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2-wire track lighting electrical burn smell after long use, arching? resistance?

2-wire track lighting electrical burn smell after long use, arching? resistance?

Old 11-13-15, 09:30 AM
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2-wire track lighting electrical burn smell after long use, arching? resistance?

Hi everyone,

Need some insight into what this could be:

2-wire track lighting system (Galaxy) 120V
Pendants are GU-10 based

After being on for a long time, hours, we get a electrical burning smell.

Initially, we had LED (6W or 7W) installed. They worked fine for 8 months,
then the smell came. The pendants have no ventilation holes on the top, and I read online that LEDs can burn up. The plastic tabs on one pendant actually got soft and slightly melted.

I removed all the pendants for safety.

I discovered one of the track segments was flipped the wrong polarity.
Knowing GU-10 lighting, this should not effect functionality.

One Saturday, I disassembled, and re-assembled, and using test leads, got OK on all segments for hot, neutral and ground. Polarity was all now in sync.

Two weeks later, the smell was back. Going from what I read online, I swapped all the LEDs for 20W halogens. Total pull on the circuit would be 8x20W, 160W total. Surprisingly, or not, the pendants felt much cooler to the touch with the halogen bulbs installed.

Today, my wife just told me the smell is back, she has turned the lights off.

Previosuly, when I disassembled everything, I inspected the tracks, and pulled the wire and rubber surround out, it was all good, no scorching, or melting on the track parts.

So now what? Arcing? When I reinstalled all the pendants, I got up on a ladder with a flashlight, and made sure all the pendant tabs appears to be making contact.

I thought I would disassemble all the pendants, and check inside those.

I read on another website about checking for resistance between the hot and neutral. I have a multi-meter. The website said to remove the pendants and bulbs before doing this. If this is correct, what/how am I going to check resistance across the two rails?

Sorry for not know all the correct lingo.
Old 11-13-15, 12:14 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Hard to say but I'd replace the whole system with a different brand. Even if you found the problem it might not be fixable and the fact the problem is there is evidence the the system is at end of life. I wouldn't risk a fire.
Old 11-13-15, 12:14 PM
Geochurchi's Avatar
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When you notice the smell is the track hot at the point where the pendants are plugged into the track?it sounds like the problem is with the pendants themselves over heating,melting plastic can smell like electrical at times.

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