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Conventional Fixtures Help me fix my lamps

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by TupeloTechie, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    So over the past two weeks I have had more than 13 lamps (mostly 1K FELs) go out on me. However whenever I go to replace them the envelope is still crystal clear and the filament is perfectly intact. When I replace a lamp it only takes a few days for it to also go bad. I'm not exactly sure what arcing is but I think we have that problem. (Someone care to explain to me?) I have attached pictures of these bad lamps. Is there anyway to fix the lamps??? and what should I do to the actual lights to stop it?

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  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Take a look at what you are plugging the lamp into. Odds are it is a corroded socket. These would not happen to be 360 or 360q's are they? If they are, the sockets and the fixture itself is not rated for 1k lamps. You are over heating the socket and causing arcing. Once a socket starts to go, it takes every lamp you put in it with it, and don't dare put that now corroded lamp in another light. To quote a few another thread.... corrosion is like VD, it spreads to everything it touches. Buy some new sockets. I have used the C3A socket for a long time, though others on this board who live in lamp world suggest other sockets that I will be migrating to, I just can't remember the part number off the top of my head.
     
  3. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    They are being used in altman shakespeares. I know they are not rated for these but they are the only lamp the school district will buy for them. It took me 2 years to convince the powers that be to get GLA 575s for our star-pars. After explaining the situation multiple times the only thing that made them switch was when a touring drum show came in and 40, 10" cuts of gel went bonanza in less than 5 seconds.

    This is my last year here and whatever work I do to the actual fixtures will be useless in a few years anyway.

    Is there any way to get to corrosion off the lamps so I can continue to use them. I need them and they won't buy any more because they think I am touching them or something. Sandpaper? on a dremel?
     
  4. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    You can file or sandpaper off the corrosion and it might work for a while longer, but there is no fix besides new sockets and lamps. (Ya hear that Charc, its a lost cause)

    Filing/sanding removes material from the contacts, which makes for a weaker contact, which encourages arcing.
     
  5. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Sanding, filing, or using any other abrasive cleaning process is just as bad as putting a new lamp in a bad socket or a bad lamp in a good socket. All you will do is continue to spread the arcing and corrosion. The ONLY solution is to replace the lamp bases, and the cost of a lamp base and your time is way less expensive than the 13 lamps you have in the photos. I have not worked with the Shakespears, but it usually is a pretty simple task to replace a lamp base.

    Also, I think that your photos of 13 bad lamps and the excuse of the fact that the fixtures are not rated for those lamps should get you pretty far. In these times of bad economy, everyone is up for saving money. So if you go to the people who buy your lamps and tell them that they could have saved around $150 if they purchased the correct lamps, they might actually listen.
     
  6. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Yes I know its JUST AS BAD but people still do it, and it does work for a short time, but again, its a LOST CAUSE.
     
  7. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Wrong lamp for the fixture pure and simple. The wrong lamp has caused the socket problem which will in turn continue to kill any lamp installed in the fixture, even the correct ones.

    Institutions of higher learning always amaze me with their stupidity.
     
  8. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Cost of parts aside, what your school is really doing is creating a safety issue. When those FEL lamps are installed, the fixture loses it's UL rating. If one were to burn down the building as a result, the school could be held negligent. Not to mention, their insurance probably wouldn't cover it.

    I also wonder how they will feel when you have to begin replacing all the reflectors due to cracking and flaking issues. Those things cost a lot more than lamps and sockets.

    I would write an email containing all the information you are now armed with as well as documentation from Altman specifying what lamps should be used in the fixtures (it should be downloadable from their site). Also include the costs associated with using the incorrect lamps in both replacement parts and energy usage. Don't forget to leave out the safety aspect. I'd then send it to key administrators such as principal/dean, directors, director of fine arts and the superintendent if applicable. Keep a hard copy for yourself. By all means, create a paper trail.

    Keep your ruined lamps, bases, etc if anyone ever needs to inspect them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009

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