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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:23 AM

Is it time to replace the ceiling fan/light unit?

I've replaced the light bulb for the unit twice, each time the bulb "lasted" only 3 days before being burned out. The first bulb was the new "ecological/economic" swirley kind and the second was a conventional bulb. This is a new phenomenon as most bulbs have lasted for months before needing to be replaced.

What do you think?

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is it time to replace the ceiling fan/light unit? (Original post)
no_hypocrisy Mar 2012 OP
TheMadMonk Mar 2012 #1
Curmudgeoness Mar 2012 #2
AllenVanAllen Apr 2012 #3
no_hypocrisy Apr 2012 #4
AllenVanAllen Apr 2012 #5
RC Jul 2012 #6
Manuel Ramirez Oct 2012 #7

Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:00 AM

1. Are you running the fan? Is it vibrating excessively?

 

Is there a dimmer on the circuit? Only use a dimmer compatible CFL. Was it a new incandescent or one salvaged when you switched over?

Being carefull not to touch anything you can't see, and nothing metal behind the wallplate, remove the screws holding the wallplate to the wall. They will either be behind 2 small (1/4 inch) plugs, tease them out with a sturdy pin, or needle. Or if there are no visible plugs, the wallplate is actually a snap on cover with the wallplate behind. Lever up a corner with a spatula or B & B knife.

Do any of the "bits" on the back look burnt, deformed or smell like electrical smoke? If so just have the electrician replace the wallplate.

Try one more bulb then if that goes pop, buy the fan yourself and pay an electrician to install it. Don't let them source it. If you can live without the light for a bit, try some yard sales, could pick up complete in box for $10 or so. Just make sure it's all there.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:07 PM

2. I had this problem with the light in my kitchen.

The bulbs burned out so fast. It concerned me, and I ended up calling an electrician to put in a new light fixture. I have not had a problem since. He did not notice any damage to the wires that was apparent, but obviously something was wrong. I know that, personally, I feel much better now that I do not have bulbs burning out quickly----there had to be something wrong.

So, I would replace it. Something isn't right.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 02:26 AM

3. The simplest thing to check would be the socket itself.



The new bulbs may not be making good contact with the metal tab at the base of the socket. It builds heat up over time from poor connection to the bulb, thus shortening it's life. With the power off, get a flashlight and check the socket to see if the metal has any carbon buildup or corrosion. If it's not burned too bad you can clean it off with the tip of a flat-head screwdriver. If it's badly burned, the entire socket may need to be replaced. You can buy the sockets by themselves at the hardware store and change it yourself. Make sure to take the old one to get a good match. The assembly is pretty straight forward. If it's not badly burned, clean it and with the tip of the screwdriver pry it out just a tiny bit so it'll have better connection to the next bulb. Be careful of the pressure you exert on the metal tab. It's a bit thin, fragile and easy to break if you pry it too far. The problem may be worse but It's a good place to start.

Please be careful. I hope this helps.

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Response to AllenVanAllen (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 02:40 AM

4. Thanks, I'll try that.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 2, 2012, 11:44 PM

5. Good luck!


I used to be an electrician, so I can answer any other questions you may have.



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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 12:10 AM

6. Some people use standard incandescent bulbs, base up. And/or too big a bulb for the socket.

 

If the fan light kit has separate lights you can point where ever, Never us standard incandescent bulbs. Always use flood type or CFL's The flood light have a reflector the reflects the heat back out the front. Some cheap light kits the wires are just soldered in. The heat over time will melt and crystallize the solder, making you think the light is burnt out. Replacing the bulb can disturb things enough that the new bulb works... for a short while, till it "burns out" too.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 02:08 AM

7. Might be some voltage problem

There might be some voltage problem. If the supply voltage to your home is too great, bulbs will generally burn brighter and burn out much faster. To find out, use a volt meter and check the voltage in an outlet or at the service panel. Usually you will like to see a voltage of 115 - 125 volts. Anything more is considered excessive and the utility company should be called to correct the problem.

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