electrical question

Please forgive this probably stupid question but I know absolutely nothing about these things. I have a ceiling hallway light that has stopped working. I have checked and replaced the bulb but it still doesnt work. Here is what happened.
Several months ago this llight started diming for a second or two then going back on fully. It did this for a number of weeks until it diming and finally went out. Will not work at all now.
What do I need to do?
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Maria Brown wrote:

A device or a wire has come loose or burned out. Likely at the switch or the light fixture. Since you said "I know absolutely nothing about these things" it is time to call in the professional. Trying to fix it and making an mistake can be a killer. Someone who knows what to check can usually fix it in just a few minutes.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Often the center contact in the fixture has been pushed back too far to make good contact. With the breaker off, see if you can't pull it up a bit. That has worked for me.
If that doesn't help, it could be lots of things; but they are probably beyond your reach.
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<< Often the center contact in the fixture has been pushed back too far to make good contact. >>
Agree with Toller on this one. Low priced light fixtures have amazingly under engineered flimsy sockets. Besides the contacts sagging out of the way, the rivets that hold them together often work loose and there goes the electrical contact. Sometimes the light fixture is a design that you can't bear tp part with and the best recourse is to buy a decent quality lamp socket and replace the tired one. HTH
Joe
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wrote:

as mostly the con here is American and you guys do a lot of things by halves (IMO) and your standards seem completely awry in comparison to work practice here (.au). When it comes to safety though I feel prompted to apply the UseNET adage - IF u know better, say so.
The advice posted here may well have .. <quote> worked for me </quote .. and I guess one has to recognise the initiative (in this forum). In what you did and in posting the example (readvice) you omitted one Very Important step. TESTing the device for above ground potential **First**. I understand you guys use ES for light fixtures. I also understand that an ES mechanical device is far more dangerous to a new player than the BS system we use, when changing light bulbs or investigating fixture problems. **Test first** - look /touch/undo second. You will live longer and keep your electrical investigations within your reach.
BTZ
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On Sat, 07 Aug 2004 00:20:44 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
snip

ES = Edison Screw light fixture/bulb BS (Should read) BC = Bayonet Cap light fixture/bulb
..my most humble apologies for the confusion.
<insert self-flagellation.wav>
cheers
BTZ
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The biggest safety consideration here is sealing the end of the wires. So as not to let the smoke out. :)
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Hey we are Americans, we are supposed to be crazy. A little 120v 'jolt" is what we need to get going in the morning, right before a couple liters of coffee for the road. Have you ever seen a "big gulp" cup? Safety is for sissies! ;-)
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On 07 Aug 2004 04:52:16 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Greg) wrote:

'X-SpurT-ease'. Easily led ..huh? :-]
BTZ
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Maria Brown wrote:

Is it a recessed ("can") light? If so, it may have a temperature sensor that has gone bad.
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wrote:

A little troubleshooting. Test for tight wire connections, a bad switch, or corrosion. Do not remove the cover plate without turning off the circuit at the breaker box first !
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at all until fixed. The poster has indicated little knowledge of things electrical and is unlikely to have the tools or ability to check. Light fixtures can get hot and/or wear out and sometimes, if they are in bad shape, fiddling with them can make it even worse; even catch fire! This can be because of high resistance inside the fixture socket which heats up; the momentary dimming of the bulb is a likely symptom of that and could be dangerous. Also; a ceiling fixture is overhead so one has to reach up safely to work on it. So while the different qualities of bulb socket you may encounter and how they are attached to the rest of the fixture may be 'old hat' to those of us familiar and with a few spares on hand, (I usually try to replace any faulty socket with a good ceramic one, for example) it is not a good task for a beginner IMHO. Oh and BTW; check the maximum size bulb that the fixture should be fitted with! Many cheaper or the more enclosed fixtures and/or lamps have a label that says "maximum wattage". If you put a 100 watt bulb in a fixture designed for 40 it will get a lot hotter and the bulb socket (if plastic) may crumble!
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Maria:
MB> Please forgive this probably stupid question but I know absolutely MB> nothing about these things. I have a ceiling hallway light that has We all had to starting learning at some point! :)
MB> stopped working. I have checked and replaced the bulb but it still MB> doesnt work. Here is what happened. MB> MB> Several months ago this llight started diming for a second or two then MB> going back on fully. It did this for a number of weeks until it MB> diming and finally went out. Will not work at all now. MB> MB> What do I need to do? The problem is a bad contact in the circuit. If your house is older it may be the springy flat piece of metal at the base of the light fixture isn't making good contact. WITH THE POWER OFF to the light fixture take a small screwdriver or something similar and pull the springy contact out about an eighth of an inch. Replace the lightbulb. (It is a good light bulb, right? They can be bad directly out of the box.)
If that's not the problem then possibly the light fixture is faulty -- I had one where it pretty much fell apart because of a reaction between dissimilar metals (the rivets holding the pieces together essentially dissolved). Could also be a problem with a loose wire to the light fixture, at the switch, or the switch itself.
This is a good beginner's project but I would suggest doing it under the supervision of a knowledgeable friend as electricity can be dangerous. If no one is available and you still want to do it yourself a basic "wiring switches and light fixtures" book from the store or the library with lots of pictures (diagrams are sometimes better than photos as can be clearer).
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
* Studies show that 51% of Americans are in the majority.
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RoseReader 2.52 P003186
The Safe BBS Bettendorf, IA 563-359-1971
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As a reminder, "WITH THE POWER OFF" means turn off the corresponding breaker or pull the corresponding fuse.
Sticking a screwdriver into a lightsocket isn't the time to find out that the electrician is switching the neutral, not the hot wire. It happens.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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CL> > The problem is a bad contact in the circuit. If your house is older CL> > it may be the springy flat piece of metal at the base of the light CL> > fixture isn't making good contact. WITH THE POWER OFF to the light CL> > fixture take a small screwdriver or something similar and pull the CL> > springy contact out about an eighth of an inch. Replace the lightbulb. CL> > (It is a good light bulb, right? They can be bad directly out of the CL> > box.) CL> CL> As a reminder, "WITH THE POWER OFF" means turn off the corresponding CL> breaker or pull the corresponding fuse. CL> CL> Sticking a screwdriver into a lightsocket isn't the time to find CL> out that the electrician is switching the neutral, not the hot CL> wire. It happens. Yes. The light switch alone will interrupt the circuit but may have been accidentally wired to the neutral, even though it is a wire with black insulation around it. While a light bulb may not work someone working on the circuit standing on a metal ladder in stocking feet might make a good conductor.
And yes, I have worked on circuits using just the wall switch to power off the circuit. Previously have checked the circuit was wired correctly. Also have put tape over the switch even when no one else was home -- can absent-mindedly flip a switch on out of habit (gee it's dark in here -- ZAP!!) Ever flip the light switch on during a power failure?!
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
* Paradox \par'-u-doks\: two physicians
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