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#28623 - 08/25/03 11:15 AM Life expectancy of a rubber pigtail lampholder  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
Anyone have the slightest idea of how long one of these things is supposed to last?

I know they're for temporary use only. The one in my room has been there for two years.

It literally shorted itself out yesterday...looked like carbon tracks in the phenolic insulator disk that holds the center contact in place away from the outer screw shell... Thank goodness for working circuit breakers). [Linked Image]

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#28624 - 08/25/03 08:04 PM Re: Life expectancy of a rubber pigtail lampholder  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Well these are the limits on temporary wiring in general, I have know idea what the designed life span of a rubber socket is.

During the Period of Construction,


90 Days for holiday decorative lighting and similar purposes


Emergencies and Tests

[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 08-25-2003).]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#28625 - 08/25/03 11:54 PM Re: Life expectancy of a rubber pigtail lampholder  
Pinemarten  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 123
Edmonton, AB, Canada
In Canada we use them for permanent lighting in small areas such as crawl spaces. I have installed them protruded through a 1/2" knockout/w bushing in a regular octagon light box. The inspectors didn't seem to have a problem with it.
When something bumps them they just swing away. A cage, called for according to our 'under 7 foot' code rule would just get smashed, bulb and all, in a similar situation.
They should last as long as a regular fixture, but make sure your bulb wattage is low. As with any other fixture, I assume there is a max rating for them.

#28626 - 08/26/03 09:27 AM Re: Life expectancy of a rubber pigtail lampholder  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
Thanks guyz.

I was using a 60 watt/130 volt household bulb. That shouldn't have cause a problem...should it? I've seen 100 watt bulbs in the strings used in construction sites. If I remember correctly, the lampholder was rated for 600 volts/660 watts (anyone ever seen a 660 watt bulb?)

The pigtail wasn't supposed to stay up this long -- it was originally connected when the defective fixture was removed and prior to painting the place. That's when I discovered the brittle wires (insulation was intact but brittle and hard).

I decided to leave that thing in place instead of disturbing the wires any more until I replaced EVERYTHING (there goes the nice paintjob).

But you know how it is with temporary things.... [Linked Image] -- wish I wasn't short of money right now.... [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 08-26-2003).]

#28627 - 08/26/03 07:45 PM Re: Life expectancy of a rubber pigtail lampholder  
CanadianSparky  Offline
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 85
Alberta Canada
Quick question, whats everyone paying for these right now? I'm in the same boat as pinemarten, exact same use.

#28628 - 08/26/03 10:07 PM Re: Life expectancy of a rubber pigtail lampholder  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
Yesterday I called up my kid brother from work and asked him to go to a real electrical supply house near his neighborhood to pick up two new ones (UL listed and mfg by West Port Mfg. in USA).

He paid US$1.25 for each and they appear to be made out of vinyl instead of vulcanized rubber. Construction seems decent...except they use 16AWG TFF stranded instead of the usual 14AWG stranded for the pigtails.

The cheap-cheezey (non-UL) listed black rubber sockets from China that I see in hardware stores across town are $2 and change. I think I saw one place selling them for $2.79 ( [Linked Image] )

There's one company (Cooper, I believe) that makes them out of BAKELITE! I've been trying to score one...but no luck, so far -- two of the supply houses I called don't carry those -- one doesn't even carry any type of lampholder.

These bakelite ones are the ones used normally in making those lighting strings I mentioned for use in the subway during construction.

Today I was in a job-lot surplus store that was selling Mexican Leviton rubber sockets for like US$2.50 or so.

#28629 - 08/27/03 11:48 AM Re: Life expectancy of a rubber pigtail lampholder  
mamills  Offline
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 745
Wharton, Texas, USA
Sven: In an old house where I used to live many years ago, the entire service entrance consisted of a 60a. 240 volt safety switch (with a-base meter above, of course) and two of those bakelite sockets connected to the load lugs at the bottom of the switch, along with conductors to feed an electric range. The sockets simply laid inside on the bottom of the switch box, and each one contained a 30a. fuse for the two 120v. lighting circuits(neat, huh... [Linked Image] ). I changed the fuses to 15 amp., then had the entire house rewired shortly thereafter. I'm guessing that those bakelite sockets had been there since about 1940 or so. They seemed to be in reasonably good condition, save the brittle rubber-covered conductors from the excessive heating.

Mike (mamills)

[This message has been edited by mamills (edited 08-27-2003).]

#28630 - 08/27/03 04:48 PM Re: Life expectancy of a rubber pigtail lampholder  
classicsat  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 456
They are used in barns also, we have a couple of the 1950s ones still in service.

I have also seen them used as fuseholders for pole mounted light fixtures.

#28631 - 08/27/03 05:30 PM Re: Life expectancy of a rubber pigtail lampholder  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
So have I. I don't believe they're listed for use as fuseholders.

Apparently fuseholders must have the amperage rating stamped on them. Lampholders have wattage ratings on them.

Has anyone seen a pigtail with amp ratings on them? I've only seen them labelled 600 or 250 volts/660 watts.

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