Electrical Wiring in the Home/New light burns out instantly



I have a vanity light fixture in the bathroom, which is just a row of four G25 bulbs, and one socket keeps burning the bulbs out. I have tried twice to replace the last bulb on the left, but as soon as the light switch is turned on, it quickly burns out. The other three lights are fine. These are incandescent bulbs, by the way. The LED light I temporarily put in works fine, but I would like to know what is happening with the socket to make it burn out the incandescent bulb like that.


ANSWER: I would think if there was something wrong with the socket it would have killed the LED as well.
I have at times received a whole batch of bad lamps.
Try one of the ones that has been working for a while in the other socket.
After that a loose connection or bad socket could be causing heat buildup

good luck

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


After a new bulb from a different batch burnt out, I planned on checking for loose wires. I turned the light switch off, and used a voltage tester, which immediately went off when I got near the fixture. I thought it was the hot wire setting the tester off, but it turns out it was the fixture itself; neither the hot or neutral were giving off voltage.

I wasn't sure how to test the amount of voltage coming from the fixture, so I took a multimeter and set one probe on the fixture backing, and another on the neutral. BTW, I was using one of those screw in adapters to turn a socket into an outlet in order to probe the neutral. The multimeter was showing between 35-41 volts when I did this. Despite the voltage, I had taken the cover off earlier but didn't get shocked.

Could this be the problem, and what would cause this? If the hot and neutral aren't giving off anything, the only thing left I can think of is the ground.


Digital meters have a habit of showing what is referred to by some as ghost voltage when there is no real power. Did you try to read from the ground to a cold water pipe?

If the lamps burn out in only one socket then it shouldn't have anything to do with the ground.

In forty five years I have never had to walk away and leave something malfunctioning but I don't have any useful ideas based on info. It is always something though. Sounds like gremlins.

Good luck. Let me know what you find
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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