recessed lighting blown

Old 06-04-02, 05:09 AM
no shock dummy
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recessed lighting blown

I turned on the light switch (one of two), a bulb hissed, dimmed, then all of the recessed lights (6) ceased to work.

I checked the breaker and all CFGI switches and all are operable.

I tried to change out all of the bulbs, some of the bulbs, and every combination. Still no working lights.

The cansiters seem smoke, etc...

I'm assuming I either have a short in one of the cansiters which is prohibiting current from getting to the other 5 lights. Or, I have a faulty switch. The switch sloution seems unlikely this dual switch also operates an overhead hallway light which is working.

Any ideas?
Old 06-04-02, 11:43 AM
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Best and most helpful knowledge is to know where the hissing came from when your lights went out. This will give you your best clue where you problem is. Can you pinpoint where the hissing sound came from such as a certain switch or certain light fixture?

This would help us a lot in guiding you in the right direction.

Old 06-04-02, 01:41 PM
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the hissing defintely came from one of the bulbs in one of the recessed canisters. Not unlike a sound from normal bulbs blowing.

Old 06-04-02, 05:27 PM
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Are any of the switches on this circuit dimmer switches?
Old 06-04-02, 06:41 PM
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I would strongly suspect the problem to be located where the hissing came from.

Turn the power off to the lights. The hissing sound leads me to believe that you have a bad thermo switch or a bad connection in the light socket of that one recessed fixture or a loose connection in a wire nut in the junction where the house wiring connects to the light wiring.

The fact all you lights went out clouds the issue but highlights a bad connection in that one recessed light fixture's junction box.

Check all the above and tell us what you found.

Good Luck

Old 06-05-02, 05:37 AM
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Yes, one of the switches is indeed a dimmer. Are you thinking faulty dimmer switch?

If it's one of the recessed light fixtures causing the problem, would that prevent the other 5 from working?
Old 06-05-02, 05:52 PM
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If you have 5 recessed lights controlled by one dimmer then yes one connection in the first recessed light may kill power to all the light fixtures on the load side of that light fixuture.

If you lost lights that are not on the same switch then you either tripped a breaker or blew a dimmer or normal switch or have a loose connection.

I tried to lead you to the sound you heard, most often that is found to be the location where the problem is located.

Let us know what you find.

Old 06-06-02, 12:37 AM
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Once upon a time, when I was doing something really stupid, I fried a dimmer by shorting it out. It made a sound that I would describe as a "screech" of a progressivly decending pitch, that lasted about a second. If someone else heard that sound and described it as a "hiss" I wouldn't argue with them about the term. Though it had a bit of a whistle like quality about it, not exactly an "air escaping" sound, but not far off.

Of course something else overheating might make a "sizzling" noise too...

Be advised that short circuits and the like can fry a dimmer. Thus, if you have a problem in the light, and it fried the dimmer, simply replacing the dimmer may only get you a second fried dimmer.

A set of recessed lights are probably wired as a "daisy chain". Inspect the light fixtures and connections. Since they are all out, start at the one closest to the switch.

Also, what size bulbs are you using? Some dimmers are only good for a certain number of watts. Make sure the sum of the wattage of your bulbs is less than the max watts marked on the front of the dimmer. I wouldn't expect this to be a problem as the recessed lights are probably not supposed to have larger than a sixty watt bulb or so, (it shoud be labled inside the light fixture) you only have six, and dimmers are usually good for at least 500 watts.

If you start suspecting the dimmer, switch off your breaker, remove the dimmer, wire nut the two wires going to the dimmer together (three if it is a three way) and flip the breaker back on. If the breaker pops back off immdiatly, you have a short to find. If not, the lights should be on. If not, bad connection somewhere.

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