Problem with recessed light fixture

Old 12-18-03, 06:55 PM
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Problem with recessed light fixture

The bulb (65w spot) in a recessed fixture burned out. When I removed the bulb, I noticed the contact on the bulb and in the socket were both pretty much fried (melted).

Is it safe to just replace the socket? The fixture was mfrd by Sterling Lighting prior to 1989; it seems the company is no longer in business and I cannot find replacement parts. We have three of these fixtures in a bathroom (the fried one is third in the series, all controlled by one switch) and really don't want to replace all three. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Old 12-19-03, 07:16 AM
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Replacing the socket shouldn't be a problem. Have you figured out how to remove the bad one? Some are through a hole in a bracket with a spring clip. The bracket can be slid down from the top of the can by loosening a wing nut. Squeezing the spring clip will allow the socket to be removed. Cut the wires off the bad socket as close to the soldered connection point as you can. Take the socket to Lowe's or a lighting supply house and match it up. Probably is a porcelain socket. Replacement socket will have scew terminals instead of solder terminals. Match up wires with proper terminals (black-brass, white-silver) and wrap clockwise around the screws so that they won't back out when tightening. It also helps to twist the stranded wires in a counter-clockwise direction (when viewed from end) before "bending" your hook to place around the screw.

If you have to, you can drop the whole interior of the can down from the ceiling by removing the small hex head screws inside the front of the can. It will be wire into a junction box with a flexible armored cable. If worse comes to worse, you could reach up and remove the J-box cover, disconnect the fixture whip, and take the can interior to a lighting supply house and match it up with a new one. A lamp shop would replace the socket if you take the can interior there.

If you can get into the attic above the fixture, it would make it easier if you have to disconnect the can wiring.
Old 12-19-03, 11:33 AM
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Thanks for the advice. The sockets in these cans can only be accessed from the attic, so I'm heading there now.

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