Replacing recessed thermal overload devices

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by jvstevens, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. jvstevens

    jvstevens New Member

    Messages:
    45
    Can the thermal overload device (or whateever its called) in a recessed can light be replaced? My friend has a 4" recessed fixture, that is non-operational. I think its because the hot wire to the socket got pinched to the housing shell, and the resultant high current from the short circuit overheated and possibly burned out the thermal overload device mounted on the outside of the can. At least that's my theory at the moment. I haven't seen any replacement devices in the stores. Or will it be necessary to get a whole new fixture?

    Thanks!
  2. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    You might be able to get the part(s) from the manufacturer of the fixture. You would need to tell them the model number of your fixture and what part you needed.
  3. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    You'll probably have to drill out a rivet.
    Say hi to Ward and June.:p
  4. codeone

    codeone Code Enforcement

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    North Carolina
    With the trouble it takes to find a thermal overload for this type of fixture and no more expensive you might find it easier and just as inexpensive to replace the can depending on the type.

    Some of the cans have just a few screws that drop the center piece out from below. Others are not that simple. also depending on the can you may be able to rob the thermal out of a new can and install it in the old one.:)
  5. jvstevens

    jvstevens New Member

    Messages:
    45
    Well, this afternoon, I did just that (removed the screws and dropped the can down a little, still attached to the armored cable though). I was able to unclip the thermal overload device and examine it, but nothing looked out of the ordinary on it. Also, I was able to peek into the empty space above a little and see the romex cabling, but saw nothing out of the ordinary, and there wasn't really enough room to do anything, even if I did see something. Discouraged that I hadn't found a "gotcha" problem, I put it all back together. Just for the heck of it, I put the bulb back in and flipped the switch, and low and behold the light came on! Very strange...I didn't make any connection changes, just wiggled some wires here and there. Guess that makes me the accidental genius.
  6. codeone

    codeone Code Enforcement

    Messages:
    160
    Location:
    North Carolina
    You should have a jbox on the side of the fixture you can take the cover off of when you drop the fixture down . Take it back out and open up the j-box and check the joints. If they are push in terminals I recommend removing them and making you a good mechanical joint with a wirenut cap.
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