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Topic Title: Exploding halogen
Topic Summary: Any similar experiences?
Created On: 29 October 2007 06:39 PM
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 29 October 2007 06:39 PM
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pjcomp

Posts: 391
Joined: 28 June 2004

Had a call today to a hosue where a GU10 halogen lamp had exploded, showering the householder's young son with hot shards of glass. The bits of lamp had been hot enough to scorch the carpet.

It happened in a four-lamp ceiling fitting which I've seen sold in B&Q and comes with unbranded, unmarked 50W lamps as standard. The lamp body was intact - the inner capsule holding the filament had exploded, firing the covering lens into the room followed by the bits of glass; the lens was intact.

First time I've come across an exploding GU10 - is it a common event or is this a one-off?

PJ
 29 October 2007 06:44 PM
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stateit

Posts: 2660
Joined: 15 April 2005

Happens every now and then.

Very scary. I've witnessed this twice.

It's a reason I don't like them in bathrooms.

-------------------------
S George
http://www.sg-electrical.com
 30 October 2007 07:58 AM
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UncleFester

Posts: 69
Joined: 04 April 2006

I had the same experience in the kitchen of my previous house.

Relatively new light fitting, bulb exploded showering glass onto the cushion-flooring and scorching it, leaving lamp just as described by PJ.

New blub - cheap.
New flooring - not so cheap.

Be interesting to learn of other experiences here.
 30 October 2007 10:58 AM
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davezawadi

Posts: 3601
Joined: 26 June 2002

Halogen lamps quite often fail in this way if the fault energy is high enough. The fitting / cover glass SHOULD be designed to contain the debris, these are probably just poor quality lamps. Probably not th BS!

Regards
David

-------------------------
David
BSc CEng MIET
david@ZawadiSoundAndLighting.co.uk
 30 October 2007 12:36 PM
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PhaseAngle

Posts: 53
Joined: 27 September 2006

Not seen one explode, yet. Though I have recently fitted 2 x four-lamp fittings for a customer and each lamp went within the first 5 days of the fitting going up. The fittings were a nightmare to put up and the lamps were cheap and nasty. Maybe I should be prepared for these cheap lamps to do worse than just fail after a few days!?!
 30 October 2007 06:24 PM
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NovusSparkus

Posts: 20
Joined: 02 August 2007

I experienced an exploding lamp once; it was a standard incandescent GLS lamp and I was only 7 years old at the time so it shook me up a bit when it happened.... Possibly because I was flicking water on it to hear it sizzle.

I learned my lesson.
 30 October 2007 07:58 PM
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pjcomp

Posts: 391
Joined: 28 June 2004

Thanks for the responses.

Dave's point about the fitting containing any explosion is a good one - I must confess when one of these lmps goes I don't usually look to see whether it's just died or whether there's been an internal explosion. I'll look more carefully in future - as you say it migh be a lot more common than I thought, just better contained.

Know what you mean about the cheap fittings, PhaseAngle. I just wish the people who design some of these lights would try putting them up before inflicting them on the rest of us ...

PJ
 31 October 2007 12:40 AM
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DOUGIE1000

Posts: 4243
Joined: 13 August 2005

GU10 lamps, i had one recently that exploded and the round cover glass rolled round the kitchen and when stopped burned a hole in the vinal floor.

Not the first time these GU10s have given me a fault p-n in the wiring untill lamp removed.

Asi understand it from a rep, the cheep gu10s have no means of overload protection relying on the circut cpd. However more expensive makes have a internal cut-out or fuse in the ceramic base meaning when a gu10 lamp goes it will only take out that particular one and not the cpd or cearate a fault into the wiring like thes cheep nastly gu10's do.

Could be rep talk but i rely on good lamps every time with no real problems

-------------------------
Dougie
Power Plus Electrical.co.uk

My mission is to live as long as possible......so far so good!
 31 October 2007 01:46 PM
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mapj1

Posts: 8284
Joined: 22 July 2004

Mains voltage CE marked lamps, halogen or conventional, should all have a built in fuselink. It may not discriminate against a frisky B6 breaker, but it should be there to catch a short circuit. The sale of non CE marked lamps within the EU is a trading standards issue - if there is a known brand or supplier that is commonly doing this, they really should be told.
I suspect the DIY sheds simply buy in from whoever gives them 'best price' and aren't too keen to audit the paper trail. However they should have a legal department that sits up and notices if they think they may be liable. (hence those notices you see recalling some gadget or other made by the Southern China Dangerous Toy and Lawn-mower company from time to time.) I rememer a few years ago the urgent recall of a batch of lamps where the bayonet metalwork was internally connected to one of the two base pins, making metal lampholders live if you put the bulb in one way. They were taken back smartish.

regards Mike.

-------------------------
regards Mike
 01 November 2007 12:23 AM
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DOUGIE1000

Posts: 4243
Joined: 13 August 2005

Anyone clarify if cheep lamps dont have a fuse/overload protection in the even of a lamp failure between these cheep and expensive gu10's.

Maybe just all rep's talk.

-------------------------
Dougie
Power Plus Electrical.co.uk

My mission is to live as long as possible......so far so good!
 01 November 2007 11:18 AM
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normcall

Posts: 8491
Joined: 15 January 2005

I may be wrong, but the only lamps I know with Bellini (spell?) fuses built in are Osram. Never seen any others with fuses of any description built in.
I've had a couple of GU10 'explode' with the ceramic appearing to short in the lampholder.

-------------------------
Norman
 01 November 2007 01:47 PM
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mapj1

Posts: 8284
Joined: 22 July 2004

The fuse is allowed to be in the form a deliberate weak link in the wiring - in big lamps its a thin section in the stalk where the wires come from the base, upto the filament supports. It deosnt have to be a separate cartridge,though in some lamps it is. Note sure where the halogens would have it if not in the ceramic, but if it can fail and leave a short on the wrong side of it, its not really compliant.
The standard requires it to fail to a safe off condition in the event of the filament becoming short circuit. I don't think exploding counts as safe, even with the most elastic interpretation! (though the glass can crack -on big gas filled tubes, this is allowed, so long as the bits are contained by a sleeve)
regards
Mike

PS note that anyone can print CE on their box of tricks, and it doesn't guarantee much, if it's made many miles away, and imported by some back yard importer.
If trading standards do check, its the importer that gets it, not the maker outside the EU, and the importer only has to show that he stopped importing as soon as he was made aware of a problem, to have applied due diligence.

-------------------------
regards Mike
 16 January 2017 12:40 PM
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SKElectrical

Posts: 1072
Joined: 01 February 2009

So thought I'd add to this page after this morning.
GU 10 lamp failed and exploded in exactly the same way as described in OP. It happened in my baby girl's bedroom. The light had been switched on for 10 minutes. The carpet and toys are badly burned but I really don't care - she had crawled out minutes earlier so no injuries thank god, they would have been very bad.

Lamp GU10 50W Tesco branded.

According to my wife the adjacent lamp blew last night leaving this as the sole one working - I can't see a link though.?
 16 January 2017 01:21 PM
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KFH

Posts: 438
Joined: 06 November 2010

I have not had a GU10 explode but have been called to an elderly customer where a standard GLS halogen exploded showering glass fragments over the landing, stairs and hall. The outer envelope provided lots of glass for her to clear up. She was understandably quite shaken by it.
 16 January 2017 03:34 PM
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alancapon

Posts: 6679
Joined: 27 December 2005

If the lamp fails when lit, rather than switch on, it is possible for an arc to form across the gap in the filament, lengthening as the filament burns away. This can over-pressurise the glass capsule, causing it to fail. In theory the fuse built in to the capsule should operate before the glass capsule fails, but it is not always the case.

Regards,

Alan.
 16 January 2017 03:56 PM
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Pacific

Posts: 717
Joined: 29 January 2005

I had one last year, altered some switching on a lighting/fan circuit, powered up and switched the light on, a halogen exploded, glass everywhere took ages to clean up, had to leave a note for customer

A few years ago at a family get together I was asked to open a bottle of Prosecco, the cork made a moderate pop as it came out, at the same time the glass bulb from a standard tungsten lamp dropped out of the pendant and smashed on the floor, leaving the bayonet cap in the lamp holder
 16 January 2017 04:51 PM
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ebee

Posts: 6210
Joined: 02 December 2004

"Southern China Dangerous Toy and Lawn-mower company"
Are they related to the company that made those cheap Spanish Donkeys some years back?

-------------------------
Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 16 January 2017 05:00 PM
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dustydazzler

Posts: 773
Joined: 19 January 2016

Physically exploding - twice , showering glass onto the floor
Glass lamp popping off its ceramic base - once , dropping the glass front onto the floor
Both times were cheap non brand lamps imported lamps in one huge batch at 10 pence per lamp , whole batch sent back
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