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Posted: 7/21/2010 6:18:29 PM EDT
I am staying in a little bitty cabin that was built in the 30's and wired in the 60's. Most wiring has been reworked in the last few years including a new 200 amp main panel. Switches and fixtures are all new but some conductors date to the 60's work.
The problem is I pop a bulb about one a day!  These are good GE long life bulbs.
The element pops and blackenes the glass and also the glass breaks at the metal threads so I am left with the threads and center glass "stick" in the fixture and a glass "bulb" with a clean break loose.
What the heck is going on???
Voltage is normal for a 110 VAC circuit...
Thanks!
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 6:23:42 PM EDT
chinese made.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 6:27:20 PM EDT
Maybe I got a bad batch. A box of four in two fixtures gone in four days...
I will try another batch by another mfr...
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 6:29:16 PM EDT
"but some conductors date to the 60's work"

I'd start there. That old insulation is most likely dry rotted to hell, you can have it checked with a megger but I'd just as soon replace it all.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 6:39:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 6:41:18 PM EDT by ilbob]
I almost dread saying this, but here goes.

Check the voltage from each leg to neutral and make sure it is the same. The safest way to do this is by checking at two outlets that are on different hot legs so you don't have to open the breaker box.

If the voltages are not the same (within a few volts), there is a good chance of an open neutral. Maybe at your service point, maybe at the pole. See if you can get a somewhat unbalanced load between the hot legs when you do the voltage checks. An electric heater would probably do the trick.

If this turns out to be the case, please call a competent electrician in to troubleshoot it.

Or it could be a batch of bad bulbs.

BTW, if you want to continue using incandescent bulbs stock up now. A provision in one of the 2000 page bills passed last year that no one read bans them in a couple years.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 6:40:21 PM EDT
Are you having daily thunder storms? Could possibly be power surges.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 9:32:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ilbob:
I almost dread saying this, but here goes.

Check the voltage from each leg to neutral and make sure it is the same. The safest way to do this is by checking at two outlets that are on different hot legs so you don't have to open the breaker box.

If the voltages are not the same (within a few volts), there is a good chance of an open neutral. Maybe at your service point, maybe at the pole. See if you can get a somewhat unbalanced load between the hot legs when you do the voltage checks. An electric heater would probably do the trick.

If this turns out to be the case, please call a competent electrician in to troubleshoot it.

Or it could be a batch of bad bulbs.

BTW, if you want to continue using incandescent bulbs stock up now. A provision in one of the 2000 page bills passed last year that no one read bans them in a couple years.


This.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 10:25:56 PM EDT
Sounds like bad bulbs to me.  The blackened glass is what leads me to this conclusion.  What is happening is that air is getting inside the bulb and oxidizing the filament. The glass part of the bulb cleanly separating cinches it, it sounds like the glue they use to seal them is giving way.

Most likely its a batch of bad bulbs. Switch brands or even lots and they problem will go away.  There is a possibility the fixtures are heating up so much due to bad wiring that the glue is being melted, but I'd think you'd notice that type of heat being generated.  It would probably have to be hundreds of degrees, and you would be able tell when handling the fixture.
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