went in the attic, now potlights are burning out

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Old 09-16-06, 02:29 PM
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went in the attic, now potlights are burning out

i have 8 pot lights in my kitchen and they have been working fine, havent had to change a bulb since we had the house 6-8 months ago.

now i went in the attic to put the venting for our oven fan. this afternoon i was around in one area, and not too long after one of those lights burned out. it might have been one i uncovered for reference.

then i went back later and i was super careful, at no time did i like step on one or even touched a wire. i did move insulation around and it seems that mostly the ones that are burning out are where i took the insulation out. we are going back tomorow so i didnt put the insulation back. there are only 2 pot lights left working now.

so can someone confirm for me that that is the problem and not something more serious (messed up wires)

maybe this would also solve the problems of my moms new potlights burning out quickly. they were an addiction to old kitchen.
 
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Old 09-16-06, 02:42 PM
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Are the bulbs burned out? Or do the lights stay off for a while and then come back on?
If the later, then the thermals are cutting out. Remove the insulation from contacting the fixture. Thermals in these lights protect them and you from excessive heat at the fixture. VERY important safety feature, DO NOT try to ever bypass one!!
 
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Old 09-16-06, 02:58 PM
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im not sure, i assumed they were burned out.
at first there was just the one out so i wasnt too worried.
but now i just walked by and heard 2 go out and looked and there was only 2 left on. so i turned the lights off immiatly, i was afraid of things catching on fire up there.

so are you saying that the lights are supose to be covered or not? they have been under a 1 or 2 of insulation for months with no problems. when i uncovered the first one the metal was very hot, i could barely keep my hand on it. but there had been no problems.

how do i find out if its the relay or burned out? just look at the bulb to see if its black?
 
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Old 09-16-06, 03:30 PM
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hey good news (i think) it is the relay, cause i just tried the lights again after having them off and they all work.

so do i need to cover them all or uncover them all?

its a new house, new potlights if it matters, not ones put in in a renovation
 
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Old 09-16-06, 03:36 PM
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Get attic insulation OFF of them so they (fixtures) can breath.
 
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Old 09-16-06, 06:35 PM
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Talking

The insulation should not be surounding the lights. This is causing them to over heat, Not a good thing.
Another not so good thing ,telling the world you have pot lights.
 
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Old 09-16-06, 06:40 PM
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I surely hope the OP is meaning can lights.

Mom has some too so unless growing drugs is a family business, I suspect a misnomer was used.
 
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Old 09-16-06, 06:55 PM
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lol very common term around here, contractors etc use that term.

so how come the lights havent overheated until i took the insulation off of them?
 
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Old 09-16-06, 07:11 PM
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NAP: rather presumptuous,No?





#so how come the lights havent overheated until i took the insulation off of them?#

Now thats a good question, In wich I don't have an answer for.
The Fixtures should be what they call "IC" rated, This denotes insulation contact. Otherwise the insulation should be NO LESS than 2" away from the can.I have not done, but have seen, installs where they have built boxes around the cans from sheet rock, with vent holes to insure the insulation does not contact the fixture.
Be happy that the safety devices are working. Pain in the A--, yes, but better than the alternative.
 
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Old 09-16-06, 07:55 PM
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"NAP: rather presumptuous,No?"

that was in reference to your statement of:

" lectriclee: Another not so good thing ,telling the world you have pot lights."

I took it that you were referring to grow lights. I also stated MY belief that the OP used a term for can lights, apparently born out with tina's follow up post.

Maybe my misunderstanding.
 
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Old 09-16-06, 08:23 PM
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Wink

Maybe my misunderstanding.

Absolutley not. (My day we called them "Grow" lights).
Just trying to mix things up. This tech talk can and does get pretty "Blah" sometimes. So, as long as we can all have fun,learn and advise,I think thats good.
Unfortunately the type can not replace the wink,smile or knudge.
Thats the learning curve I'm in the middle of now.
 
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Old 09-17-06, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TinaBanana
lol very common term around here, contractors etc use that term.

so how come the lights havent overheated until i took the insulation off of them?

what type of insulation? I suspect that while uncovering the top of the lights, some insulation was inadvertantly squished into the sides of the lights. On one of those sides is where the thermal overload sticks out.

pot light is a new term to me also. around here we would say can, hat light. A pot light would sit on a cill and point up toward the ceiling. They look like a light in a plant pot, hence the name.
 
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Old 09-17-06, 07:55 PM
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i talked to my dad about our problem and he said taking the insulation off the pot lights was a bad idea. because when winter comes it will create condensation.

what do you guys think about that?
 
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Old 09-17-06, 08:08 PM
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What a conundrum.

Install the lights correctly and allow moist air into the attic.

Seal them off and cause an illegal and possibly unsafe condition.

Third choice, install new cans altogether that are IC rated and are sealed.

4th choice. Unless one of the reidential wiz kids says it is illegal to do so, build some sheetrock boxes to cover the lights from the attic side so the insulation will not touch the cans and you seal off air infiltration into the attic.

Some of these residential guys may have a better alternative for you though.

Hang tight for their input.
 
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Old 09-17-06, 08:15 PM
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i will call my electrician who put them in and see what he says.

my dad did mention building a bigger tin box to go over the pot light boxes. and i though about using sheetrock to make it cheaper and easier.
 
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Old 09-17-06, 08:35 PM
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The sheetrock thing was for fire stop only. Is it legal? Don't know.
The only proper advice we can give here, Is to replace those lights with ones that are rated for their environment.
Why they weren't in the first place!?..... You may want a different contractor to repair and correct this. 2 wrongs don't make a right.
 
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Old 09-17-06, 08:37 PM
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well who says they arent the right lights? they do have a big metal box around them but they did seem to get awful hot.

i will find out from the eletrician who put them in what they are and what he says should be done.
 
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Old 09-18-06, 01:44 PM
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Well let's back up a minute then.

Are the lights IC rated?
Are the airtight?

If they are not IC rated, the electrician DID mess up by installing the insulation, or not moving the insulation away from the lights.

If they are IC rated, then it is ok to let the insulation touch them.

There are also airtight can lights that do not allow the air to flow through them an into the attic above.

Since we never did establish what type of lights these actually are, you may be ok but we can't tell from here.

Let us know Tina.


The sheetrock box; the inspector in my locality allows them. Even have an office complex with HID lights in the ceiling that has them. I honestly don't know if it is truly legal. Can;t think of a reason offhand why they wouldn't be though.
 
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Old 09-21-06, 05:29 PM
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Hey Tina, How did you make out?
 
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Old 09-24-06, 06:38 PM
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i called my eletrician and he said that they install pot lights that are safe to have the insulation on them. so i guess we are all good.

i still havent been back to put back the insulation and no lights have been going off tho. i will go put it back properly when we finish installing the fan this weekend
 
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Old 09-24-06, 07:35 PM
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An easy way to see if they are correct... Find a tag on the houseing, The part under the trim, this will have the max light bulb rating and a part #. If "IC" (Insulation contact) is in this part # then you should be OK. If not.. get them corrected.
 
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Old 09-25-06, 07:11 AM
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ok ill go check this weekend!
 
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Old 01-29-08, 07:42 PM
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Unhappy

I have pot lights in as well and I pulled the insulation away from because I thought they would heat up too much even though they are IC, but now the winter is here and when I turn them on they start dripping water because ice has built up around the can. So I think the can should have the insulation contacting it because this is not a good thing right now

Originally Posted by TinaBanana View Post
i talked to my dad about our problem and he said taking the insulation off the pot lights was a bad idea. because when winter comes it will create condensation.

what do you guys think about that?
 
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Old 01-30-08, 07:13 AM
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I liek to try the easy thing first....

Are the bulbs the correct wattage? That could explain why they are getting so hot. And wee all know hot bulbs burn out faster.

It's just a thought.

I'm very interested in this as I've just installed 11 IC can lights in my basement.

Tom
 
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