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Defective Bulb Tripping Ckt Breaker: How Possible ?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Robert11, Oct 31, 2006.

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  1. Guest

    How old is the electrical system in the house? In most places of the
    U.S. AFCIs have been the standard since 2002. They were available for
    several years before 2002 and may actually be what is installed in your
    house's breaker box.

    AFCI arc fault circuit interupt type of circuit breaker. Detects the
    arc condition and trips.

    As others have already stated, the arc in the bulb could draw enough
    current to trip most circuit breakers. Is fairly common in my
    experience as at least once every couple of years I have bulb "blow"
    and trip the breaker. Usually though it is one of the three way bulbs.
  2. Jim Land

    Jim Land Guest

    How about if you break open the dead bulb, and tell us what what you see
    inside? A careful description will provide the clues to diagnose the
  3. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    What's a '3-way bulb' ?

  4. Multiple light wattage settings dependant on the switch setting of the
    lamp itself. IIRC contains 2 filaments as in 60W, 100W or 160W total
    combined with both switched on. YBMV (your bulb may vary)

  5. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    Very common in North America but apparently not sold elsewhere. It's a
    single bulb with dual filaments, the most common being 50W and 100W, so
    the bulb is 50-100-150W. The base is a standard edison screw base with
    an extra contact ring and the socket has a rotary switch on it with 4
    positions. Probably 90% of incandescent lamps come with these sockets,
    though very often they get standard bulbs inserted in them. The
    expensive 3 way bulbs are not very practical, the low wattage filament
    almost always fails long before the high wattage one does, and with
    triac dimmers as cheap as they are, I'm not sure why anyone even makes
    the sockets anymore.

    A lot of old 1920s-30s floor lamps used a mogul base version which is
    commonly 100-200-300W, these bulbs are still available but I don't think
    anyone makes the sockets.
  6. Sounds perverted doesn''t it? Predates residential lamp dimmers.

    They have a screw base with a shell contact and two other concentric

    3 way light bulbs work like this:

    1st click - The smaller filament is turned on alone creating the lower light
    2nd click - The larger filament is turned on alone (and the smaller off)
    creating the higher light level.
    3rd click - Both filaments are turned on creating the highest light level.

    3 way light bulbs burn out faster because:
    Alternating cooling/heating of the two metal filaments shortens their
  7. Rather doubt this. :) And, the filament that burns out is usually
    the one cycled *less* (the high wattage one). Why? Because it is
    run for a longer time over the useful life of the lamp.

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  8. In every hotel I have ever been in the 3 way lamps are always burnt out on
    one filament. Always.

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  9. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    I see. I've never come across such a thing though.

  10. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    For me it was always the lower filament, I figured it was because it was
    mostly used on either low or high and less often in the middle, in both
    cases that puts more hours on the lower wattage one.
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