Verpan Onion Pendant Lamp Mystery

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Old 10-21-19, 05:57 PM
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Verpan Onion Pendant Lamp Mystery

Hello,
I am hoping someone out there can help me with a bit of a mystery. My wife bought an expensive Pendant Onion Lamp that I installed. I was an electrician once upon a time, so installing a fixture is pretty straight forward compared to high-rise commercial jobs I have worked on (in other words I understand the difference between a hot an neutral, etc).
I got the lamp wired and hung, was looking good, turned it on and it flickered slightly then everything seemed ok. I bent over to pick up some debris on the floor and caught the lamp with my head as I straightened. The lamp went out. Since then I have tried the following:
Replaced bulb (numerous types and styles, voltages, all confirmed in other fixtures)
Checked the connections in the junction box.
Re-connected all wires in the junction box.
Verified that there is current (using a volt-tic) on the hot wire right down into the socket
Wondered if it could be the neutral connection on the back of the socket BUT after removing the two anchor screws inside the socket, I can get the socket to twist inside the metal housing, but it won't pull forward at all. The metal housing is connected to a metal tube that runs inside the "onion" part of the lamp up to the top, when the wires exit the lamp and run up to the junction box.
Has anyone encountered a socket that won't come out after the anchor screws are removed? Can anyone think of another possibility I am overlooking?
I suppose it could be a problem with the neutral at the switch and I am fixated on the lamp because it went out when I hit it with my head.
Any opinions or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
 
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Old 10-21-19, 09:23 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Unfortunately that tester can only be used for testing the presence of a hot wire or dangerous voltage. It does nothing for checking for a neutral. The first place to check for a lost/loose neutral is in the fixture canopy.

Without a picture..... I'm guessing..... but it sounds like that fixture is where the socket wires are pulled to a common splice point and then the two screws are installed. Follow the arms of the fixture.... there should be a common wiring area.
 
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Old 10-22-19, 09:17 AM
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Hi Pete and thanks for responding.
You are correct about the volt tics limitations but for the purposes of confirming that power was reaching the socket itself, it does the trick. Given that there is power at the socket and the bulbs work, I'm left believing its a return issue along the neutral. I have never encountered a socket that won't slip out when unfastened. With the screws out it rotates roughly 180 degrees around the center. I removed the spring under the contact tab in the bottom of the socket thinking there might be a third screw hidden but no luck. There is no access from above the socket due to the metal housing that the socket sits in. Ideally I want to know for sure that the socket/neutral connection is the issue before I start using more force to remove it but have run out of ideas on how to confirm.
 
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Old 10-22-19, 12:09 PM
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Hi, you have used a meter to test between the shell and the center terminal in the socket to be sure you have power, post a pic of the socket etc.
Geo
 
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Old 10-22-19, 12:52 PM
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A few pictures would be helpful.... how-to-insert-pictures.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 10:45 AM
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Pictures

I will be attempting to test the socket using a multimeter later today. As you can see (in the pictures), the access is a bit of an issue as the socket is recessed inside the metal of the "onion" and I can only get one hand at a time in there.
In one of the pictures you can see some sort of connector in the lamps mounting box. I have tried having the wires connected to this, and by-passing this thinking that it may have been the issue. Power flows through to the socket in both instances.
The connector at the top of the fixture does not seem to be one that will disconnect easily.
I will report more info once I have tested the socket but these pictures will hopefully give people more of an idea what I am working with.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 11:21 AM
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Hi, what happens if you remove the screws holding that terminal strip? also it looks like the center terminal in that socket is not in the center.
Remember, “if man made it, man can take it apart”
Geo
 
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Old 10-23-19, 12:07 PM
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Hi,
Not sure what you mean in the first part of your response. The socket isn't centered in the picture because the screws that mount the socket in place are removed so there is a little bit of play and it rotates around an axis of sorts but will not pull forward through the socket housing. I don't want to exert too much force in trying to pull it away in case it is mounted by something else that I can't see or access, then I end up causing damage that is harder to repair.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 07:53 PM
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I was talking about the terminal block that is inside the canopy where the supply wires connect.
Geo
 
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Old 10-23-19, 08:06 PM
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What is the screw that looks like it's in the green wire ?

It looks like a two conductor cord down to the socket. Take the white and black out of the terminal strip. Remove the insulator (blue) and push the cable down thru the tube. That jacket looks pretty thick. It may fit pretty snug in the tube.

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Before you do anything..... use an ohmmeter to check from the center pin of the socket to black and from the shell to white.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 09:53 PM
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OK...first to your questions. The screw you reference has holes through it. Based on Verpan's (manufacturer) installation instructions, the ground wire from the junction box threads through that screw and gets tightened down (it is obscured in the picture). That screw is part of a silver colored plate that has the green and yellow ground attached that grounds the cover plate underneath the terminal block, then there is another silver ground wire attached to the middle of the far side of the terminal block that runs inside the white wire casing with the black and white. I have never installed a fixture before that had a terminal block like that which is why I also tried the installation bypassing it.

I tried the multi meter and got no voltage reading between the inside side wall of the socket and the bottom tab. There was a 121 V reading between the black and white on both sides of the terminal block.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 10:00 PM
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They fasten the terminal block to the ground plate that grounds the whole cover plate. Not sure why I would want to remove them or what impact that might have.
 
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Old 10-23-19, 10:17 PM
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Oh also, center pin to white was 120V, wall of socket to black was nothing.
 
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Old 10-24-19, 06:24 AM
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Sounds like you lost the neutral connection to the shell is the problem, how long have you had this fixture?
Geo
 
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Old 10-24-19, 09:22 AM
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Did you check to the connector where the rivet comes or just the side wall?
The socket looks suspect to me but it is hard to tell from the photos.
 
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Old 10-24-19, 09:28 AM
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Hi Geo,
Yeah, that is what I suspected. I guess the connection was loose, which is why it flickered at first, then went out when I stood up and impacted the bottom with my head. It wasn't that hard an impact but I guess it was enough. The problem now is access to the top of the socket given it is housed in the metal decorative bell.
 
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Old 10-24-19, 09:33 AM
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Hi Manden,
I checked the side wall, which included the little tab coming out of the side of the wall as that is what a bulb would contact. There was no reading in either the tab or side wall.
 
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