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dumb housewife needs to know....

Jody Kay

Mar 12, 2017
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Where can I get a graphic of how the inside of a halogen pin socket works? I have a pair of expensive ceiling fixtures, each one has 3 hanging lights. A bulb burned out, I showed it to 2 different light stores and they each gave me the replacement bulb (A Feit and a Satco) but the replacements won't push into the socket. One of the pins actually broke off. The stores say the socket must be bad and needs to be replaced -- that's a big, difficult takedown problem. How can the socket be bad if the old dead bulb slides in an out easily? The spent bulb has no markings on it, but the Satco replacement is a 35W 12v S1910. Thank you.
 

Harald Kapp

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Nov 17, 2011
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Can you upload a photo of the old and new bulb where we can see the sockets?
 

tedstruk

Jan 7, 2012
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There are alot of halogen bulb sockets out there...In the 80s there were alot of counterfeiters; they have destroyed all but the most inept of hackers out here....
in any case, if the bulb you took out has 2 pins and the one you are trying to put in has 3, you are trying to install the wrong bulb. but if you one of your bulbs has a pin wiith a slot on it, and your replacement only has straight pins, you are trying to install the wrong bulb.... And halogen bulbs are notorious having a lineup pin, or extrusion on the base of the bulb that must be perfectly lined up, for t to go in the socket...

hence, standing on one leg, on a ladder 10 feet from the ground while balancing precariously, with one arm outstretched, and reaching outside your center of gravity and attempting to push a small bulb into a swinging fixture without having a good view of the line up pins location is OUT.

I replaced a halogen once. I had to take the lamp into a well lit area, position the socket so the bulb would slide into the socket at a right angle.... then with very little pressure at all, simply pushed the bulb in.
It took two days, 3 attempts and a trip to the store to find out if it was a counterfeit bulb.... The clerk said yes... its probably a counterfeit bulb.
 

Jody Kay

Mar 12, 2017
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Mar 12, 2017
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Can you upload a photo of the old and new bulb where we can see the sockets?

I really appreciate your help. A friend will show me later today how to get the photos off my phone and onto this site. Until then... The new bulb and the spent bulb look alike, 2 straight pins (not loop pins) but the glass/plastic globe part of the new bulb is slightly shorter than the spent bulb and the flattened part of the globe (the part that secures the pins) is a bit longer. That shouldn't matter because the pins get blocked before the glass gets to the socket holes. I need to know what is blocking the pins from entering. I am wondering if there is a microscopic difference in the thickness of the pins, or a polarity (?) like the wall sockets for my small appliances. I can't figure out why the old pins slide in and the new ones won't. Wait for the pics. Thanks again.
 

Jody Kay

Mar 12, 2017
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Mar 12, 2017
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OK, got some pics and a better sense of what is going on. My friend brought calipers and they were the key to finding the problem. The two pins on the original bulb are spaced just slightly farther apart than the pins on the two brands of new bulbs. Also, the new bulbs have pins that are about 20% thicker than the original bulbs. This means that the gap between the pins is even smaller on the new bulbs. The socket has two holes that are spaced just barely close enough for the old pins to fit into. With the new bulbs I have to spread the pins a little to get them started but when I push them in, the pins continue to get forced apart until they break off. I need bulbs that have a minimum distance between the pins as large as the original bulb's pins. If I can't find bulbs to match the originals, I'm going to have to scrap the whole fixture. Bloody mess. Also, the socket is not readily removable from the wires which are encased in the long tube (see pic).
 

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Bluejets

Oct 5, 2014
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Electricians are good at this type of thing.
I would say ( as an electrician) if you get one in and he replaces the sockets (MR16) my guess would be that all will be well again.
And before anyone says anything, yes, it is a low voltage socket and wiring BUT they enter areas of mains supply and must be installed accordingly.
 
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