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recessed fixture stopped working after blinking on and off

recessed fixture stopped working after blinking on and off

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  #1  
Old 05-28-05, 12:47 PM
katman
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recessed fixture stopped working after blinking on and off

Several months ago, one of several recessed ceiling fixtures in my basement would light for several minutes and then shut off and then come back on several minutes later and repeated this while switched on. Eventually I replaced the switch, and it worked fine for several weeks. But a week or so ago it began blinking again, and now it won't light at all. I replaced the bulb of course. An upstairs room and several closets are on the same circuit breaker and work fine. This fixture is 20 years old and has worked fine until now. Other fixtures in the basement ceiling are also working fine, although this one sits at the foot of the stairs, so it gets used more often. This is a plasterboard type ceiling rather than made of panels, and I see no way to get the fixture out for inspection or replacement. A sticker inside the fixture reads, "Thermally protected fixture. Light blinking indicates improper lamp size or insulation too close to fixture. Light Life." Is there maybe some kind of "switch" in the fixture itself that may have gone bad? It's the same bulb type I've used for 20 years without problem. Any help would be appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-28-05, 03:34 PM
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Yes, there is a thermal limiter in the fixture. Remove it, and take it to an electrical supplier for a replacement. It might be cheaper and easier to replace the whole can itself.
 
  #3  
Old 05-28-05, 03:46 PM
katman
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Thanks. That explains the slow failing. So how do I get the fixture out of the ceiling? The socket moves down about half an inch. I've tugged on the outer flange of the trim baffle with my fingers, but it doesn't give. Is it just held up there by springs? The model number on the socket is 1102P1 if that helps.
 
  #4  
Old 05-28-05, 04:54 PM
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This often happens when someone uses a 100-watt bulb in a fixture designed for a maximum of 75 watts.

Look very carefully inside the can. There are usually a few screws that detach the can from the bracket that holds it. Remove those screws and the can can be lowered down through the hole.
 
  #5  
Old 05-29-05, 09:40 AM
katman
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The ceramic socket is inside a metal can. There are two spring clips that hold the can inside the trim baffle. But squeezing and releasing these clips only brings the can down about a half inch, so I can't see or reach above/behind it. There are two screws inside the bulb socket itself. Is that what you mean? Would that release the socket from the can?
 
  #6  
Old 05-29-05, 11:26 AM
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I'm not talking about the trim, which is often held on by spring clips. And I'm not talking about the bulb socket either. I'm talking about the metal can itself.

The details depends on the brand. Most brands have screw heads you can see on the side of the can. On other brands, you may have to bend a tab on the can to release it. If you can identify the brand, you might go to a large home center that sells the same brand. That way you can better examine how it is put together.
 
  #7  
Old 05-30-05, 02:08 PM
katman
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I was able to get a view of the installation of one of the other recessed lamps in my basement ceiling by peering into the rafters from my workroom. Unfortunately, I see that a flexible metal guide carries the wires from a junction box into the metal can where they connect to the socket. The can is held to the inside of the trim baffle by two spring clamps. When I release the spring clamps from below, the can will drop down about 1/2 inch. This is about the distance from the insertion point of the flexible guide to the outside top of the baffle. It looks to me that for this model of recessed lamp, the can is meant to be inserted or removed from above. I can't reach the broken light fixture at the foot of my stairs without cutting into the plasterboard ceiling. Anybody have another suggestion?
 
  #8  
Old 05-30-05, 02:57 PM
katman
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It's a Lightolier BTW.
 
  #9  
Old 05-31-05, 07:57 AM
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By code, all junction boxes must be permanently accessible without damage to the finished surface. Because can lights are usually installed in closed ceilings, code would not allow a can that cannot be removed from below to allow access to the junction box.
 
  #10  
Old 05-31-05, 12:27 PM
katman
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So that's what I'm asking. How do I pull down the can when the metal conduit, which enters at the top from the side, prevents its decent? Do I need to bend out the three prong "crimp" that holds the conduit to the can?

I haven't found a source for Lightolier products locally yet, but your suggestion to go see this lamp is a good one. Thanks for your help.
 
  #11  
Old 05-31-05, 12:47 PM
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Try their website .

They seem to have good info on their products, down to illustrated install guides. If you can find a fixture on their site similar to what you have, you'll probably get some good clues as to what you need to do.
 
  #12  
Old 05-31-05, 02:29 PM
katman
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I had stuck my digital camera up in the rafter over the basement ceiling from my workroom. I got a good look this way at the installation of another lamp in my ceiling. Based on John Nelson saying code requires access from below if they're inaccessible from above (thanks, John), I took a closer look at my best photo and saw that the baffle (shade, whatever you call it) was held to the "ceiling" (turns out it's held to a metal ring) by metal clips. So I poked around the perimeter of the baffle of my defective stair lamp with a screwdriver and felt and pried loose 4 clips. The baffle and can assembly came down. (BTW the can on this lamp is maybe 2.5 inches in diameter and 3-4 inches high. The trim and baffle are one piece, and the can sits inside this.)

So, my question now is, how much of this unit do I need to replace? Can I remove the can from the wiring and wire up a new can? The metal conduit carrying the wiring goes back to a "box." Is this just a junction box or something more?
 
  #13  
Old 05-31-05, 02:42 PM
katman
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Thanks. I found the specs for the 1102P1. I had tried Lightolier's site earlier, but for some reason I couldn't find that info until now. So the box is a junction box.


> Try http://www.lightolier.com/]their website.
>
> They seem to have good info on their products, down to illustrated install
> guides. If you can find a fixture on their site similar to what you have,
> you'll probably get some good clues as to what you need to do.
 
  #14  
Old 05-31-05, 03:10 PM
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I would probably replace everything. Remove the supply wiring from the junction box, and remove the whole assembly (prying the bracket loose from the joists if necessary). Then you can either install a new work can from above, or a remodel can from below.
 
  #15  
Old 06-04-05, 12:33 PM
katman
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I got a replacement 1102P1 fixture. Unfortunately, the ceiling opening is ~7 inches in diameter (the diameter of the reflector trim), while the mounting frame is about 9x12 inches. So there's no way to replace the entire installation without cutting into the ceiling, which I was hoping to avoid. (These lights had to be placed before the ceiling was put up.) On the new unit, the junction box is rivited to the mounting frame. That makes it difficult to replace the box even if the old unit isn't rivited in place. It seems my practical options are to replace the ceramic socket and wiring which could be tricky without being able to replace the junction box--threading new wires through the metal conduit from junction box to socket. The good news is that replacing the thermal protector, which is the likely source of the malfunction, looks doable. Any other suggestions?


Originally Posted by John Nelson
I would probably replace everything. Remove the supply wiring from the junction box, and remove the whole assembly (prying the bracket loose from the joists if necessary). Then you can either install a new work can from above, or a remodel can from below.
 
  #16  
Old 06-04-05, 12:39 PM
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You can by cans made for "old work". They don't mount the same way, but they do work.
 
  #17  
Old 06-05-05, 12:32 PM
katman
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Is this what John Nelson called a remodel can? Where would I find something that?

My local Lowes carries Juno recessed fixtures, but they didn't stock the size equivalent to what's in my ceiling now, so I'd have had to order it. So I ordered a replacement from Lightolier instead. I replaced the thermal protector and now the light works. I need advice on whether I should replace the rest of it, especially the fixture wiring. As I said, I think that might be a bit tricky but possible. OTOH, the wiring looks to be in good condition.

Originally Posted by racraft
You can by cans made for "old work". They don't mount the same way, but they do work.
 
  #18  
Old 06-05-05, 06:18 PM
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I've always found that everyplace that carries new construction fixtures also carries remodel (aka "old work") fixtures. If you can't find what you want at Lowes, be sure to check Home Depot.
 
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