Premature and frequent bulb failure

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Old 03-21-07, 12:23 PM
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Premature and frequent bulb failure

My office has a typical ceiling fixture with three 60 watt bulbs. For some reason unknown to me, the bulbs in that fixture burn out quite frequently and rapidly. Most of the time the bulbs will burn out when turing the light on from the wall switch.

I have checked the line voltage and find it runs around 112-117 volts. (I did not put a chart recorder on the line but used a hand held VOM meter.

Can you give me some idea how to resolve the problem? I have tried both 120 and 130 volt bulbs with no change in results. There must be some kind of line voltage "spike" occuring that caused the bulb failure.

I did speak with the power company line crew and they advised the linetransformer is set on 117 volts.

So where do I go from here? ANY fixes you can recommend?
 
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Old 03-21-07, 12:57 PM
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Question

How long do you have them on for? 1500 hrs is not that long with constant use. What is the temperature at night, very cool?
What type of fixture? open lamp or a globe? Correct size lamp?

Buy a high quality lamp. Stay out of the big box stores.
 
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Old 03-21-07, 01:22 PM
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How frequently is frequently? How many hours per day are the bulbs on? Most incandescent bulbs are junk these days; they don't make them to last.

Are the bulbs subjected to vibration such as air handling equipment in the ceiling or kids playing upstairs? Any flickering, dimming or brightening when the light is on?

You could install a dimmer switch for the fixture; even running the bulbs at 90-95% can substantially prolong bulb life.
 
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Old 03-21-07, 01:30 PM
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the other choice you can try is the rough service bulbs or go with compact floursecent bulbs they can withstand the viberations very well

and CFL will last very long time usally up to 10,000 hours [ useally average about 8,000 hours or so ]

but as what other suggest check it out first as well


Merci , Marc
 
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Old 03-22-07, 06:10 AM
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Premature bulb failure

I'll try to answer all the questions in one reply. Most of the things each of you has offered (and I do appreciate all the input) has been tried. I'm at a loss to figure this one out so came to the experts for advise and direction.

Lectriclee.......The bulbs are lasting anywhere from a week to three weeks, sometimes longer. Temps at night are not varying (heated/AC area). The lamp shade is glass, open on the end (like a flower). The fixture is reated for 3, 60 watt bulbs. There could be some heat buildup inside the globe but does not appear excessive.

Ibpooks......The bulbs are lasting anywhere from a week to three weeks, sometimes longer. It varies. My office has no windows so lights are on most of the day/early evenings (About 10-15 hours/day). There is no vibration (no upstairs, no kids/pets, etc. It's a quiet environment. Heat and A/c unit comes from below, not above. No flickering or dimming, just constant light. (That is until the fail)

As I stated, the bulbs fail when they are turned on and fail immediately when power reaches that fixture. (Poooooof!) I did replace the fixture with a new one and same problem continues.

french277V........I also tried using the helical wrapped flourescent bulbs and they failed just like the others. I have not yet tried changing the fixtue over to a flourescent fixture, I have just tried the bulbs.

I'm still searching for a fix. We buy good quality bulbs (GE/Sylvania, etc.), well at least I THINK they are good quality since it says made in America of the packages.
 
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Old 03-22-07, 02:08 PM
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I am not sure but i am leaning toward to this what we called MWBC [ multiwire branch circuit ]

if your room have MWBC if so there is possiblity that you may have a loose netural line on the device like repectalie or at the fixure itself.

maybe this circuit is sharing with other room but my condersation is how well or comfotable you are with the electrical system if you do understand the basic system very well then you should able to figure out the MWBC if not sure just goggle the " multibranch wire circuit " it will describe the details on the wiring set up

myself i dont useally have much issuse with MWBC but the weak link of the whole thing is the netural line that only compound it .

you may have to look around the house as well because you mention blowing bulbs do this affect the other area of the house as well ??

if so you may have to find this circuit shared with other room as well

if need more help please do come back here and post it here we will do our best to help you

maybe i should call " Ghostbuster " to chase the bulb popping out of here


Merci , Marc
 
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Old 03-22-07, 06:26 PM
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Great point FRENCH277.

If this is a multi wire ckt then a computer (or several) printers etc. could put a drain on the ckt and a neutral could be lost.

Does this happen first thing in the AM? The lights in question are on all day, or switched several times through out the day?

When do they blow? at initial start up or through the course of the day? All at once, or one at a time? Any problems with other equipment in the office?
Any work done (electricly) in the office lately?
 
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Old 03-22-07, 06:58 PM
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Do you own this office or do you rent? If it is the latter I would highly advise not to touch it , electrically unless you have the owners express written consent. The legal mumbo can get quite hairy ...
 
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Old 03-23-07, 06:03 AM
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Smile Premature bulb failure

Thanks once again for the good feedback (sorry, "feedback" may not be the correct words for you "lectric" kind of guys......but thanks anyway).

I'll try to answer the questions each of you has asked.....

French277V.......I checked both the switch and the fixture looking for a loose neutral (white) connection but thus far found none. Primarily, the bulbs in my office are the only bulbs that fail in the manner I have described.

Lectriclee.........The bulbs fail in the AM when I first enter the office and turn on the lights (initial startup). Most of the time only a single bulb will fail but I have had a time (recently) when all three failed at one. The lights are on most of the day except when adequate lighting comes from another room. Yes, there are computers (two) and the normal office printers, copiers, etc. in the office but those are on a separate circuit.

burkej62..........I own the office (it's in my home) and have good insurance.

"Who ya gonna call? Ghostbuster"....Ok, I made the call now the ball is in your court.
 
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Old 03-23-07, 07:07 AM
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ok, some common reasons todays lightbulbs fail are , maybe you bought cheap lightbulbs, vibations, extreme tempature changes , voltage surges, and simply just being used alot. I would have to agree with a previous poster that the bulbs today are not made to last ... Do you have a dimmer installed? Is the switch old and worn? Possibly it is making bad contact and you dont notice the flickering .... A loose neutral is a good place to look, have you done any electrical work latley? hung any pictures? Do you know if this is a standard circuit or Mulit wire? Have you checkd for shorts at the fixture? Does the breaker ever trip?
 
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Old 03-23-07, 07:26 AM
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I don't know if this applies but....

When I lived in fla I had a hallway light that ate bulbs - 1-2 a month for several years. While doing some remodeling I changed out that fixture and then a bulb would last several years. I don't know if it was a bad fixture or maybe a loose connection but it solved the problem I had.
 
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Old 03-23-07, 10:54 AM
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When you say you checked the line voltage, where did you check it? At the fixture itself or at a another receptacle in the room. If it's a multi-wire circuit/loose neutral issue, you'd have to check it at the fixture.

It really sounds like it's an overvoltage problem. Considering you've tried multiple bulbs including compact fluorescents, and saw the same issues, something not right is going on. Maybe it's intermittent surges?
 
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Old 03-23-07, 06:50 PM
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bulbs?

does the door slam when being closed?.............and if so,,is it close to the light fixture?
 
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