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lightbulbs keep going ridiculously quickly.

(36 Posts)
TinyDiamond Tue 04-Mar-14 16:24:09

Is this an electrical issue that could be fixed or not? Moved into this flat in October (it's rented) and since then I keep having to replace lightbulbs every few weeks. these are not the cheap bulbs but the energy saving ones that cost between £3-7 EACH!

They all say on box they last for years. Do you think this is an issue with the flat?

GrendelsMum Tue 04-Mar-14 17:04:56

Are they halogen ones? Is it near a busy road?

OnePlanOnHouzz Tue 04-Mar-14 17:15:44

Ask to see when the electrics were last safety checked - and if the LL or letting agent can't produce any evidence - insist on an immediate saftey check as this sounds extremely dodgy - and could be damaging your electrical products and be a possible fire hazard too !!

PigletJohn Tue 04-Mar-14 18:09:30

it is very unusual for CFLs to fail quickly. What brand are they?

What shape are they?

FunkyBarnYard Tue 04-Mar-14 18:13:17

I have had two Philips led bulbs go at 6 quid each this week.

30,000 hours life they are supposed to have confused

specialsubject Tue 04-Mar-14 18:23:14

I replaced my first energy saving lightbulb last week - a few years in but certainly not 30,000 hours.

But something is not right with your place. Call the landlord, he doesn't want this to get bigger or an electrical fire any more than you do.

EddieVeddersfoxymop Tue 04-Mar-14 18:25:24

We go through phases of lightbulbs blowing constantly. Even the long life, so many thousand hours, expensive type. I think they lie on the packaging......

FunkyBarnYard Tue 04-Mar-14 18:27:30

I had mine in use for 2-3 months

TinyDiamond Tue 04-Mar-14 18:47:48

Two different shapes sometimes the tampon shaped ones and then smooth (but slightly smaller than the old style ones) normal lightbulb shaped ones.
I have bought from wilko, homebase and supermarkets but none of them have been cheap.

I'm guessing it IS an electrical fault as it happens for more than one room, mainly the living room and the hallway. In both of these places I have lightfittings, is this relevant?

We definitely have no paperwork for an electrics check, only gas. I was under the impression it is not a legal requirement anymore to get electric checks done? I know you don't have to check appliances every year like you used to (or am I mistaken?)

TinyDiamond Tue 04-Mar-14 18:49:03

Sorry not busy road, quiet one. The flat is the ground floor of a victorian conversion. Upstairs currently unoccupied.

PigletJohn Tue 04-Mar-14 19:39:16

I think you mean you have Compact Fluorescent Lamps, they have a white tube about as thick as a pencil that might be in a loop or a spiral, or may be concealed in a frosted glass globe. They are very tolerant of voltage fluctuations.

Assuming you have no dimmer switches, and that they are bayonet fitting, which is usually more reliable than screw-in, there is probably a poor connection somewhere interrupting the current. This often affects some, but not all, rooms. If you can lay your hands on an incandescent (filament) bulb to fit, see if you can detect any flickering or dimming/brightening. It would be relevant to know if it happens on table lamps plugged into sockets, or just on the ceiling lamps. A fault on a socket circuit is more likely to have serious effects.

What do you mean by "lightfittings?"

How old is the building, and what does your consumer unit ("fusebox") look like?

There is no obligation on landlords to have regular electrical checks.

TinyDiamond Tue 04-Mar-14 19:46:04

Thanks piglet john I didn't think they had to do checks.

House is 1910. Fuse box is under stairs and looks pretty old but I am afraid I have no knowledge to say what age.

Lamps plugged into sockets are fine. Yes they are the bulbs I meant, most are bayonet but the one in my hall is screw fit.

By light fittings I mean that instead of the plain ceiling rose dangling with a fitting to put a shade on instead there are large modern fittings one from ikea one from b&q that is like a lightweight chandelier.

TinyDiamond Tue 04-Mar-14 19:46:29

No dimmers at all

lljkk Tue 04-Mar-14 19:52:42

Our CFLs fail, sporadically, some last yrs and others fail within days of opening. NONE last as long (as many thousands of hours) as they are supposed to. I now write the day of installation on them so I can see just how long they've lasted! I am convinced that many are manufactured to a very low standard, so you can easily end up buying loads in a bad batch.

PigletJohn Tue 04-Mar-14 19:53:17

is the consumer unit dark brown plastic, or cream (or wood!!), or grey or black metal? Is there a name on it? Does it have removable fuseholders with coloured dots on them, or circuit-breaker switches?

PigletJohn Tue 04-Mar-14 19:58:41

"Lamps plugged into sockets are fine"

this tells me that there is quite likely a poor connection in a ceiling rose. This will cause all the lamps beyond it (further away from the supply) to have erratic power. My guess is that it is flickering, but not visible to the eye. An incandescent bulb may make it more visible.

If I am right, a competent electrician would trace and tighten or replace the faulty part in less than an hour. It might have happened when the new lamps were fitted, especially if done by an unskilled person. It is of interest because a poor connection can lead to overheating, fishy smells, discolouration and very rarely fires. Sometimes you can even hear a faint fizzing under load.

Of course, I might be quite wrong.

TinyDiamond Tue 04-Mar-14 20:35:27

Pigletjohn - so I must have been getting confused with my old house just checked again and fusebox is much newer than I thought. White plastic, all black flat switches.

Landlady is starting a renovation on the upstairs flat next week. I will certainly tell them but don't think they will be getting an electrician out for that flat though.

No doubt they have all been fitted by an inexperienced person. definitely in fact.

TinyDiamond Tue 04-Mar-14 20:37:03

Thing is with all the bulbs I have used it can't be a bad batch as I've bought them all from different places at different times

specialsubject Tue 04-Mar-14 21:55:49

there was never an annual requirement for checking electrical appliances - PAT test is fairly useless anyway. Gas items need an annual check in a rental.

Let us know what the landlady says. BTW how do you know everything has been fitted by an inexperienced person?

PigletJohn Tue 04-Mar-14 22:37:08

Osram lamps have a good reputation for quality.

I have never had trouble with CFLs except with a brand called Memolux which I once foolishly bought a case of, mistakenly thinking they were made by MEM, which is a top-quality electrical manufacturer. Usually CFLs stand up to abuse better than incandescent lamps, as they are more tolerant of vibration and voltage fluctuations.

TinyDiamond Tue 04-Mar-14 23:05:20

I'll let you know how I get on after I've replaced my bulbs (again).

specialsubject because they are pretty rubbish landlords that's why. Typical cowboys that will not spend 10p on anything at all.

It isn't particularly relevant but I took this property because it was fully managed through an agent and after 10 whole years of dealing with shitty landlords I'd had enough.

48 hours after we moved in they sacked the agent and refused to provide us with their contact details for a further 6 weeks. Nice huh. Now we have their contact details I am still ignored which is why I hold out little hope regarding them caring about these electrics.

PigletJohn Tue 04-Mar-14 23:26:57

you might try sending them a letter saying that there appears to be an electrical fault on the lighting circuit, which you are led to believe is probably due to a bad connection, and you request that they give this professional attention.

Keep a copy on file in case it gets worse and/or more expensive.

lljkk Wed 05-Mar-14 18:58:33

I was reading a letter in IEE mag today about dodgy CFLs, kind of saying what I was above about poor quality ones overheating (especially ceiling ones with fire hoods that don't allow circulation) or can't take fluctuating load after all.

specialsubject Wed 05-Mar-14 19:20:56

oh dear.

you moved in to the flat in October. At least your six months is nearly up!

please don't give money to crap landlords.

TinyDiamond Wed 05-Mar-14 20:57:09

It's a 12 month contract. We won't be moving. It drives me insane when people say don't give money to crap LL. In 10 years I have never had one that cares about anything more than getting paid.
Rents are crazy and only rising. There is a lack of properties where I live and we will need to apply for a school place in Jan.
Suggesting just moving house 6 months after we have just done so is totally unrealistic. It cost us 2k to move less than a mile.

Where do all of these decent landlords hang out anyway? How on earth would you find one? Is there like a secret underworld of people just being nice to each other and fixing problems as soon as they arise?

As I said I took this flat rather than another house as it was managed by an agent (and had good experience with this agent during viewing process etc so was happy). If I had known the owner would sack the agent as soon as we signed I would have run away.

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