Light Bulb Blowing Immediately

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  #1  
Old 09-26-12, 02:18 PM
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Question Light Bulb Blowing Immediately

Here is my situation: I have four recessed can lights in my kitchen controlled by a single switch. Recently one of the bulbs blew in can 3, and when my wife went to replace it with a 65W flood, the new bulb blew as soon as she screwed it in. Thinking it was a defective bulb, she tried another, and the same thing happened - it blew immediately. I inspected the can and pulled the tab out slightly. Since we were now out of bulbs, I removed a bulb from can 4 (which was working fine), and screwed it into can 3. The bulb worked no problem. I went out and bought a new CFL for can 4 and when i screwed it in, it blew immediately. So the problem is not with a particular can, but there seems to be some kind of voltage spike in the last can on the circuit to take a bulb. Does that make sense? I should add that we have had no problems with these lights in over 10 years. Can anyone explain what is going on?

Thanks in advance.
 

Last edited by DIY NOT; 09-26-12 at 02:26 PM. Reason: Added Info
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Old 09-26-12, 02:44 PM
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Check the voltage to the socket and see what you get.Do you have a multimeter?
 
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Old 09-26-12, 03:13 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

there seems to be some kind of voltage spike in the last can on the circuit to take a bulb. Does that make sense?
No. You can use a multimeter to test between the brass tab and the silver screw threads in each can if you want to, but it is much more likely that the lamps (light bulbs) were damaged, either before you bought them or by the way they were handled during installation.

All light bulbs are fragile. The unshielded CFLs - the ones where you can see and touch the spiral tube - are particularly so. I had the exact same experience while doing a few fixes for a couple of customers a couple of months. A new CFL flood had blown as soon as they installed it. The second CFL flood, from the same 2-pack as the first, blew as I turned the power back on after changing it out. When I took that one back out, you could see the crack in the neck that had been there in the package. We installed one more, and it is still working fine.

Here are some tips for better success:
  • Buy all light bulbs from a home improvement center, a hardware store, or an electric supply house.
  • Always turn the power off at the switch, or by unplugging the lamp, before changing a light bulb.
  • Never touch the new bulb with your bare skin.
  • When installing an unshielded CFL, do not touch the spiral tube, even with your skin covered - handle only the ballast (the white ceramic cylinder the tube is set into)
.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 03:23 PM
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Never touch the new bulb with your bare skin.
When installing an unshielded CFL, do not touch the spiral tube, even with your skin covered - handle only the ballast (the white ceramic cylinder the tube is set into)



Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...#ixzz27cKIjAtQ
That probaly explains why I was going through alot of cfl's.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 03:38 PM
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Thanks for the response. However, two of the three bulbs (the two my wife tried) were brand new incandescent floods (individually purchased; not part of a package); only the third which I tried was a CFL flood with the spirals not exposed. Does this change your opinion?
 
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Old 09-26-12, 04:14 PM
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Not an electrician but talking from experience, it's the bulbs, believe it or not.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 04:26 PM
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two of the three bulbs (the two my wife tried) were brand new incandescent floods (individually purchased; not part of a package); only the third which I tried was a CFL flood with the spirals not exposed. Does this change your opinion?
No. It's still most likely that it's the bulbs. Especially since this happened in two different fixtures and the bulb you relocated worked fine.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 04:46 PM
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Each socket came in at 118 volts per my cheapo multimeter....
 
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Old 09-26-12, 04:54 PM
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Each socket came in at 118 volts per my cheapo multimeter.
That's what I figured always worth a try though,I didn't read where you tried a bulb from a different fixture,it's got to be the new bulbs then,try another one from a different fixture from another part of the house.
 
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Old 09-26-12, 05:05 PM
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I tried a bulb from a different fixture and it worked. All four cans are alight! Problem solved? Time will tell. Hard to believe that three bulbs purchased separately could all be defective, but maybe? In any event, thanks to all for your input. I will post again if another bulb blows in the next few weeks.....
 
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Old 09-26-12, 07:34 PM
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Glad you got it resolved for now, and thank you foe the feedback.
 
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Old 11-12-12, 08:25 PM
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Our house has many recessed can lights that take these 65w flood light bulbs. In the 3 years we've been here I've had a LOT of bulbs blow as soon as they're installed. I'd guess i've had nearly a dozen do this since we moved here. I had two in a row do it just today. After the 2nd blew I put a standard style incandescent bulb in the fixture and it worked just fine.

I don't know what it is about these type bulbs but it seems to me that there are a lot of defective ones. And it's all the more frustrating when you consider how much they cost compared to standard shape bulbs.
 
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Old 11-12-12, 08:35 PM
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Poorer production quality and rough handling in transit.
 
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Old 11-14-12, 08:55 AM
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Did you read the advice posted earlier in this thread? Have you been following it?

Originally Posted by Nashkat1 in post #3
Here are some tips for better success:
  • Buy all light bulbs from a home improvement center, a hardware store, or an electric supply house.
  • Always turn the power off at the switch, or by unplugging the lamp, before changing a light bulb.
  • Never touch the new bulb with your bare skin.
  • When installing an unshielded CFL, do not touch the spiral tube, even with your skin covered - handle only the ballast (the white ceramic cylinder the tube is set into).
To add to that:
  • Screw threaded bulbs in just enough to make solid contact; avoid over-tightening them, which can damage both the bulb and the socket.
  • If a threaded bulb requires turning until it is really tight before it will make contact, remove the bulb and, with the power off at the breaker (or the lamp unplugged), use a thin screwdriver to gently lift the brass tab in the bottom of the socket.
 
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