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Old 25th Jun 2012, 19:12   #1
kmufc77
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Electric Fuse box problem.

Hi

Im after some advice from ppl who know stuff about electrics and fuse boxes please.

I keep getting light bulbs blowing downstairs in my kitchen, there is only ever 2 lights that blow which are the bulbs that are above my cooker in the cupboard units, and occasionally the main light in the centre of the celling which is just a standard bulb.

The lights in the cupboards have there own light switch as does the main light in the kitchen if that matters?

When the bulbs blow my fuse box switch for all the lights in the house is tripped.

Im just after some advice to why this is happening, ive replaced around 10-15 bulbs in around 2 months with the fuse box tripping on a number of occasions.

The fuse box looks pretty new imo and not dated at all.
Last edited by kmufc77; 25th Jun 2012 at 19:15.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 19:16   #2
Rodneypooleg
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Don't you need to switch everything off then turn on one at a time and see if they go.

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Old 25th Jun 2012, 19:18   #3
Vita
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What is the wattage of the bulbs? I'd start with turning all lights off, and starting one at a time. Maybe the amp in the fuse box is low for the lights you are putting on in the kitchen?

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Old 25th Jun 2012, 19:50   #4
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If i'm reading this right, your fuse box only trips when the bulbs blow? and it works fine until they blow.

If so this is totally normal and will happen more or less often depending on the type of fuse box you have, the type of bulb that blows and how it fails.

For example a normal incandescent bulb has a tungsten filament, when this breaks in the middle say, you get an arc when the electricity is jumping the gap between the ends, this causes more current to flow and trips the fuse etc.

You can either put up with the inconvenience and maybe change to low energy bulbs to reduce how often they blow or..

Get an electrician in to change your (Guessing abit here) B type 6A MCB to a C type, which is less sensitive to short overloads, but you would need a sufficiently low earth loop impedance reading to use a c type breaker.

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Old 25th Jun 2012, 20:01   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmufc77 View Post
Im just after some advice to why this is happening, ive replaced around 10-15 bulbs in around 2 months with the fuse box tripping on a number of occasions.
Just seen this, replaced the bulbs that quickly in the same fittings?

If so it seems far too often, are they cheap bulbs like B&Q or branded, that might make a difference, also the fittings may have seen better days.

For example E27 screw fittings like older R80 style fittings can blow bulbs faster when they age because the centre contact in the lamp holder bends back and makes poor contact with the bulb causing overheating, temp fix for this is to bend the contract out abit, permanent fix is a new fitting.

PS. What fitting/bulb types are playing up? im guessing the cabinet lights are probably G4's? little halogen bulbs with 2 prongs that slide into the fitting? these have a life of 2000hrs i believe.

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Last edited by HardwareGeek; 25th Jun 2012 at 20:05.
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Old 26th Jun 2012, 11:13   #6
kmufc77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vita View Post
What is the wattage of the bulbs? I'd start with turning all lights off, and starting one at a time. Maybe the amp in the fuse box is low for the lights you are putting on in the kitchen?
Hi

Ive checked the wattage and they are the correct bulbs according to the light fittings.

As for for the amp in the fuse box, i havent a clue and this is something i could look at.
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Old 26th Jun 2012, 11:16   #7
kmufc77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwareGeek View Post
Just seen this, replaced the bulbs that quickly in the same fittings?

If so it seems far too often, are they cheap bulbs like B&Q or branded, that might make a difference, also the fittings may have seen better days.

For example E27 screw fittings like older R80 style fittings can blow bulbs faster when they age because the centre contact in the lamp holder bends back and makes poor contact with the bulb causing overheating, temp fix for this is to bend the contract out abit, permanent fix is a new fitting.

PS. What fitting/bulb types are playing up? im guessing the cabinet lights are probably G4's? little halogen bulbs with 2 prongs that slide into the fitting? these have a life of 2000hrs i believe.
The lights are E14's and they just screw into the fittings. forgot to mention that i also have 3-4 halogen bulbs that have all blown in the bathroom as well, but those bulbs have blown over 12 months and do not trip the fuse box
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Old 26th Jun 2012, 11:17   #8
kmufc77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwareGeek View Post
If i'm reading this right, your fuse box only trips when the bulbs blow? and it works fine until they blow.
Most times, but there has been a few occasions where the bulb just blows and the fuse box is ok and does not trip. But 90% of the time the fuse box does trip all the lights.

Could this be an earthing problem with the electrics particularly the lights ?
Last edited by kmufc77; 26th Jun 2012 at 12:03.
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Old 26th Jun 2012, 11:31   #9
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The fuse blowing when a bulb goes is completely normal, so nothing wrong with your fusebox. Can you not replace the bulbs with low voltage alternatives? These tend to be hardier.

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Old 26th Jun 2012, 12:25   #10
daz87uk
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Cheap bulbs, loose fittings or higher than average voltage to your home. The bulbs take out the breaker because the resistance changes before it blows. A higher voltage 5% will shorten the life of bulbs by 50%. My bet is you've got some dodgy fittings or your voltage is a bit high coupled with a cheap bulb with low voltage tolerance
Last edited by daz87uk; 26th Jun 2012 at 12:34.
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