Intermittent track lighting


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Old 09-23-15, 06:54 AM
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Intermittent track lighting

I have a 4 year old track lighting system. It is an H type 12 VDC system with the individual transformers attached to the lights. It worked fine for about 3 years. Last fall one of the hanging lights failed and replacing the bulb did not work. I confirmed the track had power. I brought the fixture back to the store where they unscrewed the light and cord from the transformer and plugged it into one of theirs. The light did not work and they ordered me a new socket and wire so I could reuse the glass shade. I replaced it and it worked fine for about 6 months. Then it started to work intermittently, going on then after a time, off. Replacing the bulb did not help as the bulb was good. I unscrewed the light from the transformer and screwed it into another unit that was working. It did not go on so I assumed something was wrong with the wire and socket. I took the post apart where the wire goes into the transformer and noticed that the wire appeared to have shifted down from the very top of the fixture. This made me thing it was not making good contact with the post so I took it apart and reset the wire properly. Still did not work on the good or bad spot. I decided to switch the good light into the suspect transformer just to make sure that was working. It didn't. I put the good light back into the good fixture (i.e. where i started from when it worked) and now it won't work. I brought both fixtures back to the store and both work on their system. They cannot test my transformers as their store system runs off a main transformer for all the tracks.

So I am stumped. I can measure that the track has power and other fixtures further along the track work. Both fixtures look as if the wire is firmly set in the post. The bulbs are good and they are the right size (50 watt). I can confirm that when the fixture is screwed into the individual transformer the socket is not getting power but I have no way to check the transformer's 12 VDC output. It looks as if the post which goes into the transformer (an upside down T) has a hot top end then a band of insulation then the bottom where the T flares out).

Can anyone suggest something I am missing? And can anyone tell me how to check the transformer output with the fixture off. I can't see up into the small hole well enough to see anything and I am reluctant to just stick a voltmeter probe up blindly. Normally I'd just swap fixtures between good and suspect transformers and use the results (light or no light) to figure out if the transformer is working but when the good light stopped working after i tried that I am very reluctant to go and try that again. Any ideas would be appreciated. I have attached a few key photos. Thank you.Name:  Fixure dissaembled on floor.jpg
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Old 09-23-15, 09:05 AM
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How are you measuring for power. If you are using a non contact tester your reading isn't meaningful.
 
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Old 09-23-15, 10:59 AM
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I am putting the probe of a voltmeter on the track itself or up into the socket so I know the reading is good.
 
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Old 09-23-15, 12:04 PM
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Have you considered just replacing it with a different brand? Sounds like it is just poorly made.
 
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Old 09-23-15, 12:56 PM
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maybe but the other fixtures are OK and we would need to replace them as well or the room would have two different styles. More importantly I don't want to run into this problem with the next set. I want to understand how to troubleshoot through the transformer if possible.
 
 

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