I have a relatively new (about 2-3 years) range hood like this:
It has 3 light settings (halogen) and 3 fan settings. The middle light
setting was on and the fan was not. I bumped it (BARELY!) and the light
shut off. I tried pushing the light buttons but the lights didn't come
back on. If I press any of the fan buttons, the green indicator light
above the button(s) does light up, however the fan does not start.
I'm no electrician, but this sounds like a short to me. If that's the
case, should I be concerned--from a safety standpoint--about it? I mean
until I can get someone out to look at it. Electricity scares me
because I don't know anything about it, so sorry if this sounds like a
really dumb question but I just want to be sure that there's no risk of
fire leaving it in its current state. There's no way to unplug it, and
the only way I can shut the electricity off to it is to flip the circuit
breaker that controls everything on that entire wall.
On a separate note, what the heck could've caused a short? It's not
like it gets moved around a lot! It just sits there.
Thanks in advance!
A "short" is when the hot wire is touching a neutral wire (or ground). This
would cause the breaker to trip immediately (and usually a small flash-up
with charring and black carbon at the source).
You don't have a short, you have an open. Either an internal connection is
loose, or you have a bad component, probably a switch.
Opens *can* be dangerous, but if you switch off everything it's probably ok
for a short time (the real danger of opens is of there's partial contact
under load). I would get it looked at, though.
Thanks for the explanation, Tim. So am I correct that what I need is an
appliance repair person and not an electrician?
Also, I wonder if you can clarify something for me. After I posted my
message last night, and before reading your reply, I got to wondering
about shorts. It occurred to me that if there's a short, wouldn't the
entire appliance be affected by it? In other words, using the range
hood as an example, wouldn't a short prevent ALL of its features from
working? Recall that the fan's indicator lights -do- come on, while the
fans and halogen lights do not.
Yes, I know, but I'm just saying in general, if an item has a short, is
it possible for some features to work while others don't? I mean once
power has been restored after the initial breaker-tripping that you
described. It doesn't SEEM like it'd work that way, but like I said I'm
no electrician! :-)
Thanks again for your input.
If the short still existed, the breaker wouldn't reset (it would immediately
re-trip). If it had cleared, it could have caused other circuit problems
(including an open), or maybe things would appear normal. The real question
is what caused the short?
My kid was playing with a remote control car the other day, and was whipping
the antenna around. it happened to hit an outlet with a plug in it -- and
POOF. The antenna evidently hit both prongs at once -- short circuit time.
The breaker actually didn't trip, instead the antenna acted like a fuse and
broke into 3 pieces (one break at each prong). No other damage, though,
except some nasty char on the outlet...
I have that range hood. I had that problem. I think its a defect.
The center bulb contacts get flattened and need to be pulled away from
the base a little so that it will make contact with the bulb. I have a
small flat-head screwdriver with the end bent 90deg. just for this!
I also had a problem because the bulb sockets pop out of the
sheet-metal housing very easily. I had to take the hood apart to put
them back in.
Treat it gingerly! And kill the breaker before fixing the contact.
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