Going through lots of light bulbs

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  #1  
Old 06-07-05, 04:31 PM
paulam2
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Going through lots of light bulbs

I recently posted a question on this forum about the fact that I'm going through LOTS of light bulbs on two circuits in my house. On one, I was replacing all six bulbs on two light fixtures every 3-4 months, and I was using Sylvania Double Life bulbs (I'd also tried GE and Philips).

Based on the suggestions I got here, about a month ago I did the following:
- I inspected the connections in the circuit. I didn't see any places where it looked like any of the connections were loose, and none of the wire looked burned, brittle, or old.
- I checked out my service panel. I have a 35-year old Pushmatic panel. It doesn't have neutral wires but neutral bars that the circuit breakers screw into. I replaced both of the circuit breakers and moved them to empty slots in the panel, just in case there was something wrong with the slots they were in. I feel pretty confident that I have good connections to the neutral bars.
- I moved the switch for these lights so it's easier to turn them on and off. As a result, I leave these lights on for much less of the day (maybe a few hours a day).
- I changed all of the bulbs in the two fixtures.

That was a month ago. As of today, three of the six bulbs in these fixtures are burned out again. Oh, by the way, I installed these fixtures within the past year, in case the problem was the old fixtures.

Is there anything else I can do to either fix this problem or figure out what the problem is?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-07-05, 04:35 PM
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Wink

Could try 130V bulbs. You checked any and all wire nuts on this run if any.

ED
 
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Old 06-07-05, 05:04 PM
paulam2
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I checked every wire nut and they all looked good.

Why 130V bulbs?
 
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Old 06-07-05, 06:12 PM
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Did you measuer the voltage at the light sockets?
 
  #5  
Old 06-07-05, 08:32 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
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They use 130V bulbs a lot down here for outside lights they last a long time on a 110V line.

ED
 
  #6  
Old 06-08-05, 08:46 AM
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Are these fixtures on the first floor of a two-story house? Vibrations on the upper floors can shake the ceiling and shorten bulb life. Perhaps a kid's bedroom or hallway upstairs where there's walking, jumping or playing?
 
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Old 06-08-05, 09:12 AM
paulam2
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Unfortunately, no. We have a ranch and no kids.
 
  #8  
Old 06-08-05, 11:33 AM
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You mentioned that you were "replacing all six bulbs on two light fixtures".

Do these fixtures have bulbs in globes pointing down? The reason I ask is because some fixtures trap a lot of heat and are hard on bulbs. Also, do the bulbs go out when you flip the switch (maybe you might hear a "doink" type noise or do they burn out after being on for a while? If they seem to burn out when turned on, it could be a high voltage problem caused either by an open neutral elsewhere in the house or perhaps you are very close to the utility's substation where you might be getting as much as 126-127 volts off peak.
 
  #9  
Old 06-08-05, 02:27 PM
paulam2
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I checked the voltage on that circuit and got a reading of 115V.

The light fixtures I'm having a problem with hang from the ceiling, and there are three bulbs in each encased in a glass half-globe. If nothing else is wrong with the circuit, could heat build-up from this cause the life of the bulbs to be shortened this much? I could try an experiment and take the glass piece off one and see whether bulbs on that fixture last longer than bulbs on the other.
 
  #10  
Old 06-08-05, 02:41 PM
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Are these 40-watt bulbs? 60-watt bulbs? 100-watt bulbs?
 
  #11  
Old 06-08-05, 02:52 PM
paulam2
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The bulbs are all 60 watt, which is the maximum on the fixture.

If it makes a difference, it's a 15 amp circuit, and about the only other things on this circuit are the garage door opener and garage light.
 
  #12  
Old 06-08-05, 06:09 PM
paulam2
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I forgot to mention... the bulbs burn out after they've been on for a while, not when I first turn the lights on.
 
  #13  
Old 06-08-05, 06:40 PM
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Try this simple solution - Remove the light bulb and look in the bottom of the socket - you will see the tab that the center that the bulb touches when it is screwed in - try taking a pair of plyers and pulling it up slightly. What can happen is if it is down too low it does not make great contact with the bulb, and that causes a spark between the tab and the bottom of the bulb which happens to be soldered. After a short while the sparking damages the solder enough that the bulb no longer works due to loosing it's vacuum. In fact if you look at the bottom of the blown bulbs I'll bet you will see small pits in the solder.
 
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