DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We installed 4 new recessed lights in our basement. They did not replace any fixtures - we created lighting where there was previously none. Here is our process:
*We ran 4 new 6 inch recessed lights, wired to be controlled by two 3 way switches. The bulbs we purchased are listed on the outside of the "can" boxes (65 watt BR30).
*The switches are 20 amp. The circuit breaker is 20 amp.
*Power (12-2) is run to the 1st switch. 12-3 then runs from the 1st switch to the 2nd switch. 12-2 then runs from the 2nd switch to light #1. Then from #1 to #2, #2 to #3, and then lastly from #3 to #4.
*It initially worked. The lights worked, and the switches worked. For about 10 minutes. Then #2 abruptly went out. About 5 minutes later #4 began flickering for about one minute before #3 went out. We turned off the lights for about 30 minutes. Now #4 flickers continuously before going out within a few minutes, but #2 and #3 will not come back on again at all. #1 has worked thus far without flickering or going out.
*The circuit is not overloaded.

We have no idea what the problem could be. This diagram is exactly how we wired the (4) recessed lights.

644236
 

·
Licenced Electrician
Joined
·
1,142 Posts
Cheap lights if you wired it exactly as shown in the picture.

Are you sure it's fed with 120V and not 240V? What does the label on the fixtures say? Might be dumb questions but it looks like you have it wired right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Try switching the light bulbs between the fixtures to see if the problem stays with the fixture, or if it follows the bulb. If it follows the bulb, get new bulbs and try it out. I have found that with the recessed LED retrofit lights, quality does matter. Maybe not so much with regular bulbs (?), but perhaps there's a bad batch that you got into somehow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
I agree with the others that have commented before me. If wired like the diagram I see no issue with wiring.try a different type of lights.check your voltage at each fixture could be a lost connection.

Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Cheap lights if you wired it exactly as shown in the picture.

Are you sure it's fed with 120V and not 240V? What does the label on the fixtures say? Might be dumb questions but it looks like you have it wired right.
Yes it’s 120. If we didn’t know that before we started we found out when we used the volt meter (my husband is a journeyman lineman). No question is a dumb question at this point. We’ve been asking each other dumb questions for two days because everything says it should be working.
** they were, in fact, the cheapest housing I could find. So maybe it’s the product as you suggested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I agree with the others that have commented before me. If wired like the diagram I see no issue with wiring.try a different type of lights.check your voltage at each fixture could be a lost connection.

Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk
Will definitely try that. Just needed to make sure that someone other than my husband confirmed wiring was correct ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Try switching the light bulbs between the fixtures to see if the problem stays with the fixture, or if it follows the bulb. If it follows the bulb, get new bulbs and try it out. I have found that with the recessed LED retrofit lights, quality does matter. Maybe not so much with regular bulbs (?), but perhaps there's a bad batch that you got into somehow.
Willing to try anything! I’ll keep everyone posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,369 Posts
Cheap lights if you wired it exactly as shown in the picture.

Are you sure it's fed with 120V and not 240V? What does the label on the fixtures say? Might be dumb questions but it looks like you have it wired right.
Those keyless fixtures are not what he used. He stated he installed 6", recess lights.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,369 Posts
Check connections in the recessed lights. Did you have/use push-in connectors? If so, did you strip the wires before inserting?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Check connections in the recessed lights. Did you have/use push-in connectors? If so, did you strip the wires before inserting?
Yes they are the push-in connectors. We stripped a little less than half inch before connecting. Today we planned to cut them back and just nut them together instead (just to see what will happen). We’re also going to try new bulbs. If none of that works I will change out two of housings with new ones that we still have.

* I have considered maybe we have a bad batch of thermocouples as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
942 Posts
* I have considered maybe we have a bad batch of thermocouples as well.
If you’re referring to the thermal switch built into recessed lights, I think that you might be on the right track. Faulty switches would account for the behavior that you’ve seen where the lights and switches worked properly for 10 minutes, then some switched off as the lights heated up. If the thermal switches didn’t reset after cooling down that would explain why lights #2 and #3 are now non-functional. With a voltmeter you should be able to see if it’s the thermal switch that is interrupting the flow of current to the bulb.

Chris
 

·
Contractor/Engineer
Joined
·
952 Posts
Some cheap bulb have too small a center contact on the base, thus, the center contact of the socket does not make a solid mechanical connection to the bulb - resulting in arcing and eventual failure. Other causes are similar when the supply is wired to the socket and a pop rivet is used to connect the pigtail to the center or edge contacts of the socket - same result, bad connection, build up of heat, arcing, deposits of oxidized (burned) contact, more heat, more arcing until failure.

First, I'd try the bulbs in a standard lamp.
Second, I'd verify 120 VAC inside the socket with a meter (not a non-contact toy).
Next, turn off the breaker to the lights and then reach in a gently pull the center tab a little so it can reach the bulb base easily. Turn on power and test again.
If that does not do the trick pull the fixture and trace for 120 coming in at the wire nuts. If you have 120 at the wire nuts then the socket is bad (rivets/corrosions, etc.).

Let us know what you find...
 
  • Like
Reactions: JosieAnderson

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Some cheap bulb have too small a center contact on the base, thus, the center contact of the socket does not make a solid mechanical connection to the bulb - resulting in arcing and eventual failure. Other causes are similar when the supply is wired to the socket and a pop rivet is used to connect the pigtail to the center or edge contacts of the socket - same result, bad connection, build up of heat, arcing, deposits of oxidized (burned) contact, more heat, more arcing until failure.

First, I'd try the bulbs in a standard lamp.
Second, I'd verify 120 VAC inside the socket with a meter (not a non-contact toy).
Next, turn off the breaker to the lights and then reach in a gently pull the center tab a little so it can reach the bulb base easily. Turn on power and test again.
If that does not do the trick pull the fixture and trace for 120 coming in at the wire nuts. If you have 120 at the wire nuts then the socket is bad (rivets/corrosions, etc.).

Let us know what you find...


Thank you! Will do!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
If you’re referring to the thermal switch built into recessed lights, I think that you might be on the right track. Faulty switches would account for the behavior that you’ve seen where the lights and switches worked properly for 10 minutes, then some switched off as the lights heated up. If the thermal switches didn’t reset after cooling down that would explain why lights #2 and #3 are now non-functional. With a voltmeter you should be able to see if it’s the thermal switch that is interrupting the flow of current to the bulb.

Chris
We are literally going to try absolutely everything y'all have suggested. Will keep the thread posted. Thanks to all!!!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top