Help! Low Voltage Halogen Transformer/Electrical Nightmare!


Old 12-21-04, 06:52 PM
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Unhappy Help! Low Voltage Halogen Transformer/Electrical Nightmare!

I have three pendant lights (low voltage halogen) over a center island in the kitchen. When we first purchased the house, two of them would go on for at least a minute or two - then go out . . . I would flick the light switch and they would go back on for a couple of minutes then go out again. I called an electrician and he stated that I needed to replace the transformers in the ceiling (each light has its own transformer (halogen class 2 power supply input AC120V output AC12V 65W max)), he replaced those two and it worked great no more problems. Now the third pendant light . . . of course . . . is doing the same thing - except this time the light switch does not help, only repositioning the halogen bulb (50W) will make it go back on for a few minutes. Each time I reseat (just wiggle it) the halogen (two prongs) it only stays on for a couple of minutes and goes out again. This has been going on for 6 months,and my electrician, and apparently most of them are so busy that they cannot come take a look (really small job etc. . .).

So . . . power off . . . I am up in the ceiling taking out the old transformer (see above) and replaced it with a new one (AC120V to AC12V 75W max.) (10W more capacity) It did not work at first, then I jiggled a few wires, tightened them up and it went on - worked - and stayed on for a couple of days . . . I was proud of myself and relieved. But . . two days later now the same thing is happening again with the new transformer installed - going off after 2-3 minutes - reposition lightbulb to go back on - goes off 2 minutes later.

My own layperson observations are this: 1) there were different gauges of wire "added on" to the old transformer black and white wires (added were a much thicker black and white wire to be wired to the really thick black and white coming from the ceiling) I did not use these again when I put in the new transformer (currently thin white to thick white, thin black to thick black) does this make a difference? Second, these connections have to be really tight, an issue that came up was the movement of the thinner wire when I went to put the electrical twist cap on. Third, 10W more capacity not a good thing? Fourth - all of the halogen lights get very hot - is this what is happening - gets too hot - trips circuit goes off - then back on in a few minutes - a nasty cycle but a new transformer? Fifth, my connections are not wrapped tight enough?

The transformer I purchased - they tell me was top of the line, not cheap, and purchased from a reputable place . . . but as you can tell this is not my line of work and it may have been a piece of crap for all I could tell.

By the way - I changed the bulb multiple times and that does not solve anything. Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas? Please Help!!!!!!!
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Old 12-21-04, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Yorba Linda, CA
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Sounds like a bad lamp socket to me - pretty typical for halogens. Transformers generally work or they don't.

Replacement sockets are available, and they're cheap. The trick is getting the fixture apart to replace it, but if you can figure that out I'll bet you solve the problem.
Old 12-22-04, 05:37 PM
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Great - I will look into it and let you know how it turns out. Thank you for the information.

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