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Light Bulbs Burn Out Too Soon? Find out Why!

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: John in Virginia’s up next and listens to The Money Pit on WJFK. And tell us what’s going on with your electricity.

    JOHN: Yeah, I live in a house that’s built circa 1969. And the basement lights, they seem to last maybe a week, if I’m lucky, and then they just burn out.

    TOM: Wow.

    LESLIE: That’s definitely too short.

    JOHN: Yeah, that’s what I kind of figured. And you know, I even went and like I got on the internet and I did all the obvious stuff like buying the brand name bulbs and making sure that, you know, it wasn’t necessarily vibrations that were causing it.

    TOM: Yeah.

    JOHN: You know, I even tried the fluorescent. They burned out in a … well, they might have lasted two weeks.

    TOM: Huh.

    LESLIE: (laughing) Well, they’re doing what they say they’re doing.

    JOHN: Right, twice as long. And I mean it’s not just one or two of the bulbs down there. I mean it’s … it is the entire grid. Would it make any difference the amperage of the circuit? You know, I’m looking at it right now. It is a 60-amp circuit.

    TOM: Oh, my God. That’s not … that’s not a lighting circuit, John. That’s …

    LESLIE: (laughing) That’s for refrigerators.

    TOM: Oh, that … John, you’ve got a major problem there, my friend. That’s … if the (inaudible) breaker, it’s a 240-volt circuit. And if, somehow, the lights are wired to that, that might be why it’s blowing all the time. Because that circuit … your lighting circuit should be a 15-amp circuit; not a 60-amp, 240-volt circuit. That’s the kind of breaker that’s used for a subpanel or for a very large appliance, like an electric range.

    JOHN: Wow.

    TOM: Alright, John. So something is drastically mis-wired there. You need to get an electrician to check these circuits out and get it straightened out. It’s potentially dangerous. Alright, John?

    JOHN: (chuckling) Thank you, sir.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Yeah, thank goodness for cordless phones so he could take us in there to the scene of the crime.
    Yeah, that might have something to do with it.

    TOM: Yeah, a 60-amp, 240-volt breaker is somehow wired to his lights. Now, this is not making sense. Not a good thing. John, hopefully we’ve helped you get that straightened out.

    Leslie, who’s next?
     

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