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Old 01-25-2011, 01:09 PM   #1
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


Hi everyone.
We have a property with 32 Low Volt Recessed 4" MR16 type lights installed (built in) in the early 90's They have been nothing but trouble for years because of the pin connection to the bulbs wear out, but having fixed ALL of them we are now worried the transformers are due to die out.
We have one now which has no power. Here is my question,

Can these be removed/serviced/accesed without destroying the ceiling?!
The rooms they are in BOTH have Venetion Plastered ceilings and it will really be costly to fix.
There are no screws or anything visible in the cylinders which would let them come out. There is absolutely no crawl space (flat roof)

We are at our wit's end! Any help appreciated!
Drifty

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:28 PM   #2
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


Working space is often difficult but access to the above ceiling junction box can be had by pulling the round housing straight down after removing the trim ring. The units I am familiar with would then be accessible enough to replace a transformer if necessary.

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:38 PM   #3
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


Thanks so much. I suspected they might pull straight down, but they appear REAL tight. As I said , they have been up there at least 16 yrs.
Will try to move them in a day or so and let you know how it went.
Cheers


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Working space is often difficult but access to the above ceiling junction box can be had by pulling the round housing straight down after removing the trim ring. The units I am familiar with would then be accessible enough to replace a transformer if necessary.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:03 PM   #4
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


These type of lights are held in by spring loaded clips,
You just pull them down slowely,
Beware of the springs as you remove them,
or you will have sore fingers.
Burnt out sockets are common problems,
Dont be tempted to fix them,
Replace them.
Just a little resistance can cause problems
Due to the high currents involved.
Consider using lower wattage lamps,
Using 35w lamps instead of 50w will
result in less problems, due to less heat,
Most people wont notice the small reduction
in light output.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:54 PM   #5
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


A better question is are these new work or old work cans?

If they are Old work cans, you can remove them reasonably easy. If they are new work, you CANNOT remove them EASILY without tearing the hell out of the ceiling and or can.

If you want, you can take out the trim, remove all the screws you see and cut any sheet metal with aviation snips or dikes. ( This is for the New work cans)

For old work, grab a pair of needlenose and a flat screwdriver and prybar and pull those black springs on the inside.

EDIT: also....never use low voltage cans.....too much heat in that can IMO. That and the transformer is just one more thing to go wrong to replace later....
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:52 AM   #6
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


New work cans..
There are absolutely no clips, springs screws or anything visible. The trim has the spring clips, then other than that theres nothing.
I will post a pic later today. I tried hefty pulling and the can seemed to move maybe 1.8" but no more. i really dont want to pull hader unless i am sure they do just come out.
Thanks again


Quote:
Originally Posted by LyonsElecSupply View Post
A better question is are these new work or old work cans?

If they are Old work cans, you can remove them reasonably easy. If they are new work, you CANNOT remove them EASILY without tearing the hell out of the ceiling and or can.

If you want, you can take out the trim, remove all the screws you see and cut any sheet metal with aviation snips or dikes. ( This is for the New work cans)

For old work, grab a pair of needlenose and a flat screwdriver and prybar and pull those black springs on the inside.

EDIT: also....never use low voltage cans.....too much heat in that can IMO. That and the transformer is just one more thing to go wrong to replace later....
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:20 PM   #7
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


Name:  downlight.jpg
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Is this the type of light ?
If it is ,
then you will not see the clips as they are behind the light.
but you must pull down,
yes it requires some force.
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:27 PM   #8
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


It sounds like you got the trim out.

Like I said in the post, you will have to cut the sheet metal out.

You also may be left without enough wire to make a connection to a new can......

DONT just "yank" the can out, you will tear out the drywall. The cans are on adjustable brackets that are NAILED or screwed to the ceiling joists. I doubt you can take that can through a 4" hole.....

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Old 01-26-2011, 07:29 PM   #9
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


It could also be like this (this one is a NON-IC can) But if it is in the attic or a ceiling, it is probably IC rated (the one above)

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Old 02-03-2011, 08:25 AM   #10
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


Hi everyone,
Weather slowed me down a bit gettin back to here.
Here is a pic of the darn things. They are NON IC. These I was able to get a photo of but still cant reach from this shot, it was a small camera taped to a shick!! Others in the house are utterly inaccesable other that through the plaster.

I had wanted to switch them all to LED bulbs but even the brightest available arent nearly as bright as even the 35WMR16 This combined with the fact that its ALOT of money for a bulb which will likely outlast these transformers (nearly 20 yrs old!!)

We just dont know what to do
Thanks.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:56 PM   #11
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


Yes most of the brighter led lamps are expensive,
Do you need all that metal housing if you use lower heat led lamps?
If not you could use perhaps two led lamps.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:35 AM   #12
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


There is nothing wrong with using low voltage fixtures such as these! They are efficient and put out good quality light.

More often than not the problem is a bad socket and they can easily be replaced. However I recommend you go to an appliance part store and buy some porcelain wire-nuts to splice the wire from the new socket to the old wiring. Using plastic wire-nuts next to the hot bulb is NOT as good idea!

These cans look like Litolier cans and probably are pressed into spring clips on the housing. To remove try twisting and pulling at the same time. To do this put both hands in the can on opposite sides and pul outward to grip the can and then pull down as you twist or turn the can.

Note if the plaster has overlapped the can you might want to score it before you pull it out so you don't break the plaster around the can!

Yes it is a little difficult to get to the transformer but it is very doable!
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Old 02-06-2011, 01:02 PM   #13
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


They are not more efficient first off. they have magnetic transfomers.....anyone who uses the arguement that LV is efficient is flat out lying.

These cans are new work, non ic.

I maintain that you cut them out if you can and replace with rework 120v cans.........
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:13 PM   #14
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


The "can" part of those lights should be removable, without destroying the ceiling.

IF there are no screws visible, then it's safe to assume that they are held in place with some sort of retaining clips, as some brands of recessed lights utilized.

You have to grab the can from the inside, and twist back and forth while pulling downward (there may be some plaster or drywall mud in the opening, due to finishing techniques of the ceiling -- this will have to be dealt with). The twisting will allow you to slowly pull `em down to the point where the can pops out, and then you will have access to the wiring compartment through the hole in the ceiling. It ain't much, but it's up there, and accessible according to the UL requirements of manufacture.

Note: The can will still be connected with a short piece of flex once removed from the housing.



Any transformer assembly will be mounted on the back side of the wiring compartment/junction box -- often riveted to the back cover.

***You should NOT need any tin snips in order to work on these***
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:32 PM   #15
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Yet another Low Volt recessed question!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by LyonsElecSupply View Post
They are not more efficient first off. they have magnetic transfomers.....anyone who uses the arguement that LV is efficient is flat out lying.
They are very efficient, not only in consumption but also in quality of light!


[quote=I maintain that you cut them out if you can and replace with rework 120v cans.........[/quote]

There is no sense in spending money to replace these fixtures if only a couple are not working! You will do a lot of unnecessary damage to your plaster ripping them out!

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