HALOGEN TORCHIER LAMP HELP

I have a halogen torchier lamp that uses the type T bulb. The lamp will not lite. I've already replaced the lamp but I'd like to make this a "project." The lamp uses a rheostat type switch and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas. I was going to use my multi tester to check to see if juice is getting through. The bulb is new. If no juice is getting through, should I check the switch next? Anybody know of any circuitry inside the lamp? I haven't begun to take it apart yet. Any help will be welcome.
Thanks in advance
phil
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Plug to switch to lamp. If the switch is bad then lamp won't light. Most likley its the switch
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

What do you mean by "rheostat type switch". Do you mean it's a continuously variable solid state dimmer?
If so, as previously stated, check continuity from the cord plug prongs to where the cord splices to the switch/lamp socket.
If it IS a continuously variable solid state dimmer and it's bad, chances are you'd not easily find an economical replacement. I'd consider replacing it with a simple on-off switch if you want to keep that lamp for occassional use.
HTH,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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wrote:

Dimmers have been known to be burned out when a bulb burns out. The instant the filament on the bulb burns, there is a spike in voltage (or was that current) you might see as that last bright flash as it blows out. This spike can and does damage the SCR (transistor looking 3 pin device in the dimmer control) if its current rating is borderline (as it may be in cheaper switches). Better dimmers have a device rated for a much higher inrush current but it cost a tiny bit more.
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Thanks for the help, guys.
phil PipeDown wrote:

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PipeDown wrote:

You're right, and reverting to my usual pedagogue mode I'll add that the effect is called a "tungsten arc" and it can create a near short circuit sized current spike which can easily blow out the small sized triacs used in solid state lamp dimmers. It happens maybe once in every 5 to 10 bulb burnouts.
I've seen cases where a 75 watt bulb blows with a bright white flash when you flip the wall switch on, and when you replace the bulb you find that you have to go and reset the panel breaker for that circuit before you can light the new bulb.
What happens (As explained to me.) is that when the bulb filament breaks, if the broken ends don't snap away from each other fast enough, a small arc between them begins vaporizing the tungsten filament material, and filling the bulb with a conductive metal vapor through which current continues to flow. The effect "runs away" and the current increases as more of the filament end lengths melt away. I've heard that some "better" brands of lamp bulbs are made with a deliberately thin section of lead wire inside their bases to act as a fuse to limit the severity of that current surge.
I used to occasionally blow out the solid state "touch dimmers" in our bedside lamps when their 150 watt bulbs blew. I did the numbers on it and installed fuse holders with 3AG 2 amp quick blow fuses under the lamp bases. I've had to replace a few blown fuses since then when bulbs burned out, but never again a dimmer.
Jeff
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

I consider this throw away item when failed. Repacing bad sw/dimmer module is tricky job and IMO, not worth the hassle.
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

Probably a blown triac. It happened to mine.
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Matt, what's a triac?
phil Matt Howell wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net says...

A triac is essentially two SCR's in parallel. If you remove the switch assembly and the circuit board attached to it, you'll likely see a 3 legged device. This is the triac. Triacs control current in either direction, and in this application, acts like a high power switch. If you can find a part number on it, I can try and look it up for you.

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Thanks, Matt. I decided to toss the lamp after I read the posts. Thanks anyway.
phil Matt Howell wrote:

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I've had 3 or 4 crap out like that. I throw away the dimmer, and replace it with a on-off rotary for about three bucks and ten minutes. (I hate the buzzing the dimmers make, so only use them on full anyway.) I got the lamps free, from when I lived in the apartments. At the end of the month (aka moving day) there were usually 2 or 3 sitting by the dumpsters. Typical ones these days, the 20 buck specials, are much crappier than the 50 dollar ones that were common when the style came on the market. The real cheap ones I left in the dumpster, after stealing the bulb and the little glass half-round mantle thing for my spares box.
aem sends...
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ameijers, thanks for the info. How hard is it to wire the switches? Can you get them from places like Lowes?
phil
ameijers wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

Simple switches (without dimmers) that can be fitted into torchiere lamps (maybe requireing enlarging a hole) are available at some but not all hardware stores. Home centers may have these, but I never checked into that.
Radio Shack has a lot of switches but few with adequate ratings (at least 2.5 amps simultaneously with at least 120 volts AC) and they are much more likely to require soldering than switches that some hardware stores have. Also, Radio Shack switches appear to me to be lower in quality than most that I see in hardware stores - I would only use a Radio Shack switch on a 300 watt halogen torchiere if it was rated at least 4 preferably 5 amps 125 VAC.
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)
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and then the joint in the middle of the pole to get to the switch, fish it out, cut the wires on the lamp side of the connectors, connect the new switch with new wirenuts or insulated crimps, and reassemble. Most places like Lowes have the switches. It helps to take the old switch along to match the sizes, especially the switch barrel that sticks through the hole. Don't forget to buy the wirenuts or crimp connectors, if they are not included in the bag with the switch. Only tools needed are strippers and maybe slipjoint pliers to get the nut off the old switch. Note that the pretty plastic trim knob from the old switch probably won't fit the new one, so all you will have sticking out is the skinny knurled knob. You may wanna remove the bulb and glass guard thingie before you start to reduce chances of breakage.
aem sends...
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

Unless it was really high end stuff just toss the damned thing. I used to fix them and finally decided they weren't worth the effort. Could be a component in the dimmer (it's unlikely to be a rheostat, more likely a triac circuit) or it could be that the socket has given up the ghost. Either way once it starts giving trouble it's going to be a continued annoyance until it manages to destroy itself beyond economical repair.
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--John
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