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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh, No! Not Another Electric Light Post.

Yes, it's time to talk about our lighting problems again. I posted a few times on this subject last year. (One of my readers kindly referred to this sort of thing as "very detailed.")

We have a pair of wall sconces in our main living area.

We found one with light and one without shortly after arriving this year. I checked out the bulb, it was fine. A little more peering into the socket revealed a pretty ugly case of corrosion on the socket contacts.

When we were out walking a few days ago, I passed a light bulb shop and stopped to see if they also sold replacement sockets. Sure enough, for four pounds Egyptian, about 69 cents, I could pick up a nice solid plastic and ceramic socket set. I could have had another flimsy brass edition for half that, but this one is what my previous electricians were using. The one on the left is original, on the right, my replacement.
LampFix-03 LampFix-09

I pulled the old unit out and took a good look. I can't tell if this was just corrosion, heat damage from the 100 watt bulb or internal arcing from poor contact. But, I'd say it was past due for replacement.

Maybe this kind of thing is why many visitors to the U.S. wonder why we build our houses out of wood. Concrete, brick and ceramic tile doesn't burn so readily.

After removing the threaded insert from the old socket cap, I began trying to insert it into the new one. No go. It turns out that there is a tiny set screw in the nut on top. I'm way past the age where I need bifocals. I'm at the point where I can't see the little stuff through the bifocals! Fortunately, I have a baby screwdriver and could deal with unsetting and resetting the little screw. Here are both top and bottom views of the socket cap.
LampFix-06 LampFix-05

Things went back together nicely and now we have light again. By the way, there is no UL rating on the socket. I suspect the whole fixture is a bit of a mix of crafts and cultures. If I continue to have heat problems, I suppose I will have to go with one of those "curly-fry" bulbs.

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