How to remove thermal protector from JB

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Old 01-25-19, 02:27 PM
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How to remove thermal protector from JB

Greetings!
Can anyone give advice on how to remove a thermal protector (or thermocouple) from a junction box? See pics below. This is for a recessed lighting fixture. There doesn't appear to be a locknut. I'm not making any headway simply twisting with pliers, and the ceiling access limits my maneuverability. Any advice/guidance would be greatly appreciated!

(also, apologies for posting in multiple forums, as I wasn't sure which would get more eyeballs)

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Old 01-25-19, 02:47 PM
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You pinch those little trapezoid shaped tabs with needle nose pliers and push out. They're springy and hold the device into the KO.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 03:27 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

A topic is maintained in one thread. This is your thread.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 04:13 PM
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Thanks for the advice Ben!

Because of the limited space (only accessing through the 6 inch hole in ceiling) I haven't been able to get a good grip on those tabs to be able to spring them. Are there any tricks of the trade you could suggest? I'm using standard sized needle nose pliers, I wonder if a smaller pair would help?
 
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Old 01-25-19, 06:44 PM
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Why are you trying to remove it ?

In your second picture...... use a thin bladed screwdriver between the round metal flange and the box to pop it out.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 10:43 PM
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Thanks Pete I'll try that!

My recessed light is blinking intermittently; I can't remove the existing fixture without tearing up the ceiling or an attic floorboard, so after researching online, it seems like replacing the thermal protector was the way to go. I already tested a new TP by wiring it in, and the blinking stopped. Now I just need to permanently install it into the JB.

This is my first time doing anything like this, so please let me know if you have any suggestions with my thinking/game plan.

Thank you!
 
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Old 01-26-19, 09:09 AM
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My recessed light is blinking intermittently

Blinking doesn't necessarily mean you have a bad thermal protector. When a recessed fixture is over lamped it also overheats and the protector opens and stops the flow of power to the lamp socket, this is a safety feature. It generally takes a several minutes for the protector to cool and after it cools the protector closes and restores the flow of power to the lamp socket. The cycling will continue till the light is turned off or the proper wattage lamp is installed in the fixture. The ONLY reason to remove a protector is to replace it. I have only seen a very few protectors that needed replacement, they just don't normally go bad.
 
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Old 01-26-19, 09:37 AM
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Hey CasualJoe,
Thx for the input. I tried different bulbs, incandescent, efficient & LED, all w the same results. When I wired in the new TP, the cycled stopped. If there's another possible explanation you can think of, please let me know.
TY
 
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Old 01-26-19, 10:06 AM
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Hey CasualJoe,
Thx for the input. I tried different bulbs, incandescent, efficient & LED, all w the same results. When I wired in the new TP, the cycled stopped. If there's another possible explanation you can think of, please let me know.
TY

Yes, I can think of another explanation, but it is very rare. The protector was obviously just a bad one. When they fail they usually, as mechanical devices, fail open or fail closed, but you just had a faulty one. Getting replacements is not always easy. I have had to order them from the fixture manufacturer a few times. I am thinking of one commercial office building in particular where I had to have several replaced for a customer. In this instance, I think there was just a bad batch of protectors on the Lithonia assembly line. The fixtures all had the proper lamps, but protectors started failing at about 5 years.
 
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Old 01-26-19, 02:23 PM
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Just spoke with an electrician who said that as long as I'm using an LED with low wattage, I don't even need to bother using a TP. He explained that my fixture being over 20 years old has a TP to safeguard against inappropriately high wattage bulbs, but with todays low wattage options, its unnecessary.
 
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Old 01-28-19, 12:12 PM
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Just spoke with an electrician who said that as long as I'm using an LED with low wattage, I don't even need to bother using a TP.

My opinion is that is just bad advice. Yes, he is correct that with LED lamps there is little chance of the fixture ever overheating, but what about the next owner? Incandescent and halogen (aka quartz) lamps will be around for a long time and what if the next owner over lamped the fixture with a incandescent or halogen lamp?
 
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