some smaller wattages can easily develop bulb surface temperatures that can ignite light combustibles WHEN INSULATED, as by a comforter or other storage that falls forward from a shelf or is pushed by other storage against the bulb. (Joe, your photo is a good example of how the proximity of storage could allow this to happen!)
There were enough documented cases of fires originating from these installations to convince the NFPA committee to restrict lampholder use. The change occurred some time ago and there may be additional justification in some of the older NEC Handbooks.

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#103962 - 01/17/03 10:33 AM Re: Lampholders Are Not Allowed in Clothes ....
John Steinke Offline
Member

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 509
Loc: Reno,Nv., USA
I believe that it was the '96 code that first addressed this issue.
An easy improvement would be to replace the bulb with one of the new screw-in fluorescents. (Existing need not be updated to new code).
I often, in remodeling, install a recessed can. (Code requires less clearance for a recessed fixture). Or, I mount the light on the wall, above the closet door.

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#103963 - 01/17/03 10:41 AM Re: Lampholders Are Not Allowed in Clothes ....
Joe Tedesco Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
Replacing the bulb with another edison base of any kind still vioates the rule. The keyles lampholder is the issue, it is not and never has been allowed because it is not a fixture!
_________________________
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant

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#103964 - 01/17/03 12:31 PM Re: Lampholders Are Not Allowed in Clothes ....
Trainwire Offline
Member

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 364
Loc: Strasburg,PA,USA
Hey Joe;

This situation is why I started the thread about closet fixtures. I have changed half of them in my house now to hard wired enclosed flourescent, and the others will be done shortly, In the meantime, I am paranoid about clearances and how long the light stays on. Only for a few minutes at a time, and only when someone is in front of the closet.
I would like to ask a question, I tried the last time, but I think the moderator thought I was flaming you, and edited my post. ( I don't mind by the way). My question is,
What makes a fixture, a fixture, as opposed to being only a lampholder?
If these lampholders were never allowed, why are there so many of them around?

Thanks for the info.

TW

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#103965 - 01/17/03 12:37 PM Re: Lampholders Are Not Allowed in Clothes ....
SvenNYC Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
And to clarify, these lampholders are only prohibited in closets, correct?

I assume they're OK to use in a bedroom or living room ceiling? I've been to places where they're used in the bathroom.

Thanks for the info. I'm just slightly confused with this also.

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