Light wiring???


  #1  
Old 02-26-04, 04:45 AM
BTZ
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Light wiring???

Hello. A few years ago we had our kitchen remodeled which included 4 mini pendant lights over an island. We installed halogen lights (each has its own box). The problem is....the lights burned out very fast, sometimes one would go out within a week. thinking it was the light fixtures themselves, we changed the fixtures last week to ones pendants that had regular bulbs (I was going broke on the halogens). Two bulbs blew within the first week . Now I'm thinking it may be the wiring or something??? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
  #2  
Old 02-26-04, 06:19 AM
BTZ
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Update

The 3rd of 4 bulbs just blew this morning....HELP!!!!!!
 
  #3  
Old 02-26-04, 06:26 AM
R
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,245
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Have you measured the voltage at the sockets?
 
  #4  
Old 02-26-04, 06:33 AM
BTZ
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Haven't really done anything yet. The first bulb blew on Tuesday night and 2 blew this morning. But they did all work from last Wednesday night til Tuesday night. If there was a voltage problem, would they even last that long???
 
  #5  
Old 02-26-04, 06:57 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
As Bob suggested, I recommend you test the voltage with a voltmeter.

When you say "blew," you're just talking about burning out, right? You don't mean that the glass exploded, do you?

The biggest factors in bulb life are:
  • Too much voltage. Solve by buying bulbs designed for more voltage.
  • Too much vibration.
  • Too much heat. Make sure the bulb type and wattage is within the range approved by the fixture and that the fixture is installed in the normal manner (so as not to trap heat).
 
  #6  
Old 02-26-04, 07:39 AM
BTZ
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
John, your assumption is right, the bulb did not "blow up", it just burned out. This seems to be happening when the switch is turned on. The bulbs are the right wattage for the fixtures. They're 60 watt candleabra base clear bulbs. I don't know if they make those for different voltages or not. Anyway, what could be causing a voltage "spike" (or whatever you want to call it) that would burn the bulbs out and what, if anything, can be done about it? Thanks for the responses.
 
  #7  
Old 02-26-04, 07:53 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
If your voltage tests reveal a voltage problem, you will start by calling your power company and then call an electrician.
 
  #8  
Old 02-26-04, 08:17 AM
BTZ
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Although all I have is an inexpensive voltage indicator, I guess I'll have to get ahold of a volt meter. I'm assuming that when I test the fixture at the socket it should read 110? Again, thanks for the responses.
 
  #9  
Old 02-26-04, 09:44 AM
R
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,245
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
The voltage should be anywhere from 110 to 120.
 
  #10  
Old 02-26-04, 10:29 AM
arcspark
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
When your lights were working, did you notice any fluctuations in lighting levels? Have you noticed any other odd occurences elsewhere in your house relating to fluctuating voltages? If so, you could have a loose neutral somewhere. If you get a volt meter, and the voltage is ok, try installing a dimmer on the circuit and reduce the voltage to the lamps. Buy one with the softstart feature. That brings up the voltage slowly, which makes the bulbs last longer.
 
  #11  
Old 02-26-04, 11:53 AM
Dave_D1945's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 1,132
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
You aren't changing the halogen bulbs with your bare fingers, are you? Skin oils can cause halogen bulbs to die very quickly.
 
  #12  
Old 02-26-04, 01:06 PM
BTZ
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks racraft.

arcsparc.....Nope....nothing else even remotely funny going on in the house. Actually we were thinking about putting in a dimmer switch for these lights. Thanks for the advice on the softstart. But I'd also like to get to the bottom of what's causing this.

Dave.....got rid of the halogen fixtures but no.....we used gloves or something else when we changed the bulbs.

Like I said, this all started after we had the kitchen remodeled and put up the new light boxes for the pendants. Is there anything the electrician could have done or not done when he did the wiring? We used to have a florescent light in the kitchen and we replaced it with these lights.

Come on people, I'm open to any and all suggestions.

Thanks again!
 
  #13  
Old 02-27-04, 11:13 PM
arcspark
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Sounds like it's time for that volt meter. See if you can borrow one from someone - perferrably one with min/max feature. Leave it on for awhile and see what the voltage is doing. The min/max feature will store the highest and lowest voltage it encounters.
 
  #14  
Old 02-28-04, 08:49 AM
BTZ
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
OK guys,

Here's an update. I borrowed a volt meter. Unfortunately it didn't have the min/max feature that arcsparc suggested. I tested the voltage at each of the sockets and they all ran between 110 and 120 like racraft said. Then I tested each of the sockets while we turned the light switch on and off, just to see if we got a spike when the switch was turned on. The meter went up nice and smooth to the 110 to 120 range on all sockets. If I don't change the burned out bulb in a timely fashion, will the other lights that do work pull extra voltage to make them burn out quicker? I don't think this is the case because the one light that hasn't burned out is still working even though I didn't change the ones that did. This is driving me crazy!!!
 
  #15  
Old 02-28-04, 09:03 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
If I don't change the burned out bulb in a timely fashion, will the other lights that do work pull extra voltage to make them burn out quicker?
No.

Your testing provided good information. However, you may still have random voltage fluctuations. The only thing I can suggest now is to check for poor connections anywhere on the circuit. This could be a very time consuming process. Wires poked into holes in the back of receptacles and switches are poor connections by definition. Also pull on each wire in a wire nut to make sure it is secure.

If this problem exists in other parts of the house too, your power company may be willing to help.
 
  #16  
Old 02-28-04, 10:00 AM
BTZ
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
OK John, thanks for all your help. I think for starters I'm going to get one of those dimmer switches with the softstart feature like arcsparc suggested and see if that at least cuts down on the frequency of this situation. John, arcsparc and racraft, thanks alot for your input. This is my first experience with this site and I think I'm gonna like it.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: