Overhead light keeps turning off

gale1965February 5, 2014

I have an overhead light with a fan. The light and fan are wired separately and the light is on a 3 way switch. We've had no problem for months (this is a new house) and today, all of a sudden, the light just shuts off. I flip the switch twice and it comes back on, only to shut off again after a few minutes. This is not happening with the fan or anything plugged into the outlets in the room. We checked the connections to the switches and they seem fine. I don't have any 3 way switches on hand to swap them out but could it be a bad switch? I'm hoping it's not in the wiring itself.
Gale

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btharmy

Have you changed the lamp (light bulb)?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 8:49PM
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jreagan_gw

There might be a thermal cutoff in the fixture. Do you have an over-wattage bulb or insulation too close to the fixture in the attic/ceiling?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:07PM
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gale1965

"Have you changed the lamp (light bulb)?"
no. I didn't figure it was the light bulbs (there are three) since it comes back on when I flip the switch off and then back on.

"There might be a thermal cutoff in the fixture. Do you have an over-wattage bulb or insulation too close to the fixture in the attic/ceiling?"
The bulbs in it are the ones that came with the fixture and are the right wattage for it. I don't think the attic insulation is too close but that's something the builders can check. We've been in the house since the beginning of October and I've had the light on for long periods of time before this without this happening. It does not come back on after a while unless I flip the switch off and then back on so if it's a thermal cutoff, it isn't coming back on after it cools. How would I find out if this light has this feature? It isn't mentioned in the owner's manual. It's a Monte Carlo brand and the model is called Homeowner's Deluxe.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:26PM
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gale1965

Also, it is a ceiling fan and light so the bulbs are well below ceiling level. Could it still be a heat issue? I didn't have the fan running at the time.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:29PM
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arkansas_girl

Not sure exactly what you mean by a three way switch, you mean it dims it? Is it a dim-able bulb? The new bulbs are having trouble dimming. Try a regular incandescent bulb and see if that helps.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:35PM
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gale1965

It has two different wall switches that power the light. That's what I meant by a 3 way switch. We checked both switches. The light holds 3 incandescent candelabra based 60 watt bulbs.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:38PM
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Ron Natalie

Does this fan have some sort of logic that allows you to do clever things to switch the fan/light separately even with a single switch? That may be failing...

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 8:31AM
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gale1965

No, the fan is on its own separate wall switch. The light has two switches (3 way switch). The fan seems to be working fine (I don't use it much this time of year so I just tried it out for a little while yesterday and it stayed on).

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 11:51AM
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jreagan_gw

Oh, when you said "overlight with a fan" in your original post, I was thinking "bathroom light/fan in a damp environment".

Reading the instructions from your fan, under the "lights do not work" section, I found:

WARNING: Over lamping the fan will result in the fan lights shutting down until the proper wattage of bulbs are installed.
Reset the lights by turning off the wall switch, breaker,or by remote. Replace bulbs with the correct wattage bulbs, turn the power on.

So there is some sort of overwattage sensor. It is malfunctioned? Try removing ONE of the bulbs to reduce the wattage and see if they stay lit. If so, then you have the answer.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:23AM
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gale1965

I swear I read that whole book when we installed them and don't remember that. I'll try that today sometime. I'm very paranoid about using the switch too much. I don't know much about electricity and don't know what is or is not going to create a risky situation.

thank you. :)
Gale

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 12:55PM
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jreagan_gw

I found it twice in the installation instructions. In the troubleshooting section and on the "step" where it said to install the bulbs.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 3:07PM
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gale1965

We took out one bulb and it still shuts off. So we took out another bulb, leaving only one. Still shut off. Took of the globe (which is open on top) and it shut off. Replaced the last 60 watt bulb with a 25 watt and it shut off. We left the switch on to see if it would come back on (after a cool-off period) and so far, about 40 min later, it has not come back on. I don't think it's the thermal sensor. I guess the next step is to replace the 3 way switches and see if that helps. If not, it's time to call an electrician. Thanks for all the help.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 4:38PM
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joefixit2

Cal Monte Carlo customer service and have them send a new light kit. We had this same thing happen on a customer's fan/light and we got a new light kit, problem solved

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 6:36PM
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gale1965

Thanks. I will give them a call on Monday. :)

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 8:27PM
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