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#16134 - 11/06/02 12:51 AM Help!  
jeanofarc  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3
detroit, mi, 48208
I installed a cieling light fixture by Aztec and everything was fine with 3 100 watt bulbs that it is rated for. Then a couple of days ago I decided to try florecent bulbs that give 127 watts of light using only 26 watts each. One bulb blinked when the light was turned off at the switch. One bulb strobed if it was in one outlet and not the other. Today two of the bulbs blew out and there was a strong burn smell coming from the mechanism in the bulb. I turned of the light and took off the fixture and there seems to be nothing different about the wiring although it is old. There is no grounding wire and the wiring junction is not in a box. I installed the fixture using a joist and brought the wires down and tucked through a metal plate that I installed. My question is this: Could there be a short in the wiring to cause two of the bulbs to blow or more likely is it the fixture? Not sure where to go with this and I would like to have it together for a dinner party Thursday night.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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#16135 - 11/06/02 01:00 AM Re: Help!  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
Is the light fed from a dimmer switch or dimming control that came with the fan? (Were the old lights dimmable?)

It would probably in your best interest to call a lisensed electrical contractor to assess the situation on-site.

Have you tried putting the old bulbs back in to see if it still works?


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

#16136 - 11/06/02 01:43 AM Re: Help!  
jeanofarc  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3
detroit, mi, 48208
No dimmer or switch. There was never a fan there.
I haven't tried putting back the regular bulbs. May there be a problem caused by using fluorescent? Could the wattage be to high or the fact that it isn't grounded cause them to blow like that? Could it be a short?


#16137 - 11/06/02 02:00 AM Re: Help!  
JuddsAirco  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 49
KY, USA
Could be cheap bulbs or possibly some under-voltage.


The lesson is in the struggle, not the victory.

#16138 - 11/06/02 02:11 AM Re: Help!  
sparky66wv  Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
My fault, somehow I read "ceiling fan" the first time...

Got me... [Linked Image]

Better call an electrician, seriously.

[Linked Image]

My only guess is during the high-voltage starting strike, something isn't quite dielectric enough...



[This message has been edited by sparky66wv (edited 11-06-2002).]


-Virgil
Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

#16139 - 11/06/02 06:38 AM Re: Help!  
C-H  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
Now that's an odd fault. I can only think of one extreme long shot:

I once installed ceiling lights with poor quality edison lampholders. The bulbs won't stay in the holders, but come out a fraction, causing arcing between the bulb and the lampholder rather than good contact. [Linked Image] It doesn't cause any real problems with the ordinary bulbs, except possibly a risk of fire.

Low energy bulbs and flourescent tubes produce some noise when turned on. Anything that makes a noise must have made some movement. Therefore, I presume that low energy bulbs move sligthly when turned on. If the lampholders are the arcing crap described above, I would think that the power to the "bulb" goes on and off when this happens, causing flicker or strobo-effects and ultimately failure.

As I said, this is an extreme long shot...

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 11-06-2002).]


#16140 - 11/06/02 08:21 AM Re: Help!  
jeanofarc  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3
detroit, mi, 48208
About the arcing, the bulb that blew the most (noticable char on bulb and connection) was the one that wouldn't screw in all the way due to the socket turning with the bulb.
The other one that blew was the one that was blinking when the light switch was off. What causes that? The only thing that I can think of is the similar blinking when a power strip is plugged into an old house with no grounding wire. Like I say the bulb only blinked when I touched it.
Any thoughts?
Should I try it with regular bulbs again?


#16141 - 11/06/02 08:54 AM Re: Help!  
electric-ed  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 175
Canada
jeanofarc,
Quote
wouldn't screw in all the way due to the socket turning with the bulb.

That fixture needs to be repaired pronto.

Quote
One bulb blinked when the light was turned off at the switch.

The switch for this fixture may be mis-wired.
This is not a do-it-yourself job. please call an electrician.

Ed


#16142 - 11/06/02 09:05 AM Re: Help!  
jdevlin  Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
welland ontario canada
There is no grounding wire and the wiring junction is not in a box. I installed the fixture using a joist and brought the wires down and tucked through a metal plate that I installed.
I would suggest you call an electrician and have this fixture installed properly. You need a proper box to hold the fixture and the wires.
Could your problem be that lamps are wires in series?


#16143 - 11/06/02 09:26 AM Re: Help!  
C-H  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
Flourescent tubes (which low energy lamps are made of) draw very little power. The amounts are in fact so tiny that the static electricity from your touch can light them up. I know two lamps where a stroke on the cover generates a dim but clearly visible light from the tubes inside. (I was rather surprised by the effect first time I saw it)

If you can get more than just a faint light from the lamp by touching it, something is probably very wrong. (The only thing I can think of is that the switch breaks the neutral instead of the hot, leaving the lamp "live". Perhaps it would then act like the "neon pen" one use to check polarity.) If it lights up without you touching it, the switch is probably broken. (If it behaves like this and the switch is not broken, you have a serious wiring fault somewhere.)

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 11-06-2002).]



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