Hi-Hat thermal switch problem

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  #1  
Old 03-17-06, 06:08 PM
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Hi-Hat thermal switch problem

Guys - I posted this originally in the Electrical sub-forum....and I am still looking for an answer:
http://forum.doityourself.com/showth...d=1#post953289
The jist of the problem is that ONE Hi-Hat in a string of 8 in drywall ceiling with no insulation keeps going off and on every 5 minutes or so.
I replaced the entire can with a new Halo, and incredibly, the problem still exists.
It appears to be the fact that this may be the last Hi-Hat in the entire string....but I don't see what I can do about it other than trying to by-pass the built-in thermal switch. Is this my only option ?
Any ideas greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 03-18-06, 10:18 AM
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Do you have a way to measure the voltage at the last light?

What is it?
 
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Old 03-18-06, 01:12 PM
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Mark - if you replaced the entire can then you've already replaced the TCO. It's the small rectangular silver component with black wires. It's screwed to the can above the baffle. The odds of two TCOs being bad (old and new can) are probably pretty long. I believe your problem is in the j box at the can upstream or in the j box for the bad light. Since you replaced the can once already, the connections in it's j box are less likely to be the culprit.
You can bypass the TCO - but it's not a good idea. It is not recommended by the mfg and it will void the UL certification probably making it not to code.
Cheyenps recommended measuring the voltage. I suggest measuring it in the j box for the bad light. This is upstream of the TCO. My guess is that the voltage will be intermittent.
 
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Old 03-18-06, 07:23 PM
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My guess would be a bad connection previous to this fixture. Is this in an area where there may be some vibrations in the ceiling? Is it drop or dry wall ceiling?
 
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Old 03-26-06, 08:24 AM
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Thanks guys....just to be sure, I DID override the TCO....

and natch, the blinking still continues.
Again, it's wierd...there is a dimmer on the entire string of cans.....and I swear that when I reduce the output via the dimmer, the blinking stops ! How can that be ?
Note: there are 4 cans in the room....8 total in the string....but I do not know the exact wiring layout !. Is it possible, the TCO in ANOTHER CAN is responsible for this somehow ?

I'm going to pull the can (again), and stick my hand up there to see if I can determine which can is feeding this one and go from there.
Any other ideas ?
BTW: I've never, ever seen such a maddening electrical problem.
 
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Old 03-26-06, 10:35 AM
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Oh - now it's easy.

If you disconnect the TCO and the problem is still there, the problem is definitely a loose connection. If it's not in the fixuture that exhbits the symptom, it's in the one before it in the string.
 
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Old 03-26-06, 07:25 PM
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"Now it's easy"....oh, no, it's not...

I'm sitting here at 10:30pm with the dimmer at half-output,
and the light is NOT BLINKING.
If it were a CONNECTION PROBLEM, wouldn't the blinking occur REGARDLESS
of the OUTPUT ?
Is there any chance this is related to a defective DIMMER ?
I don't see how...the entire string should be affected, right ?

Again, what I am OBSERVING seems to indicate that SOMEHOW the output of the ENTIRE STRING is triggering the blinking condition in the LAST CAN.
This is DEFINITELY CRAZY, but I can vouch for it....I've been trying to solve this now for almost 6 freakin weeks !

I am sitting here...and watching this can at HALF OUTPUT as controlled from the dimmer....
and it won't blink at all. Again, it appears the entire string at FULL OUTPUT somehow triggers the last can to blink.
 
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Old 03-27-06, 01:19 PM
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No - a loose connection may act differently under differing current loads. Mark - You need to read the advice people are posting or quit asking for help. You have a choice - if you want to fix this measure the voltage when the light malfunctions. If, as everyone else here suspects, there is a poor connection, your're gonna' have to do something to fix it. If you don't know which light feeds the bad one, start with the closest and open it's J box. If that ain't it, go to the next one until you find the problem. Sittin' around wondering what the problem is just won't get it done.
 
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Old 03-28-06, 01:06 PM
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FIXED ! The nightmare is over....

Finally "went to work"....pulled the entire J-Bar down....took apart all connections....and then "discovered" the old J-Bar "unit" must have had it's own thermal overload protector (which was faulty, natch !). I by-passed that bad boy...put the unit back in place.
All is well now.
Bottomline: experience counts in these hairy problems....I had no idea there would be an overload in the j-unit....but a pro would have known this immediately.
Thanks to all who responded.
 
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