Any Electricians out there?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jim Mcc, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    I have a question for you. While replacing a bulb in a 5 light chandelier, the bulb popped and all 5 lights went out. I then checked the breakers, and none of them tripped. I then shut the possible breakers off and on, but the light still won't work. What the heck happened? Any suggestions? Thanks.
     
  2. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Not an electrician, but it sounds like the bulbs are wired in series so that any disruption of the circuit effectively deactivates all of the bulbs. You didn't specify whether or not you replaced the defective bulb or not, but if you did and you still don't have light - perhaps one of the other bulbs is bad? Good luck.


    - Walter.
     
  3. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    How old is the chandelier, it is not unheard of for chandeliers to be wired in series or older chandeliers wired in series...

    Jay
     
  4. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Yes, I was replacring the bad bulb when it blew. But why did it blow? Why didn't it trip a breaker? The light is about 6 years old I think. The bulb socket does not seem to be loose. I talked to an electrician at Home Depot and he said to check the switch first, to see if it has power to it. He said I may have blown the switch. He also said I may have a bad breaker. I bought a cheap voltage tester, but I'm not sure how to test the dimmer switch. It has 2 black wires and one green(that's not hooked up to anything). Anyone?
     
  5. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Were the other bulbs lit at any time with one bulb bad / not lit? If that is the case then the bulbs are wired parallel, not in series.


    The circuit breaker would not blow for a fast transient surge (like a motor starting for instance, although for residential applications I do not know what sort of delay is in effect), nor would it blow unless the bulb drew enough current to exceed the breaker's rating.. Have you ever had a light bulb blowing out cause a circuit breaker to trip? I haven't. If none of the breakers tripped and the bulbs are in fact wired in parallel (see my first comment) then the switch is probably bad.


    A circuit breaker would not be wired to only supply current to a single lamp. Check the outlets in the room to see if they are delivering power or not. (You can use a hair dryer, a floor lamp -anything portable that runs on 110VAC.) If everything is working other than the chandelier the breaker is probably okay. Of course, not all outlets may be serviced by the same breaker, so test multiple outlets. If they all have power the breaker is probably fine.


    I don't feel qualified to comment on the wiring of the switch or how to go about testing it.


    - Walter.
     
  6. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Thanks guys. It's now fixed. The guy at Home Depot talked me through what to do and how to test the switch. It turned out the switch was bad, it blew when the light popped. Great guy, he's a retired electrician.
     

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