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Todays Puzzler.The mystery of electricity

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Posted by j on May 31, 2012, 8:06 pm
The spare bath in my house was added in the '60s. There is a fixture
over the sink with a double light socket, one faces left and one faces
right,it's one piece. Common at one time.

So today I wanted to put a fan in this otherwise unused bathroom. I got
an edison base adapter and screwed it in one of the sockets. Plugged in
the fan and nothing. Didn't matter how it was switched. So I went off to
get a bulb to test the other socket. When I screw in the bulb, it does
not light but the fan goes on. The fan seems to be fine and the bulb is
completely dark. Unscrew the bulb and the fan turns off.


Who cares to gamble a wild ass guess?

Obviously the fixture has to go! But very strange.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on May 31, 2012, 8:40 pm

Maybe the torque on the bulb wiggles a poor connection.


Posted by amdx on May 31, 2012, 11:56 pm
 On 5/31/2012 3:40 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:

   That's also my guess, when the bulb is screwed in it compresses
a connection in the socket.

Posted by Gary Heston on June 1, 2012, 12:35 am
Sounds like the sockets are in series, but hooked to a 120V circuit--if
it was a 220V/240V circuit, it'd probably smoke the fan.

The fixture is probably ok, just miswired. I gather you haven't been
using it, since you had to fetch a bulb for testing.

I suppose it may have been miswired on purpose--to provide softer light,
particularly for late night visits.


Gary Heston  gheston@hiwaay.net   http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere,
diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."   Groucho Marx

Posted by Vaughn on June 1, 2012, 1:33 am
 On 5/31/2012 8:35 PM, Gary Heston wrote:

The above explanation sounds more likely than the 240-volt guess.

I also like soft light in a bathroom.  I choose slow-starting CFLs these
days.  Guys shouldn't try to pee in the dark, but full-bright light is
piercing when you get up in the middle of the night.


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