DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Outside Pedestal lights stopped working




Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-02-2013, 07:03 PM  
CallMeVilla
Contractor
 
CallMeVilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,309
Liked 409 Times on 319 Posts
Likes Given: 171

Default Outside Pedestal lights stopped working

Have two lights on brick pedestals that stopped working. Current comes from low volt transformer that also feeds to landscaping lights. The landscaping lights work.

The pedestal lights do not light ... I rechecked the wiring and it is correct and tight ... but while testing the current with a clamp meter, I noticed the bulbs are warm. HUH?

Ideas guys??



__________________
CallMeVilla is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-02-2013, 07:30 PM  
Wuzzat?
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,328
Liked 167 Times on 154 Posts
Likes Given: 94

Default

They have somehow gotten themselves in series, rather than in parallel.
This should be interesting.



__________________
Wuzzat? is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-02-2013, 08:34 PM  
CallMeVilla
Contractor
 
CallMeVilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,309
Liked 409 Times on 319 Posts
Likes Given: 171

Default

Weird thing is nothing changed .... They were working then they were not. Nobody messed with wiring or dug in the flower beds ...

I wonder if the landscape guy did something while everyone was gone??? Hmmmmm??

__________________
CallMeVilla is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-03-2013, 08:34 AM  
kok328
Supporting Member
HRT_SUPPORTER.png
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Grand Blanc, MI
Posts: 2,229
Liked 116 Times on 101 Posts
Likes Given: 65

Default

using a volt meter, check the primary and secondary voltage at the transformer and this will let you know which direction you will need to start troubleshooting. If wired in series, the problem will be before or at the first lamp not working.

__________________
kok328 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-03-2013, 09:45 AM  
Wuzzat?
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,328
Liked 167 Times on 154 Posts
Likes Given: 94

Default

If the bulbs are warm but not bright there is a warm, high resistance, bad, connection somewhere.
In this context, high resistance may mean anything over 0.05 ohms.

__________________
Wuzzat? is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 07:15 PM  
CallMeVilla
Contractor
 
CallMeVilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,309
Liked 409 Times on 319 Posts
Likes Given: 171

Default

OK, Sparkies, here is some more info ... The happy homeowner replaced the old pedestal fixtures with new ones (4 incandescent bulbs each, candelabra size). Clamp meter measure 12.2v at the first fixture and I got continuity inside the bulb socket. With just ONE bulb in the socket for each pedestal, NO LIGHT.

The wire is 12g and the run is only 25 feet, so there is no issue with voltage drop.

SUMMARY: I have power to the socket (12v DC), new bulbs, no light.

I am stumped ... Ideas??

__________________
CallMeVilla is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 07:43 PM  
Wuzzat?
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,328
Liked 167 Times on 154 Posts
Likes Given: 94

Default

Socket center contact spring is not touching bulb base center contact because it's bent down and has lost its spring temper?

I carry a little hook in my toolbag made from a coat hanger wire to pull up these bent contacts.
The bulbs may have been warm due to heat dissipated in the high contact resistance due to low contact pressure between the weak center spring and the bulb.
You could test this idea by temporarily wiring another socket/bulb combo across the socket that does not light the bulb.

If what's happening does not seem possible it means you are assuming something that is not true and figuring out this 'something' can be pretty difficult.

__________________

Last edited by Wuzzat?; 02-06-2013 at 08:10 PM.
Wuzzat? is offline  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-06-2013, 08:23 PM  
nealtw
Contractor
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: vancouver, b.c.
Posts: 10,978
Liked 964 Times on 857 Posts
Likes Given: 1650

Default

120 volt bulbs, in a 12 volt system?

__________________
nealtw is online now  
CallMeVilla Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-13-2013, 10:41 PM  
CallMeVilla
Contractor
 
CallMeVilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,309
Liked 409 Times on 319 Posts
Likes Given: 171

Default

VICTORY. All the smart guys here .... Neal got it right ... The "Happy Homeowner" installed the new fixtures properly but used 120VAC bulbs but the power was 12VDC. Just enough to heat the bulbs but not light them.

I replaced the bulbs with 12VDC 15W clear bulbs and BINGO . . . we solved the problem.
After all that advanced testing, clamp metering, transformer testing and technician discussing ... it was a simple as mis-matched bulbs.

NEAL GETS A "LIKE."

__________________
CallMeVilla is offline  
inspectorD Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-13-2013, 10:49 PM  
nealtw
Contractor
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: vancouver, b.c.
Posts: 10,978
Liked 964 Times on 857 Posts
Likes Given: 1650

Default

Evan when it's your own work that dosn't work stand back and look for the stupid stuff. Bin there done that.



__________________
nealtw is online now  
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter DIY Home Repair Forum Replies Last Post
Furnace Blower (fan) stopped working Wolf2000 HVAC 3 08-05-2010 02:23 PM
my air condenser stopped working sreyes Electrical and Wiring 1 06-12-2010 05:42 AM
HVAC stopped working Help please! AU_Prospector HVAC 3 07-12-2009 06:20 PM
Outside unit stopped working, no heat? rrange HVAC 4 11-26-2008 12:11 PM
Rheem furnace stopped working kgsolomon1 HVAC 3 02-10-2008 11:10 PM

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS