Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Light Bulbs burn out too soon

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Light Bulbs burn out too soon

    My grandmother's house was built in the 50's and for the past two years we can not keep her supplied in light bulbs. That means flood lights and regular ceiling fixtures. The house does not have a grounding wire. It also uses fuses instead of having a breaker box. I hope one of you might have an answer because it is totally out of my field. Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

    I have a similar problem but just in my kitchen. Light bulbs seem to burn out pretty quick. Another interesting this is that when I try to use one of those FLBs or whatever they are called (the spirally lights) they wont lightup. Thats only in the kitchen though.

    Josh

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

      Not to say this is your particular problem.... But....
      My house was also built in the 50's. Years ago light bulbs seemed to last for a long time (Years) Now it seems like the newer bulbs, say with in the past 5 to 6 years burn out within a year.... Imo as a home owner only,... they just don't make them like they use-to.
      Last edited by Davet; 02-22-2008, 03:37 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

        Kathy,
        A couple of questions. 1. Does this occur no matter where you put in a new light bulb? or 2. Is it just a few isolated fixtures? If the light bulbs are burning out quickly no matter where you put them, then it might be that the quality of the bulbs has dropped off where you're buying them. If there are only a few fixtures where the bulbs don't last long, then it could really be that that particular fixture has a problem. I've found that the really cheap fixtures people are buying for homes they've built won't last more than about 10 or 12 years. When you go back to pull them out and replace, the connections are poor, the wires have started to break down, the copper connection inside the light socket itself has corroded or been flattened, etc. And in an older home like you're describing, it may have taken this long before some of the fixtures, which were evidently of higher quality than what's available today, would break down. It may be time to change them out and get some new ones installed in their place. If you or your husband are not completely familiar and comfortable with what you're doing, I'd recommend that you get a qualified electrician in to do this task for you. If you are knowledgeable and completely comfortable with it, this is easily a task you can perform yourself. You might also want to have your fuse box looked at either by yourself or electrician if not comfortable. If you've had some water leakage down the weatherhead into the box itself, you could have some corrosion growing inside the box and inside the screw terminals where the fuse is located. Take out a fuse, shine a flashlight inside the receptacle and let us know what it looks like. The adage of keeping one hand in your back pocket when checking a fuse box applies here. Let us know what you find. Post again, and we'll try to give some more direction on what to do. Good Luck.
        Jim Don

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

          I had this same type of problem until I switched from the Sylvania bulbs I had been using to another brand. The GE's and Philip's I now use seem to last longer.
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

            The quality of the bulb has a lot to do with it but also check the rating on your light fixture and don't over watt it. I too had a bad batch of Sylvania bulbs and they were priced higher than the GE.

            I was using a 75 watt bulb in my basement recessed that was rated for 60 watt only. Changing bulbs once a month.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

              Kathy: The house does not have a grounding wire. It also uses fuses instead of having a breaker box.

              Me: After thinking more about this, I would strongly recommend that you call in a good electrician and update grounding to current code requirements. While he/she is there do have Voltage measured at the the service entrance and please post the results. This needs to be from line 1 to line 2 and also from Neutral to L1 and L2. You must have good grounding for safety reasons and many older homes and commercial buildings really do need this upgraded.

              Me: Than as part 2, while it does cost some good $$$ it would be wise to do a service upgrade. This means beefing up everything from the pole in and installing a new circuit breaker load center in place of the old fuse box. It's a good investment and one all of you will be thankful for later on.

              Please note that while proper fuses do give good protection but it's all too easy to substitute the wrong fuse and changing one takes more doing than just resetting a tripped circuit breaker. More than likely there are only a few circuits and they have too much on them.

              One thing I have found is that sometimes if the power company replaces a transformer (anywhere from a main substation to the one for your place) they mess things up some and where you should have 220-240 Volts between the two hots you really have more like 260 Volts. That will shorten the life of all electrical devices in your house. Anymore if they measure Voltage that's within 15% of what it should be they call it good enough. The truth is that 15% high is no good and neither is 15% low.

              As was stated never use light bulbs rated at a higher Wattage than a fixture is designed for. Also, you may want to go to an electrical supply house and purchase 130 Volt commercial light bulbs of the same Wattage ratings you currently use. They will run a little dimmer, make less heat, draw a little less current and everything else being the same give about 3 times the life of a 120 Volt light bulb.

              Good luck and do practice safety. Remember you can't be replaced or repaired if you get zapped. Most non living things can be repaired or replaced.

              I bet you answered this and I missed it, but is this problem with all lighting circuits in your house or just some? If it's with all, then I would take Voltage measurements at the service entrance. Unless you're familiar and know how, I recommend calling in a good licensed electrician.
              Last edited by Woussko; 02-22-2008, 10:41 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

                Josh and others

                If any of you notice short life of light bulbs, please think if anything was changed in the past few months. Did the electric company replace anything in your area?

                If you have access to a good AC Voltmeter or have a friend that's into electrical or electronics work, please take some Voltage measurements first at the point of service entrance and if that checks good then at the fixture(s) where you have the problems.

                It is true that even the top names in lighting are junking up some products. You can try another brand of the same or look for and buy 130 Volt rated light bulbs. In many commercial buildings where it's hard to change them, or where they stay on all night that's what they use. Switching to compact fluorescent lamps is a good idea, but too many of them are Chinese junkers. Try to stick with main brands and look at the package for where they were made. Also you'll need to check the color temperature. The ones rated at 2700K (Kelvin) look rather yellowish. 3000K is nicer and still on the warm side. 3500K is pretty neutral and 4100K gives a nice crisp light.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

                  Kathy, just a thought here, but due to her age, are you using brighter lights so she can see better? Brighter bulbs burn hotter and if the fixture is not rated for the higher wattage bulbs they will overheat and burn out quicker. Josh, sounds like a loose connection somewhere or the CFLs just wont seat in the older fixtures right. MHO
                  info for all: http://www.hoistman.com http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/index....wwtoolinfoforu --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

                    Measuring the voltage at the receptacle with a voltmeter is highly recommended. Take the voltage reading with refrigerators, air conditioners, electric hot water heaters and furnaces off. It should read very close to 120 volts.

                    Then turn all your appliances back on so you are pulling lots of amperage and take another reading at the receptacle. If the voltage spikes up dramatically say to 140 to 160 volts, you may have the neutral not bonded to the panel and/or the panel is not properly grounded.

                    I had a customer that was burning out lights, tv, phones, etc and the power company and another electrical contractor could not find out why. I found the neutral bar not bonded at the service panel and added a $2.00 strap to it and it fixed the problem.

                    I would also recommend a new panel, if you can afford it, as fused panels/service usually are designed with old technology and for houses built before americans bought all those electric gadgets that could be a fire hazard when your old panel overheats. I have seen a lot of fused panels double and tripple lugged which is really a no no.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

                      I have the same problem in my kitchen as well. New construction house and 12/2 wiring throughout. I have started to switch all the can's in there to CFL's but still have 4 more to go. The seem to be lasting longer than the case of sylvania's I bought at HD. My electrician said that it could possibly be a loose neutral but to try different bulbs first, maybe I just got a bad run.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

                        Originally posted by cadman59501 View Post
                        I have the same problem in my kitchen as well. New construction house and 12/2 wiring throughout. I have started to switch all the can's in there to CFL's but still have 4 more to go. The seem to be lasting longer than the case of sylvania's I bought at HD. My electrician said that it could possibly be a loose neutral but to try different bulbs first, maybe I just got a bad run.
                        Maybe its just me but why not reduce the chance of bigger problems (Fire)and just verify that the neutrals are all tight. The CFL might be more tolerant to the loose wire than standard bulbs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

                          If the neutrals were lose you will have flicking lights . I notices that a lot of bulbs burn out quickly . try a lower watt bulb .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

                            if there is not enough ventilation around the bulbs because of the way a light fixture is designed, over heating of the bulb will reduce significatly its nomal lifespan. ever notice how a porch light that has no shielding seems to last a long time even thought its on alot.
                            §m€llŸ™

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Light Bulbs burn out too soon

                              Regular (not ruff service) light bulbs can't take banging around much. That may be part of the problem if they got banged up in shipping. In addition vibration shortens their life. You might look for ruff service or garage door (vibration service) light bulbs. Also, if you know someone with a good AC Volt meter have him/her take measurements. I've seen too many houses where the electric company replaces a transformer and goofs. Rather than having 220-245 Volts between the two hots and 1/2 that from either hot to neutral, they end up with 260 or even as high as 280 Volts. That means 130-140 Volts where the design is for around 115-120. Over Voltage = short life for everything and some things go POOF or KaBoom.

                              Light bulbs made for 120 run on 140 are very bright and don't last long. Same if run on 130 Volts but just not as bad.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X