If the light is the only thing on that side of the float, and if it is
turned off, then nothing will function. However while someone may only know
of one item on the circuit, usually there is more than one. Same deal on
the other side. If the two sides are balanced then both sides get normal
voltage and current, but that seldom happens. Often voltage changes as
loads vary so while it may appear normal some times, at others it may be
running at twice the rated voltage or zero.
This is a real thing, not a something someone thought up in their head.
Just because you did not think of an additional load on that circuit in
addition to the lamp does not mean there is not one. That is the whole
reason for codes, to protect all of us from our own ignorance.
The metal tab at the base of the socket could be pushed down from
over-tightening a previous bulb, such that there exists an air gap between
the tab and the base of the replacement bulb, causing current arcing, which
then causes premature bulb failure.
Turn the circuit breaker off to the socket, use needlenose plyers to reach
in and gently raise the metal tab to its original position.
Do not overtighten new light bulb.
On Wed, 12 Mar 2008 20:52:07 -0400, Dimitrios Paskoudniakis
bullshit. You can't push the contact so far in that it loses contact with an
inserted light bulb. There's the bottom of the socket behind the contact. All
an overtightened light bulb will do is squeeze the contact between the light
bulb and the bottom of the socket.
Your suggestion is likely to product the arcing you are trying to eliminate by
separating the contact from the bottom of the socket and producing a loose
The contact at the bottom of the socket is designed to act as a spring
to keep good contact between it and the lamp. They certainly can become
flat and lack that spring action and then with the expansion and contraction
of temperature changes you can get poor connections and arcing causing
problems. The advice not to _over_tighten is valid and should be followed.
I have caused this problem myself many years ago. Not all sockets are
made so that the tab is stopped from moving further by socket structure
before it is out of reach of some or many lightbulbs.
There is another thing to chek for: The tab may be corroded. Arcing
may corrode the tip contact of lightbulbs. Sometimes the corrosion is
easy enough to scrub off with fine sandpaper (with the breaker off -
verify that flipping the breaker on and off turns that socket on and off).
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
On Thu, 13 Mar 2008 19:00:15 -0400, Dimitrios Paskoudniakis
Why don't you take a reading comprehension course? The article states that
if you don't tighten the socket, the bulb can ark and the solder at
the base OF THE BULB can melt. It doesn't state that there is anything wrong
with tightening the bulb fully or that you should leave it a little loose.
It states quite the opposite.
"You will quickly notice that the bottom of most light bulbs has a small droplet
of solder in the center of the base. More importantly the size of this drop of
solder is not consistent from light bulb to light bulb. It is close in size, but
not always the same size or height.
If the brass tab at the base of the socket does not make firm contact with the
bottom of the light bulb, a small electrical arc can happen that starts to melt
the solder. Over a period of time, the solder can deform and the gap between the
solder and the brass tab gets larger."
The rest of the article repeats the idiotic advice of reaching in and
bending the tab. It is a non-sequitir. Pulling the tab away from the
bottom of the socket will result in a poorer connection.
I'm the OP and found the problem the other day, turns out the bulbs were not
burned out after all. The screw in socket was very tight so the bulb was not
able to seat completely down to make electrical contact - properly do to
rust from the salty air. The property is located close to the Pacific Ocean.
A little Vaseline on the thread and pulling the hot center tap out a little
bit had solved the problem. Regarding the salty air, I also needed to
replace the exterior door bell button once every three or so years as the
contact fail to conduct due to corrosion.
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