Light fixture buzzing loudly with black carbon(?) residue

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Old 02-11-12, 04:35 PM
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Light fixture buzzing loudly with black carbon(?) residue

I am having a problem with a hanging ceiling light fixture. Any bulb, whether it's incandescent or CFC, is buzzing LOUDLY and there seems to be some black residue being created that is starting to fall out of the fixture. There also seems to be a faint ozone odor.

I am assuming that the problem is confined to the single fixture because there is another identical fixture on the same circuit that does not have any problems.

I am a bit of a novice, but I have done some minor wiring around the house. I don't wish to replace the fixture, because then I have to replace the other one, but I will if I have to. I would rather repair it.

Any suggestions?
 
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Old 02-11-12, 05:49 PM
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With the breaker off use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull up the tab in the bottom of the lamp socket just a bit.
 
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Old 02-11-12, 06:00 PM
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By the tab, you're referring to the little metal tab inside the actual socket where the light bulb screws in?
 
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Old 02-11-12, 06:12 PM
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After pulling that little tab down a bit and screwing a new bulb in, the light continues to buzz and flicker within 10-15 seconds of turning the light on. After taking the bulb back out, the base of it had that same black residue.
 
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Old 02-12-12, 03:38 PM
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If you look inside the socket, there is two rivets that hold the
socket in place. Check for black carbon there. If that is where
the carbon is you will have to change the socket or the entire
fixture.
 
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Old 02-12-12, 03:58 PM
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The buzzing and the smell is indicative of an arc. This could be a fire waiting to happen! I suggest pulling the fixture and inspecting every part.
 
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Old 02-19-12, 12:00 PM
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As a follow up.............

I did as you guys recommended. Pulling the tab didn't work so I took the fixture down. The wiring going into the socket of the lamp for about a 4" length had turned from clear to completely black and carbon residue was falling out of the socket itself. I went to Home Depot and bought a $3 socket replacement, screwed it in, replaced the fixture and it worked like a charm. I also inspected the inside of the junction box and it was clean.

Thanks you guys for the advice.
 
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Old 02-19-12, 01:05 PM
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Thank you for the update! Glad everything worked out for you.
 
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