Do I have a serious problem? (Burning Out Light Bulbs)

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  #1  
Old 05-04-05, 10:33 PM
ltucker
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Question Do I have a serious problem? (Burning Out Light Bulbs)

The light fixture in my dining room has been blowing out light bulbs since I moved into my new house six years ago. I figured it was the cheap light fixture put in by the builder, but when I replaced it, I still had the same problem. I am replacing light bulbs continually. It is supposed to take 60 watt bulbs, which I am using. Do I have a more serious wiring problem up in the ceiling?

I am concerned because the original electrical contractor forgot to run the kitchen and dining room wiring to the circuit box in the garage, so he just ran the wires to light switches that were working in the hallway, so he wouldn't have to tear out the ceiling.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-05-05, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ltucker
I am replacing light bulbs continually.
Continually.
How frequently is that ?
 
  #3  
Old 05-05-05, 04:27 AM
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It,

Firstly, how on earth did this builder get his license....even in most areas of the country the builder can't do the electrical unless he is licensed or has a master in the company...UNLESS he built the house for himself and then sold it....can you say LOOP HOLE in the system.....anyway sounds like this builder is quite shoddy....

Secondly, would not have been too hard to feed the circuits from the panel..I am sure any good electrician could have figured a low cost safer way to achieve this....and is still an option for you....

AS for the bulds.......Good question from Qwiz on how often and have you tried to replace the bulb maybe with the new Flourescent style just to see how it goes...BUT it can be a few thing and I think John has covered this in here somewhere before...

1.) Cheap Bulbs.....
2.) Could be a loose bulb holder which has movement when doors open and other things causing excess movement of the filament and it breaks.
3.) Loose wire connections in the base......pull it off the ceiling and re-do the connections if you feel you can ( always turn off power first )

I am sure others will chime in on other things to look at......I am not totally up on the full aspects of Bulbology....
 
  #4  
Old 05-05-05, 06:18 AM
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The most potentially dangerous possibility is that there is over-voltage at the light fixture. Do you notice the light is 'extra' bright? Is there any flickering or variation in the brightness?

I can't tell what degree of DIY ability you have. If you have a simple Volt-ohm meter, you can easily test the voltage yourself. Post back if you have the desire to test this yourself, if you don't already know how. You should also check the size of the circuit breaker on the circuit, and let us know. The danger of "just adding the additional wiring to the light switches" is that this circuit(s) may be overloaded. If he is as shady as it sounds, he might have put in a larger circuit breaker than is allowed. I would have expected that you should be tripping the circuit breaker frequently.

Itucker said,
I am concerned because the original electrical contractor forgot to run the kitchen and dining room wiring to the circuit box in the garage, so he just ran the wires to light switches that were working in the hallway, so he wouldn't have to tear out the ceiling.
How do you know this information? You need to know what devices are on this circuit. If you don't already have a map of your electrical system, now is a really good time to do this simple task. Again, post back if you need help.

If you are not comfortable taking this project on, you should call a licenced electrician to measure the voltage. While (s)he's there you should also ask the electrician to assess this circuit, and the overall quality of the house wiring, if you're concerned.
 
  #5  
Old 05-05-05, 06:53 AM
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Before you consider any further action, please answer GWIZ's question for us. That will let us know what we should be looking for.
 
  #6  
Old 05-05-05, 09:53 PM
ltucker
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Replacing light bulbs

In regard to Gwiz's question, I replace a light bulb in the dining room at least once a week. In the original fixture, there were five bulbs and it seemed like the same socket was always going out - sometimes blowing the glass light bulb right out of the socket onto the floor. So, I thought it was a faulty socket and since I didn't like the light fixture anyway, I just replaced the whole thing. My new fixture only has three light bulbs, but they go out just as frequently, to the point that I just don't turn that light fixture on anymore unless I absolutely have to. There isn't any flickering or extra brightness, just every now and then an "explosion" and the light bulb shoots out of the socket.

The home builder is a large national builder, XXXXXX. When I moved in, none of the downstairs lights worked. They sent their electrician over to check it out, and he said that someone had forgotten to run the line out to the garage breaker box. He said that he would have to tear out my entire ceiling to fix it and that ceiling would never look the same again. I had only been in my new house one night. So, he said he was going to run the wires to the hallway switches. I thought that sounded pretty bad, but the builder was being totally unresponsive to any of my warranty issues.

I am not really sure how to check the voltage. My expertise is limited to putting up light fixtures or ceiling fans.

Thank you for any advice you can give me.
 

Last edited by John Nelson; 05-06-05 at 07:02 AM. Reason: Eliminate the name of the builder
  #7  
Old 05-06-05, 04:26 AM
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It,

Wow...I have never heard of " jumping light bulbs " that actually leap out of the sockets.....wow.....hear something new everyday.

As far as the builder, I would have sent in a formal complaint to the housing authority in your area and the building trades board so it is on fine.

If you have the desire to take down the fixture yet again...I would suggest you check the voltage on that feed to the light...something sounds weird as bulbs just dont jump out of sockets.....

Wish you were in my area ( VA ) I would love to see this one.....I would even do it for free.....

I do think the best place to start is getting volt meter and reading the voltage you have to the light...from the BLACK to GROUND.....let us know what you get as a reading.....and also do Black to White as well and post if any difference....I am curious on it.
 
  #8  
Old 05-06-05, 04:44 AM
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After talking with the electrician, the next call should have been to your lawyer. Have you even talked to your lawyer about this issue? I hope that you at least used a lawyer to buy this house.

As for your problem, have an electrician evaluate the situation. Have him or her check the incoming power, the incoming wires, and the power on this circuit. Something is wrong somewhere.
 
  #9  
Old 05-06-05, 10:23 PM
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do you have a second floor over the dining room?
 
  #10  
Old 05-07-05, 07:23 AM
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ahhh....I think I see where scott is going here. Vibration from the upper floor may be causing the bulbs to blow, I am not sure I have seen it happen in this application but I have seen front door lights blow from clients slamming their front doors and causing excessive vibration and the bulb blowing.

Am I following your thoughts Scott?
 
  #11  
Old 05-08-05, 07:11 PM
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happens all the time in my house. The kids bedroom is above the dining room. They get playing rough and bouncing on the floor and it jiggles the chandalier in the dining room. Our bulbs don't go quite that often, but probably more often than they should. It is especially bad if the vibrations happen when the bulbs are on. The filiment gets white hot and will deform and break much easier when hot than when cold.
 
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