street light w/photocell not working

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  #1  
Old 06-27-02, 08:26 PM
K
kknowles
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street light w/photocell not working

we are buying an older rural home. it has a mercury vapor photocell street light for outdoor lighting. when we first moved in it worked perfectly. on at night out in day. then one night it quite working. we thought bulb. we replaced bulb and light didnt come on tonight either. what could be the problem. we have been told that this lighting is our responsibility. i called the power company and it could be a month before they can get to it, and it depends if is a streetlight or security light. it looks like a street light.
i does have power to it.
please help?????
 
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  #2  
Old 06-27-02, 08:35 PM
J
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How did you verify that it does have power? And what is the "it" that has power -- the light or the photocell?

Try removing the photocell from the circuit (i.e., bypass it) to see if the light comes on then.

Also, could there be a switch that controls the light in addition to the photocell? Or could the breaker be tripped? Or could the GFCI be tripped? All three of these possibilities are, however, inconsistent with your assertion that it has power.
 
  #3  
Old 06-27-02, 10:02 PM
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Wgoodrich
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Most common repair on a mercury vapor light is the photo cell. Second most common repair is the bulb and the least common repair is the ballast, if you are sure you have power to the light.

Photo cells are normally inexpensive and if you can get up there all you normally have to do is twist the photo cell and uplug then plug in the new one and twist lock it back in place.

Let us know what you find.

Wg
 
  #4  
Old 06-28-02, 03:40 AM
K
kknowles
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okay i will admit our major obstacle is getting up there. we have an extension ladder, but that it very unstable around all those power lines.
another question is are these photocells universal? or do we have to climb up there and get make and model info? we dont know anyone who has a bucket.
i guess what we really need to know is bout the photocell. and how do you test all these components out in the daylight.
night working is not equation.
thanks for all your help. i can live without the d**n light, my husband is the security freak.
kelly
 
  #5  
Old 06-28-02, 11:17 AM
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Wgoodrich
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If you are not equipped with a sturdy ladder and knowledgable on discovering the stability of your pole then you should stay off that pole.

Poles have a tendency to look sturdy yet be rotted just below the ground level. If that pole snaps or if your ladder shifts you may be going to hte hospital for reconstructive surgery like a few locals that I know with some massive injuries.

Safest bet is to pay an electrician to use a cherry picker to go up and change out your part on that light. Not worth the risk involved.

If you feel you must climb that pole then you can take a shovel and dig down about a foot deep around the pole. Then take a screw driver and drive that screw diver into the pole in several places to ensure you don't have a rotten pole. The pole above ground may look fine but I have seen many poles that were rotted below the surface to the dirt to the point that a 2" diameter center is all that is still good on that pole. You laying a ladder on that pole and climbing it or even using climbing spike to climb that pole will create quite a force on that pole that may be all it takes to make it snap while you are up at the top.

The photo cell is generic and fits many security lights using the same photo cell yet some have different types of photo cells Best method is to get to the light and unplug the photo cell and take it to your electrrical supplier and have it matched. Then go back up and plug in the new replacement.

Be careful

Wg
 
  #6  
Old 07-03-02, 06:36 PM
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kknowles
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okay we can not get to a bucket. we dont want to go to the top of the pole to mess with the light. we are talking about installing another light closer to the ground to be reachable with ladder. can this be done? cut into circuit closer to the ground, about only 8 or 9 feet up. we dont want to run into this problem again. so we want to be able to reach the light more easily.can we just ignore the other lighting fixture at the top?
thanks for all your help.
kelly
 
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