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#23102 - 03/11/03 06:16 PM Why are those light bulbs-a-blowin'
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Give me some ideas as to why a fixture or even room or circuit would cause bulbs to blow more frequently than others. Specifically, I've got a customer that has a garage where no light bulb lasts more than a day or 2. They've tried rough service bulbs, so vibration isn't the cause. What would you look at next?

PS, there are several fixtures in this garage, not just one.

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 03-11-2003).]

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#23103 - 03/11/03 06:28 PM Re: Why are those light bulbs-a-blowin'
WebSparky Offline

Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 144
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio

Just a shot in the dark, (pun intented)I would check for something that might cause a surge or faulty grounding of the service or loose neutral connections at the panel.
Be sure lighting is on it's own circuit and if possible, not sharing a neutral with another line. All of these conditions could cause an unwanted voltage on the neutral conductor thus suppling momemtary "high" voltage (150-220V)to the filament of the lamp, which is rated at 120-130 volts. Over time, this causes the lamp's life to be shortened considerably!

Hope this helps.

#23104 - 03/11/03 11:35 PM Re: Why are those light bulbs-a-blowin'
txsparky Offline

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 578
Loc: Magnolia,.Texas U.S.A.
Dave has some good ideas regarding a loose or bad neutral connection.
Iknow you said that vibration isnt the problem but...Is this a 2 story house with a room above the garage?

#23105 - 03/12/03 01:16 AM Re: Why are those light bulbs-a-blowin'
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
No more than a day or two?! That's gotta be annoying!!
How about using a CFL, just to see if this will last?
Ok , Not such a good idea if excessive voltage or TVS problems, but it would work for an unstable area (i.e. excessive vibrations or random thumps from something on the roof / floor joists).

If there is absolutely no way this could be caused by some physical item(s) rattling the filament to death, then you have got some troubleshooting to do!

If 1Ø, suspect open noodle. If all noodles OK, try any lightly loaded Induction Motors starting, and see if a noticable increase in Line Voltage results when started and / or run.

One situation where low wattage Incandescent lamps are driven on the opposite L-N circuit as a lightly loaded Induction motor being started - and where they share a common noodle, the Incandescent lamps will get brighter as the motor starts, and they will taper down to normal intensity as the motor KVA load stablizes.

That's probably too extreme for your scenario, but worth a shot if all else fails.

Failure within 48 hours pretty much sums it up to either:

    [*]Repeated Overvoltage Surges,

    [*]Something is shaking the hot filament too much!

Could water be dripping on the lamp?
Could the neighborhood kids be overly obnoxious?

Scott35 S.E.T.
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

#23106 - 03/12/03 02:56 AM Re: Why are those light bulbs-a-blowin'
zapped208 Offline

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 201
Loc: Somewhere in USA
Eagle- 1. Is this problem one fixture or all of them. 2. Are the lamps brighter or dimmer than usual. 3. Are the lampholders bad. 4. Check connections and voltage at fixtures,and panelboards, and trace out garage circuit.
Shoot first, apologize later.....maybe

#23107 - 03/12/03 04:12 AM Re: Why are those light bulbs-a-blowin'
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Thanks for the ideas so far.
All the info I have is that the lights on the garage door openers(motor) and the 2 lights in garage all have the problem of blowing bulbs very quickly. My first thought was vibrations from the openers or the bonus room, but the customer told me they tried rough service bulbs and got the same results. I'm going to lokk at it today and I'll see what we find.

#23108 - 03/12/03 06:24 AM Re: Why are those light bulbs-a-blowin'
sabrown Offline

Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 298
Loc: Ogden, Utah, USA
I think Websparky is on the right track. Also, remember to look closely if you have multiwire branch circuits for a loose connection in that particular circuit.

#23109 - 03/12/03 11:43 AM Re: Why are those light bulbs-a-blowin'
SJT Offline

Registered: 07/24/02
Posts: 242
I would check the panel first. How are the connetions at the water pipe and ground rods? Then, I would check everything on that ckt. starting with the Lights. Work your way back. You may have a loose connection somewhere along the line. Good luck!

#23110 - 03/12/03 06:07 PM Re: Why are those light bulbs-a-blowin'
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
We checked every connection from the bulb to the service disco. The only thing loose was the neutrals in the panel. They weren't real loose, but all needed a turn or 2 to get tight. Time will tell, I'm sure we'll get the call if a bulb blows in the next year or 2.


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