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Close call today.

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Peter Simpson 122/11/2018 20:45:36
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206 forum posts
9 photos

Worked all day in the workshop today. At about 17:00 hrs my wife said the house sockets had tripped. This was at the same time as I had gone back into the workshop and switched the lights back on. After a few basic checks, one of my six fluro tubes was not lit. I took the tube out and removed the bottom cover to find the ballast was red hot with insulation melting out of the laminate magnet.The heat had melted the insulation on three twin and earth cables running through the light fitting to other fitting in the workshop. All now sorted but it could have been much worse.

peak423/11/2018 00:45:21
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1671 forum posts
175 photos

Before I retired, I recall coming back to the telephone exchange after lunch and smelling burning plastic.

Cursing myself for leaving the soldering iron plugged in somewhere I duly went to investigate.

Not the soldering iron, but the wall end of another extension lead.

The ELCB/RCD attached permanently to the end of the reel, and plugged into the 13a wall socket had melted and dripped plastic onto the floor. Worryingly, it was just sitting there smoking gently, but hadn't tripped.

When I mentioned it to our PAT tester, he commented that it happened quite often with that make, replaced it with a 13A plug and suggested I used it with a separate ELCB adaptor to conform to the H&S rules.

Jeff Dayman23/11/2018 03:14:31
2221 forum posts
47 photos

A bad experience I had with old fluorescent fixtures:

"

4/02/2011 18:06:09
Hi Terry,
 
Not wanting to dwell upon the thread but when you mentioned fluorescent fittings a personal bad experience came to mind.
 
I was in my shop soon after we moved into our current home (13 yr ago) and heard a sputtering noise. I looked where it was coming from and it was a fluorescent light fixture. I walked over, just in time to see a flaming glob of something fall away from the fixture. I shut it off right away and after switching off the circuit breaker I disconnected and examined the fixture. The ballast had some sort of internal fault, got very hot, and the potting material was dripping out on fire. The potting looked bituminous in nature. After a long examination I found some date info on the fixture which indicated it had been made in the late 1950's yet our house was built in 1983. Hmm. Called the former owners and the guy said he had purchased the fixtures used from a recycling store and installed them for extra light in the shop area. I asked him exactly which fixtures these were and immediately replaced them all with new ones and inspected all the other electrical fittings in the house. Found a few iffy items and changed them. Never had a problem since, but every year I remove the fluorescent fixture's lenses and check the temps of all the ballasts in all my fixtures. I replace them every 5 years just to be sure nothing is breaking down over time. This is probably over the top paranoia, but I could have had a similar fire event to yours with the ballast that was dripping fire, and I won't take a chance using old ones again.
 
"

Edited By Jeff Dayman on 23/11/2018 03:17:36

John McNamara23/11/2018 04:48:53
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1336 forum posts
125 photos

A while back a customer installed high wattage quartz spotlights above and inside the shop window, They did not have safety glass covers. One exploded and the shop was burnt to the ground. They had been there for 50 years.

Brian G23/11/2018 07:12:41
835 forum posts
37 photos

I found a fluorescent out in our clubroom the other day. Decided to try changing the starter and found it had been so hot the casing melted (to my surprise the tube lit as soon as the starter was removed - I didn't have a torch so had left the lights on). To be honest, I had thought it a one-off but this thread is worrying.

Brian

Edited By Brian G on 23/11/2018 07:14:13

Robert Atkinson 223/11/2018 07:34:23
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1195 forum posts
20 photos

The T8 LED replacements have raised safety concerns too. See

**LINK**

While I'd not agree with everything in the report **LINK**

Clearly care should be taken. Labels saying "BALLAST REMOVED LED LAMPS ONLY" would be a good start.

Robert.

Ady123/11/2018 09:06:00
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5064 forum posts
734 photos

These new mainboards are very good

You can't even change a lightbulb without tripping them, even if the light circuit is switched off

I haven't got one yet btw, but a damn good investment

Peter Simpson 123/11/2018 09:25:09
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206 forum posts
9 photos

Went back into the workshop this morning there was still an acrid smell. I have ordered 6 new light fitting, so the work on my BR Standard gauge 2 will be on hold for a few days. Better safe than sorry.

Ian S C23/11/2018 10:03:03
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7468 forum posts
230 photos

Somewhere about 2010 one of our members, Terryd lost his workshop through fire, I think the cause was the fluoroscent lighting.

Ian S C

anthony smith 423/11/2018 16:59:10
10 forum posts

HI FEEDING PETER THREE TWIN AND EARTH CABLES RUNNING THROUGH ANY FITTING IS NOT ON

THE BALLAST WILL REQUIRE AIR SPACE AROUND IT AS IT WILL GENERATE 15 TO 20 WATTS OF HEAT

I HAVE SEEN THIS BEFORE WHEN THE CABLES ARE RUN NEXT TO THE BALLAST AND SIDE OF FITTING

Peter Simpson 123/11/2018 18:51:32
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206 forum posts
9 photos

Hi Anthony,

Thanks for the warning. I will redesign the cable routing to remove this hazard.

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