Incandescent garage bulb turns off immediately after being turned on

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On Sun, 5 Sep 2010 15:52:18 -0700 (PDT), Timur Tabi

It could be the switch, the connection(s) at the switch, the wires from the switch to the fixture, the connection(s) at the fixture, the fixture itself or the bulb.
Doesn't anyone have any troubleshooting skills anymore?
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Well, I was hoping for a technical description of the problem. If I just replaced the broken part, I wouldn't understand what the root cause was.
Anyway, thanks to everyone for your ideas -- the problem was the switch. Specifically, a worn out contact. The reason the bulb flashed before turning off is because the impact of flipping the switch was enough to cause a temporary contact inside the switch. Slowly flipping the switch would do nothing, and pushing really hard on the switch causes it to stay on (but then turn off when I stop pushing).
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== Elementary, my dear Watson. ==
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Timur Tabi wrote:

You said "when I put _A_ normal incandescent..." Did you mean "when I put _THE_ normal incandescent..."
If you're trying the SAME bulb over and over, the problem is a broken filament. When cold, the two broken ends touch allowing truth to the statement "let there be light". Almost instantly the filament heats up and the broken ends separate causing darkness to fall upon the land.
If, however, the symptom persists when DIFFERENT bulbs are tried, the answer is equally simple: the circuit is cursed.
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HeyBub wrote the following:

What would have been better is "when I put _ANY_ incandescent..."

--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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"Most" likely the switch. If this is a 3-way...even more likely (more connections-additional contacts).
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Timur Tabi wrote:

I have seen this before a few times. Always so far, the switch was going bad.
Replace the switch. In some cases, I was able to cause sustained arcs in such cranky switches by moving them slowly. That apears to me to be a slight fire hazard. I have yet to hear of a fire starting that way, but switches like those make me uneasy.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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On Sep 6, 7:05pm, snipped-for-privacy@manx.misty.com (Don Klipstein) wrote:

Looks like it was the switch.
But the mashed center contact problem is fairly common too, and leads to early lamp failure.
Once you've screwed one bulb in too far and mashed that contact flat, you have to keep doing it, and that stresses the glass to metal connection. Or so I speculate. Most of the time I've had people complain about premature incandescent failure (blaming it on the house current) it's been the contact.
I use a dry popsicle stick to bend them out. The paper clip should be safe with the power off but I've never trusted it. Then, the lamp should be screwed in the first time with the power on. Once it lights, only an eighth turn more (most people use a quarter turn or more).
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