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Old 08-21-2009, 08:09 PM   #1
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Default Dimmer Switch Question

So we just moved in to a new place, and the kitchen has like 8 recessed lights, all on 1 dimmer switch. It's nice and bright, and works well generally.

Except for every once in a while, a light will just go out. And then maybe another one. And last night, they all went out at once.

But they're not burning out. That's what's weird. 15 minutes later, they'll come back on like nothing happened.

So what's going on here? Any ideas? It can be really annoying. I want to have some idea of what's going on to tell the landlord.
Thanks!


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Old 08-21-2009, 08:13 PM   #2
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are you cooking and causing a lot of heat or moisture in the room? in any case, i'd just tell him like it is, coz this sounds like an electrical problem to me, and something you don't want to be living with

edit: meant to say wiring problem - of course it's an electrical problem


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Old 08-21-2009, 08:59 PM   #3
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This doesn't seem to be when there's lots of moisture and heat in there. I'm going to check to make sure the bulbs are an appropriate wattage.

My only qualm is that there have been a million little things wrong with this place (as in... how the f&*! did anyone live in a place like this?) and I feel bad being that needy tenant that rented a cheap place and expects something, I don't know, livable.
Bah.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:08 PM   #4
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Had that problem with our new house too after going to replace some burned out bulbs. Turned out we brought energy saver bulbs that don't quite fit right into the older sockets and sometimes made good contact and other times not. Sometimes they would be dim, sometimes not even come on. We brought the regular bulbs and they are fine now.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:13 PM   #5
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I would look at a loose connection (a bad splice) in the cans themselves, or in the box that the dimmer is in. If you have someone living upstairs from you, the vibrations from them walking could cause wiring, especially if it's romex, to wiggle around momentarily.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:16 PM   #6
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You aren't, by chance, running CFLs in those fixtures are you? They can do weird things on dimmers.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:04 PM   #7
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When I get home, I'll take a look at the kinds of bulb and everything.
We're on the top floor, so no one above us, and we haven't been able to isolate what causes it- it doesn't seem to correlate to any particular event.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:07 PM   #8
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They do have thermal overloads on them so if it's really hot and you're running the highest allowable wattage, they could all trip until they cool off. Also, there are a lot of different wattage ratings on dimmers. Some are 300, 600, 1000. If you have 8 bulbs running 75 watts, that's 600 right there.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
They do have thermal overloads on them so if it's really hot and you're running the highest allowable wattage, they could all trip until they cool off. Also, there are a lot of different wattage ratings on dimmers. Some are 300, 600, 1000. If you have 8 bulbs running 75 watts, that's 600 right there.
I'd say this is exactly it.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
They do have thermal overloads on them so if it's really hot and you're running the highest allowable wattage, they could all trip until they cool off. Also, there are a lot of different wattage ratings on dimmers. Some are 300, 600, 1000. If you have 8 bulbs running 75 watts, that's 600 right there.
Would it matter where we have the dimmer set then? Because they're popping off even at half brightness.


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