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Thread: New One on Me

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Tennessee NEC:2008
    Posts
    4,612

    New One on Me

    I went on a service call to check nonworking outside lights. I went as a favor for an electrician that wired it but lives too far from the area. Was told it was probably a bad photo cell. I don't just take someone's word without checking so that's what I did.

    I found the PC had been taped up and was not functioning. I replaced it with new but still the lights didn't work. There were (8) gooseneck lights with Par38 bulbs and (8) wall sconce lights. The sconce lights all worked but none of the gooseneck lights.

    I traced the wiring from the lights to a junction box. All the lights were connected from the PC under one wirenut. Figuring I had a bad connection, I re-did all the splices and replaced the wirenuts. Still no gooseneck lights.

    I decided to check at one of the lights, I put in a regular bulb and it worked. I checked the flood bulb with my meter and it showed bad. I then checked the light next to it and found it was also blown. Since the lights were extremely hard to get to I didn't check the remaining lights. Just hoping (assuming) that they were blown as well since two of them were.

    I don't think I have ever had so many lights not working and it be the bulbs. My thinking is:
    Since the PC was taped up that the bulbs stayed on too long and all blew
    or
    They took a surge and blew
    or
    They went out one (or more) at a time (over time) and no one noticed until they were all out.

    Thoughts as to what might have happened?
    Also, this building is only a year or two old.
    If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
    Posts
    3,577
    Likely they were on all the time and just burned out. Since they were probably all originally installed at the same time their end of life was all at around the same time.

    -Hal

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    The Motor City, Michigan USA
    Posts
    708
    Incandescent bulbs can be expected to last 1000 hours.
    Halogen bulbs can be expected to last 2500 hours.
    A year is 8760 hours.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    NE (9.1 miles @5.07 Degrees from Winged Horses)
    Posts
    9,624
    See the ‘one at a time’ frequently.
    Tom
    TBLO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    33,173
    Customers tell me all the time that the lights went out in their fixture all at once. Usually there are 2 or 3 bulbs and the customer never noticed that they were using only one bulb for a while.
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NE Nebraska
    Posts
    36,780
    Quote Originally Posted by drcampbell View Post
    Incandescent bulbs can be expected to last 1000 hours.
    Halogen bulbs can be expected to last 2500 hours.
    A year is 8760 hours.
    +1

    However I have PAR30 halogens in the soffit around my house which are on photocell, run every night, but have never replaced a single lamp yet in about 13 years since the house was built. But they are all on dimmers and are usually set at a fairly low light level.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Posts
    6,846
    180313-2412 EDT

    I have incandescents in my front hall on a dimmer 24 hours/day. Only about 2 out of about 12 have failed in 30 years. Sometimes turned off during the day, but that adds fatigue stress.

    .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Williamsburg, VA
    Posts
    5,438
    a few years ago I got a call to a bar where all of the lights over the bar top were out. 14 CFL bulbs. I checked the breaker and switch both were good. just for grins I pulled a bulb and check for power at the fixture there was power. I replace that bulb and it came on. all 14 CFLs were blown out. none of them had the telltale marks of end-of-life lamps like blackened glass near the joint.

    all I can figure was that a surge took them all out. the bar had just reopened after being shut down for 6 months, they could have blown out one at a time without someone noticing.
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Marlborough, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    252
    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    Customers tell me all the time that the lights went out in their fixture all at once. Usually there are 2 or 3 bulbs and the customer never noticed that they were using only one bulb for a while.

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