High Hat Keeps blowing bulbs

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  #1  
Old 01-04-08, 05:34 PM
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High Hat Keeps blowing bulbs

One of my Kitchen Hi-Hats seems to keep going through bulbs. Bulbs last only a few days before dying. What is the most likely cause?
 
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Old 01-04-08, 06:18 PM
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High heat from improper bulb types, vibration, a loose connection or poor quality bulbs. Frequent switching also shortens the bulb life.

Try 130 volt bulbs, if available, and see how long they last.
 
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Old 01-04-08, 07:20 PM
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The Hi-Hat is rated for 150 watts. Has been there for 15 years without incident. Just recently started doing this. I've put in "low watt" standard type bulbs because I got tired of blowing the 120w floods @ $5 a pop & still it blows the bulbs. The low watt bulbs last longer but eventually they still go. I had the idea of trying those very low watt "flourescent" type floods that supposedly give you the same output wattage but due to their slightly different base they don't seem to screw in enough to make contact & work. Another problem I'm finding is the new recessed cans are rated much, much lower - only around 75 watts so replacing it with an equivalent 150 watt rated can is proving difficult.
 
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Old 01-04-08, 08:49 PM
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I would recommend checking the voltage at the fixture.
 
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Old 01-04-08, 08:51 PM
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I haven't seen this issue before, but you may want to ensure the can is either rated IC (insulation contact) or doesn't have any insulation around it. If it's not an IC rated can, it will overheat if there is insulation packed in (or within 3").

I'd also suggest checking the voltage with a meter. 120-125v is common. If you're seeing over 130 or higher, you may have an issue. (over voltage will significantly shorten the life of your bulbs).
 
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Old 01-04-08, 09:15 PM
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Although the can may be rated for 150 watts, check to see what the trim is rated for. Many trims are rated much lower wattage than the can they are installed on.

What kind of trim do you have?

You probably already did this, but make sure the bulbs are really burning out as opposed to just being shut off by the thermal protect.

You might also be interested in that if you put in a dimmer switch, even if you just slightly dim the bulb, it will last a lot longer.
 
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Old 01-04-08, 10:33 PM
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two things you want to check on is

the socket itself to make sure the rivets in the shell base (Neutral side of base) are secure, then reach into the base with a bottle/can opener (power off) and pull the center tab up some in the base.

If this doesn't cure it, take the screws holding the can onto the frame and pull the can down out of the ceiling.

Reach up inside the frame and open up the junction box, check the wires to make sure they are tight under the wire nuts.

If it is 150 watt can it is non ic and you could get a new socket assembly for this can and replace it if need be.

A lot of the times you can go to the supply store and get a replacement can (same manufacture and size) and just replace the guts or whole can into the existing frame.
 
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Old 01-05-08, 11:51 AM
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I tested the voltage in the socket - It's 125V. There is another hi-hat on the same switch/circuit & it has been working fine. I pulled the can down from the ceiling & checked the wires - everything looks tight. I cleaned out the inside of the socket & the bulb contact points & tried to gently lift the center tab out a bit to make "better" contact with the bulbs. The wiring to the socket itself seems OK. I put another bulb in there. I'll see if the problem continues. If it does what are my options? Try to replace just the socket? Find a new 150watt rated Can?
 
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Old 01-05-08, 05:05 PM
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125 volts is getting on the high side ... Excessive vibrations will kill bulbs quicker too.... As John mentioned a dimmer will greatly increase bulb life . I'd try 130 volt bulbs and a dimmer. Also check voltages around the house and see if 125 seems to be the norm .
 
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Old 01-06-08, 11:17 AM
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bvgas - I'll ask what John Nelson has mentioned .... did you try one of the burned out bulbs in another can?
 
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Old 01-06-08, 12:47 PM
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I tried the bulbs in other sockets. Their burned out.
 
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