photocell light

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by hidden 1, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. hidden 1

    hidden 1 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    TN
    i have a outside light that uses a large sodium bulb with a photocell.comes on at dark off at dusk.i changed the photocell a year ago w no problems ,but lately it has been off and breaker tripped as i come home .reset it then 2 days later breaker tripped- back on all night after reset.-is this a sign the photocell is going out?in the last 5 years i have never had a problem ,always working.
    any suggestions?
  2. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I have the same light, and its photocell is simply a switch in the circuit of the fixture tripping your breaker. I would suspect your breaker is weak and no longer able to supply the light.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    HPS bulbs have a feature called end-of-life cycling. They will be on for a while, go off for a while, back on , etc. This should not trip a breaker. I would just take out the photocell to rule that out, and if the problem persists, replace the bulb, and finally the ballast.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,837
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Usually parts for a light such as this cost more than a completely new fixture. There are several things which could cause the breaker to trip. A loose connection at the breaker, a bad ballast, etc., but the photo cell should NOT be able to trip it, unless its circuitry is shorting out periodically.
  5. hidden 1

    hidden 1 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    TN
    I had a feeling it could be ballast since its got a louder of a buzz after the reset of fuse .
    I may just replace light .I dont think the sodium bulb can factor in on the louder buzzing than usual.
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