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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I'm new to this forum so thanks for the help in advance.

Just bought a new house and I'm trying to replace the chandelier. Took the old one down and wired up the new one. Turned the electric back on and two of the five bulbs filled with smoke and one broke. I'm just wondering what I did wrong and what I can do to fix it. I left the old box/mounting bar and connected the new wires to the old ones. Neither of the two wires from my ceiling were labeled so I just arbitrarily picked which ones I connected. (I'm guessing that's my problem). Also the old fixture did not seem to be grounded at all (no third bare wire and nowhere to hook the new ground wire to). So I took the ground screw out of the new bar that came with the chandelier and put it in the old mounting bar and grounded it to that. I'll post pictures so you guys can see what I did. Any help is appreciated.
 

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The chandelier in the second pic looks old, is that the one you just installed? Is the new chandelier new out of the box with bulb also new out of the box, or was it a used fixture that came with used bulbs?

Also, I don't see wire nuts on the wire connections in the first pic...?
 

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Check the package of bulbs---I had a similar problem once and the bulbs were LOW VOLTAGE!!!

I always thought they had different bases---but no--there are low voltage with chandelier bases---
 

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Ah, I see. Ok, your installation looks good then from what I can tell.

It looks like the bulbs didn't come with the chandelier though, correct? Is it possible you accidentally bought a pack of low-voltage bulbs?
 

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Look at the package you actually bought----I bet they are low voltage and you thought you bought the 120 volt ones---
 

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Wow this is turning out to be quite the mystery. It looks like you have the right chandelier with the right bulbs. Maybe you just got a batch of bad bulbs, someone at Sylvania was asleep at the controls at 4:58PM on a Friday.

If it's not the bulbs, the only thing I can think of that might cause this was if you somehow had 240V coming in on those wires. I've never ever heard of 240V lighting in a residence before, so that seems really really unlikely. Do you by chance have a multimeter you could use to test with?

Also, is this light controlled by a single switch or can you turn it on/off from multiple switches?
 

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Well then I'm back to

1. bad bulbs
2. 240V somehow

Wiring up the hot and neutral backwards would not result in blowing bulbs. It would be a little unsafe, as the bulb threads would be "hot" instead of the little nub down in the bottom of the socket, so it could be a shock hazard if you replaced bulbs while the fixture was powered. But, it should not blow the bulbs.

Your choices now are to try more bulbs, or put a multimeter on those wires.
 

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Get out your tester-----see if you have one power up there or two----possible you have 220 going on---

Do you have an electrical tester? With two wires? Not a non-contact tester---

Also possible you have a bad pack of bulbs----if you have some other bulbs,even night light bulbs--try them---
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I do not have a multimeter but I will post a picture of the previous chandelier. It's pretty run of the mill so I don't think it would have any crazy wiring. It is on a single dimmer switch. It may be the bulbs because while I was installing them I did notice the one that actually broke was cracked already when I put it in. I just thought something was very wrong when two filled with smoke and one broke.
 

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It may be the bulbs because while I was installing them I did notice the one that actually broke was cracked already when I put it in. I just thought something was very wrong when two filled with smoke and one broke.
Aha, the smoking gun. Bulbs are supposed to be under vacuum or filled with an inert gas. If those bulbs were not adequately sealed, either as a manufacturing defect or damage during transit, the presence of oxygen would cause the filaments to smoke or burn.

If you take the dead bulbs back, Lowes should replace the pack at no charge.
 
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Try some new bulbs---not from the same batch----unless you did some other work on the wires---the bulbs are the number one suspect--------
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Alright great. I'll hook everything back up the way it was and check it with the bulbs from the old working chandelier. Also just to be %100 safe it is ok if those two wires are mixed up and it appears that it's grounded ok right? Just don't want any safety hazards in my new home.

Thank you guys so much for your help. I have a feeling I'm gonna be on the forum a lot as I fix up my place.
 

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Not a big deal if the wires are mixed up----the lamp wire with the ridges is the neutral---and goes to the white wire--

Next trip to the store---buy a $4.00 neon tester---
 

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and it appears that it's grounded ok right?
Your fixture MIGHT be grounded IF the ceiling box is metal and is fed with metal conduit that runs all the way back to the panel. That "should" be the case, but may not be. Without a multimeter, you will not be able to confirm if the ceiling box is actually grounded or not.

Of course, you'll also need to connect the bare copper wire from the fixture, to the green screw I see in your fixture box.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So I bought a multimeter just to be safe. Now can anyone tell me how to use it to check if the ground screw is grounded properly or so I can tell which wire is neutral?
 
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