Lightbulbs Always Popping and Electricity Problems

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by elizabeth-s, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. elizabeth-s

    elizabeth-s Member

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    Does anyone know what to do about a rural older house where incandescent lightbulbs are continually burning out and/or popping? No sooner do we change one bulb in our house than another burns out and/or pops.

    We tried to research the cause and fix for this, but couldn't really come up with anything other than our house has "dirty electricity".

    Its gotten to the point where we just stopped changing the light bulbs. For instance, if we put in a fresh bulb on our back porch it only lasts a week, and with minimal usage.

    For some reason our halogen lightbulbs and florescent bulbs don't burn out.

    Opinions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. TnAndy

    TnAndy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Get a volt meter and check your house voltage......the electric company transformer may well be off and giving you a slightly higher voltage than normal. Anything over about 125-130v is will burn out the filaments in bulbs quick. I had a rental house this was the case.....couldn't get more than a week or two out of bulbs.

    If you can't get a volt meter, try a pack of "long life" bulbs......these are normally 130v rated bulbs ( look on the end of the bulb for the volt rating ) and see if they last.....that will also clue you in on an overvolt condition.

    The other thing that may be happening are surges. Do you notice the lights dim and go extra bright from time to time ? Again, you can complain to your electric supplier.
     

  3. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    Our old house did the same thing I just gave up on the fixtures that had the problem and used lamps instead.
     
  4. Anita in NC

    Anita in NC Well-Known Member

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    Our house isn't old - it was built in the 80's and we have the same problem. We switched to floresent (sp?) and they last really well.

    The guy at home depot seemed to think power surges were the problem.
     
  5. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My husband says its from vibration....kids jumping in the house....but we have switched to all flourescents now and the prob is gone! :shrug:
     
  6. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    It could be the sign of a dangerous electrical problem, one thing that comes to mind is a loose connection on the neutral in your breaker panel, which could allow the two hot phases to become unbalanced (say, 100 and 140 volts, instead of 120 each) I would check voltages at a number of different fixtures, and if you find anything more below 105 volts or above 130 volts I'd call in someone to investigate.
     
  7. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our house isn't old either (we built it in '04) and we have the same problem. I am in the process of switching all our bulbs to florescent energy saving ones. I figure it's the cheap bulbs.
     
  8. Peacock

    Peacock writing some wrongs Supporter

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    Our bulbs seem to burn out quicker than usual here. Not as quick as you say, but more often than our old house. The circuit my computer is on was always going out too and needing reset at the box, but hasn't done that since I got a UPS.

    I second the suggestion to have an electrician give your house a good inspection. If there's nothing wrong, why not just replace them all with compact fluorescent bulbs? They're expensive but last a really long time and use a lot less energy.
     
  9. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    IF---tests show your electricity to be within tolerances for voltage I would simply switch to 130 volt bulbs. You will have to experiment with your needs because of less voltage going through them than built for they will put off less illumination.
     
  10. TheBlueOne

    TheBlueOne Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like a neutral problem. The neutral conductor has a marginal connection somewhere between the transformer and the service panel, including the service panel. The best way to monitor it is to put a tracking multimeter like a Fluke 83 on the line and monitor the voltage over a 24 hour period. The meter records the minimum and maximum voltage over the test period.
    Typical neutral problems causing voltage surges include degraded wire insulation either from age or rubbing on something (example: tree), the use of aluminum wire without de-ox paste on the connections, and loose connections resulting in higher resistance.
     
  11. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As the blue one says, could be a neutral wire problem. I would have it checked out. It is doing the same thing to every electrical motor you have as it is doing to your light bulbs.......... Or sometimes it leads to arcing anf fires........

    Could turn out to be not much, but then again?

    --->Paul
     
  12. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    For some rural customers, it could simply be voltage variations that are not related to house wiring problems. Some rural electric providers are not known for providing the cleanest electricity. However, it is good to check connections to ensure that nothing is loose.