Can (recessed) light issue

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Old 12-21-11, 09:04 AM
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Question Can (recessed) light issue

So I have a 4 year old house, master bedroom has 4 recessed lights (mfg unknown), uses r20 bulbs. One of the can lights appeared to dim and the bulb eventually went out. I thought it was strange that the bulb dimmed, but proceeded to replace the bulb. I turned off the switch to replace. Successfully pulled old bulb out and attempted to put new bulb in. As I stuck the new bulb up in the can, before I even started to turn the bulb, the breaker tripped. Did a second attempt with the same results. There was no visible or audible spark (which I would have expected with a short). I also hadn't applied much pressure to the can, so I'm guessing the can light is bad. What bothers me is that the switch was off. Can I get an explanation as to why this could have happened? I'm no electrician, but I "thought" I knew the basics.

Thanks for any explanations!
 
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Old 12-21-11, 10:27 AM
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If the power enters the can first then has a switch leg going to the switch, a loose connection may have come apart and shorted directly to the metal junction box, tripping the breaker, and wouldn’t matter if the switch was off. A loose connection could also make the light dim. You should be able to access the j-box from inside the can (I assume it’s a new construction type can if the house is only 4 yrs old). Turn the breaker off first ! You should be able to remove the inner sleeve of the can to access the j-box.
 
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Old 12-21-11, 10:54 AM
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Thanks for the info SD515! I too am hoping it is a new construction can so I can do everything from within the room. It is on the top floor and can possibly reach it in the attic (although it is way in the corner).
 
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Old 12-21-11, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by mpemberton5 View Post
It is on the top floor and can possibly reach it in the attic (although it is way in the corner).
Of course. Lol ! Never seems to be any easy attic jobs anymore!
 
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