Friday, March 8, 2013

How to Repair Lighted Address Numbers Lamp

Fig.1 Street lamp bulbs
By Gary Boutin

Supplies and Tools:
Electrical tape
Electrical lineman pliers
Electrical screwdriver flat edge 
Electrical voltmeter (test power)
Lamp bulbs
Ladder 6-ft
Nitrile or surgical gloves
Wire nuts (2)

Mrs. Toledo lives in San Bernardino, California. She called because she had received a ticket from her home owners association that her address number light lamp near the garage was burned out. She needed an immediate repair. This post shows how to replace and test bulbs with the power on. If you do not feel comfortable with this job, please hire an electrician or a handyman that is confident with electrical power.

This post shows the fourteen steps to repair lighted number lamp.

Step 1. The owner stated that the lamp had power 24-hours per day. Fig.1 shows on the left side a brass nut. That's the nut that needs to be unscrewed to remove the lamp fixture. 
Step 2. Fig.2 shows the the lamp cover thumb screws on both sides of the lamp.
Fig.2 Brass nuts
Step 3: Fig.3 shows the lamp bulbs are not on. That each lamp bulb, remove by pulling out, do not twist, then check each of the bulb filament to see if they are separated. Some were and some had a dark edge also indicating that the bulb is burnt out.
Fig.3 New lamps
Step 4: The lamp bulbs were purchase from 1000 lamps for two-fifty each. Click on the the name for more information. Nitrile glove or surgical gloves need to be worn before the bulb is touched, our hands have oils that will drastically limit the bulb length (the time the bulb is working), wearing the gloves will prevent the loss time and keep the job safe.
Step 5: Four bulbs were replaced, 2 on each side but unfortunately the bulbs did not turn on. That means the power was the problem. 
Step 6: Unscrew the thumb nut in the middle of the lamp and remove the lamp from the wall. 
Step 7: Fig.4 shows that the electrical wires are out of the metal box but the wire nuts are inside the metal box.
Fig.4 Lamp wiring
Step 8: When you pull the wires, pull them gently, if the wire nut falls off the wires, try not to not touch the metal box buried inside the wall because this could cause a electrical short. Once the wires are out of the box separate the black from the white wires so you can work on both of them without touching. 
Step 9: Now check the hot (black) wires first, this electrical wire is providing power to the lamp. Leave the cap off. Fig.5 shows there are black wires inside a wire nut, and the same for the common (white) wires.
Fig.5 Electrical wire nuts
Step 10: Remove the wire nut (white) and check the wires inside the wire nut, make sure they are twisted together. Use a Electrician lineman pliers to do the job. Leave the cap off again.
Step 11: Place electrical tape on the light sensor, otherwise the lamp will not turn on. Do not use your finger, light can penetrate flesh and bone. Electrical tape is dense and light can not pass through it, that why the lamp will turn on. The light sensor is fooled into thinking it's night time. 
Step 12: Next, check to see if there is power. Use the multi meter and put one lead one the hot end and one lead on the white end and see what the current measures at, for example is it 115 volts or 120 volts or something in between. Some multi meter only have a bulb to show that the power is on and that fine too. This is just a test to see that the electrical power is on like the client stated.  Step 13:  Now put on the hot (black) and the common (white) wire nuts back on. Before the lamp was placed the new bulbs were placed in their conductors. The lamp turned on, part of the problem was the lamp and the power. One of the wire nuts or wires were not touching and there was no power. 
Step 14: Now re-assemble the lamp and replace the brass nut in the middle. Next re-attach the numbers plate and re-screw the two thumb nuts. It's day time so the lamp will not turn on. Fig.6 and Fig.7 shows the complete numbers lamp. Do remove the electrical tape of the light sensor. 
Fig.6 New lamp replaced
Fig.7 Numbers lamp
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Note: The DIY Advisor assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any jobs. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed contractor if in doubt about any steps on these posts. All names were changed to protect client's privacy. DIY Advisor. Reproduction of site content including photos without permission prohibited. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011-

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