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Old 08-08-2012, 09:20 PM   #1
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


I have a Hampton Bay ceiling fan that is having light issues. I installed the fan about 8 months ago and everything worked fine for about 6 months. Now, the lights do not work properly. They are CFL lights that have the new knob ends that kind of snap in place.

The fan is controlled by one light switch and the actual fan part works fine. However, when I flip on the wall light switch, the lights only flash on for about half a second and then they turn off again. I can hear an audible "click" when it turns on and then another "click" when it turns off again. Again, the fan blades continue working even when the light turns itself off.

Here's what I've done so far:
-Installed new light bulbs
-Changed wall light switch
-Checked electrical connections in electrical box
-Ordered and changed out light "kit" from the manufacturer

While poking around, I saw that the light kit wires go through a black box (shown with a yellow sticker in the picture below).
This black box was not changed out when I changed the light kit. What is the box, and could it be the problem?


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Old 08-09-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


Does this fan have a remote control?
Did it work with CFLs before? Could be that the remote unit is not compatible with CFLs. Try a normal lamp.

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Old 08-09-2012, 10:19 AM   #3
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


There is no remote control and the unit worked fine for a few months before failing. Nothing was changed prior to the light problem. I'm actually on hold with customer support right now, so hopefully they'll have answers for me. I'm not going to hold my breath though

I've found references to the "wattage limiter" failing on other similar fans. I don't have much experience with a wattage limiter, or even if that's what its actually called. If I get answers, I'll update my post.
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


Just to follow up: The technical support person for the fan company didn't know what the problem was. However, they are sending me a new wattage limiter to see if that fixes the problem.

I'll update this thread after I install the new part.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:00 PM   #5
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


For reference, since I recently went through this with my ceiling fan;

If you ever need to, you can simply remove the wattage limiter. Cap the white wire to it, and splice the other two together.

I had to do that when a bulb shorted in my fan and blew apart the circuit board in the wattage limiter. That little black box is astonishingly cheaply made.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


I find it hard to believe that the technical support person "doesn't know" what the problem is. (Was he the fan company or a Home Depot product support person?)
Some fan companies are having enough problems with the wattage limiter, that they should wire them in on a ganged plug to facilitate replacement by homeowners.

The wattage limiter is required by Federal law, and was in place during the Independant Lab (eg UL) testing. So, while I can understand bypassing it while waiting for the part, I believe it needs to be reinstalled.

How do our Pro's feel about it ?
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
I find it hard to believe that the technical support person "doesn't know" what the problem is. (Was he the fan company or a Home Depot product support person?)
Some fan companies are having enough problems with the wattage limiter, that they should wire them in on a ganged plug to facilitate replacement by homeowners.

The wattage limiter is required by Federal law, and was in place during the Independant Lab (eg UL) testing. So, while I can understand bypassing it while waiting for the part, I believe it needs to be reinstalled.

How do our Pro's feel about it ?
I talked to Home Depot customer care but they referred me to the ceiling fan manufacturer. The manufacturer sent me a lightkit replacement that didn't fix the problem. I was the one who had to ask about the black box and the lady said that those things typically don't fail, but she'll send me a new one anyways. At first she said that the black box was the capacitor and I had to convince her that it wasn't. (She didn't seem to be too knowledgeable.)

I got the new wattage limiter yesterday and I plan to install it this weekend. It would be much easier if there was a quick disconnect as you suggested above though.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:13 PM   #8
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
I find it hard to believe that the technical support person "doesn't know" what the problem is. (Was he the fan company or a Home Depot product support person?)
Some fan companies are having enough problems with the wattage limiter, that they should wire them in on a ganged plug to facilitate replacement by homeowners.

The wattage limiter is required by Federal law, and was in place during the Independant Lab (eg UL) testing. So, while I can understand bypassing it while waiting for the part, I believe it needs to be reinstalled.

How do our Pro's feel about it ?
Not a pro....but at this point I'm starting to feel like an expert with California Title 24 stuff.

It sounds like the OP is describing GU24 bases...which are actually better than the Edison base in my opinion...makes for a more compact design....and meets title 24 requirements for high effeciency.

So...it would seem to me that since you can't plug in an incandescent bulb....just CFL or LED....very unlikely your going to exceed the wattage limit.

I know what I would do....I would remove the wattage limiter....

Is this the same thing as that tag on the matress that says "Do not remove under penalty of law"...

Last edited by jeepdawg; 08-17-2012 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:47 PM   #9
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepdawg View Post
It sounds like the OP is describing GU24 bases....
Yes, the light bulbs are 13 Watt GU24 Base CFL's. There are two of them on my light kit, and my wattage limiter is designed to restrict wattages over 190 watts. I doubt I am truly exceeding that wattage with my two 13 watt bulbs.

I'm not planning to bypass the wattage limiter yet because I'm hoping that the new one will work better than the defective one.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:56 PM   #10
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


The GU24 base just meets the no screw in base part of Title 24. It's the lamp which meets the high efficacy (not effeciency) part.

But that can be easily bypassed by obtaining GU24 to Medium base adapters.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:04 PM   #11
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


Get used to it Boys. these are the new EPACT rules to save us money.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:54 PM   #12
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
The GU24 base just meets the no screw in base part of Title 24. It's the lamp which meets the high efficacy (not effeciency) part.

But that can be easily bypassed by obtaining GU24 to Medium base adapters.
You are correct...but more people know what efficiency (spelled right this time) is vs efficacy....

I can't imangine someone wanting to stick in a GU24 to edison adapter...that would stick the bulb out about another inch....

My big complaint right now about GU24 is that at the big box stores, they have about 2' of shelving for GU24 lights vs 50' of shelving for Edison lamps.....
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:05 PM   #13
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Ceiling Fan Light Problem


I replaced the wattage limiter today and the light now works. The old wattage limiter was faulty--let's hope the new one lasts longer than the old one did.

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