Existing kitchen pot lights "go off" and then "go on" at a later time

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Old 09-07-13, 06:09 PM
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Existing kitchen pot lights "go off" and then "go on" at a later time

Hi all, we took possession of our house this past May 2013. The kitchen had been renovated prior to selling, I think around Oct or Nov 2012.

Ever since we've moved, sometimes when we have the kitchen lights on for some time, certain kitchen pot lights will "shut off" automagically on their own. At first I had thought that they may be broken / almost broken halogen bulbs or something. But they wind up flicking on typically several minutes later...maybe 10 minutes, maybe 20 minutes, hard to say. They always wind up turning back on though.

Is it possible that the pot lights' thermal protection circuits are kicking in? I'm thinking maybe some of the pot light units have no breathing space around them, maybe there is a ton of insulation bats pressed up against them.

I do recall our home inspector praising the house for it's ungoldly amounts of R40 insulation bats in the attic. Do you think that's a possibility that the boxes are overheating? If so, how can I remedy it? Do I have to go into the attic or can I do it from the kitchen, perhaps by taking each light down and maybe hopefully pushing insulation to make more airspace?

Thanks
 
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Old 09-07-13, 06:24 PM
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Any markings on them that say IC or Incontact. Do the bulbs exceed the maximum watts?
 
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Old 09-07-13, 06:29 PM
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The first thing to do is check the bulb size against the list of approved bulb and trim combinations. After that you need to see if the fixtures are IC rated.

Your problem is symptomatic of the thermals shutting down from too much heat.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 06:54 PM
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Here is a unit and a bulb from one of the units that does this.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 07:34 PM
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Do the photos that I took show enough to know if the fixtures are IC rated or not?

For the problematic lights that go on and off, it does look like the bulb is rated at the fixture's max wattage. Not sure what I'd need to do from this point.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 08:07 PM
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I don't see any label to indicate the fixture is IC rated.

If that is a 4" fixture, I have never seen a 4" IC rated remodel housing.
 
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Old 09-07-13, 08:15 PM
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Ok, so basically I have a fire hazard if the thermal protectors kick in. Lovely. Thank God they've been working up until now! How much of a safety hazard is this, or am I overly paranoid?!?

It seems also that my choices to fix this are as follows. What would you recommend?

1. Go into the attic and move the insulation bats off the recessed lighting so that they have breathing room
2. Go into the attic, remove the pots and install IC rated pots
3. From the kitchen, remove necessary drywall, remove pots and install IC rated pots

Thanks
 
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Old 09-08-13, 05:56 AM
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The thermals are shutting the power off when the fixture gets too hot. This lowers the danger of a fire.

The fixtures can be removed from below the ceiling. You need to pop the clips out of the slot and they will drop back out through the hole.

Depending on the size of the fixtures there may not be any remodel style that are IC rated. If so you will need to change fixture style or install new work fixtures from the attic side.
 
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