Blowing Bulbs, Consumer Units & Energy Efficient Bulbs

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
I have a problem tied around all of the above.

Whenever a normal incandescent bulb blows, it trips the lighting circuit on the consumer unit. This plunges the whole house into darkness. The real pain is that the CU is located in the garage, above the level of the up & over door. So i have to get into the garage & close the door behind me to access it. Proper industrial sized PITA!

I've replaced most of the bulbs in the house with energy efficient ones to overcome this but one fitting uses three golfball sized bulbs. I bought some "decorative" type GE bulbs but as well as the slow start up, they glow pink until warmed up! I took them back & changed them but the replacements are the same. So, a couple of questions:

Do all of the decorative energy efficient bulbs suffer from this slow start-up & pink colour? If not, can someone recommend some please?

Are there any other types of bulb that can be installed that won't trip the CU?

How much should I expect to pay to have the CU moved? It would only be a case of drilling through the wall where it currently sits & fitting it on the other side (in the kitchen). Is this a job for an electrician or would it have to be done by the supplier? I haven't had any response from either. :(
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I think there is a risk that most CFLs are slow to start and then take a while for the colour and brightness to build up.

I have recently bought ones advertised as Fast Start and these are very good.

But I have a problem with most of my light fittings because they are multi-bulb units with miniture screw or bayonet connectors. The range of choice is very limited for these connectors and all the ones I have bought have been slow dull affairs (at least for the first 5 or 10 minutes or so).

Cheers,

Nigel
 
The phillips Tornado range start up pretty quickly and you can get them in SES (small screw) sizes (not sure about small bayonet thought..do they exists)? they aren't decorative, but they aren't hideous either.

Sometimes cheap in a famous DIY store that isn't B&Q ;)
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
small bayonet thought..do they exists
Barely - absolute nightmare to find or are very expensive.

Trouble is I have quite a few light fittings that use them. So much for being green if I need to replace the light fitting and through the old ones on the tip - sounds like an increase in carbon footprint to me.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

sparkie1984

Distinguished Member
the cu would need the circuits extending if their not long enough to reach as well, and then testing out. it would be an electrician not the supply company.

most seem to start a pinky colour then warm up, have you given them much chance to warm up?

im guessing you have a consumer unit with an rcd main switch? unsure on your configuration but there are ways of having each circuit individually protected by rcd (rcbo) but these can be expensive. that would make only the affected circuit trip leaving the rest of the house on.

most new boards are split load rcd, so you would not mix and match the same floor sockets/lights on one switch so if one trips, you dont get left in darkness. how old is your fuse board?
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
The bulbs do go the right colour after a few minutes but they are very pink initially. I could live with that if it wasn't for the slow start-up time. It's a bit like keeping flat batteries in your torch - at the precise moment you need light you can't have it!

I believe the CU was installed just before we bought in 2003 but will see if I can get a make/model off it. Your right that the circuits would need to be extended but I've got plenty of choc block somewhere... :D
 

sparkie1984

Distinguished Member
as said most start up times are pretty quick now..... you could always change the light? (if you dont like it :p )

as for choc blocks :suicide: :D

if you was to get the board moved, it could be upgraded to a 17th edition standard. which should stop the problem your getting, or at least minimise the aggro of it. but of course it all costs ££££

or you could just buy a torch and keep it in your pocket :)
 

DPinBucks

Distinguished Member
Have a look at these:

BELL G9 Adaptors

Not especially low energy nor all that cheap, but they do do an SBC version.

=== EDIT ===
Actually, they seem to have come down in price a lot. They were nearer £10 per complete unit last time I looked.
 
Last edited:
But an RCD shouldn't trip...there's no earth leakage, as the buld isn't even connected to eath, the MCB protecting the circuit should pop when the filament breaks as the the resistance approaches zero before breaking fully (i=v/r and all that)

the cu would need the circuits extending if their not long enough to reach as well, and then testing out. it would be an electrician not the supply company.

most seem to start a pinky colour then warm up, have you given them much chance to warm up?

im guessing you have a consumer unit with an rcd main switch? unsure on your configuration but there are ways of having each circuit individually protected by rcd (rcbo) but these can be expensive. that would make only the affected circuit trip leaving the rest of the house on.

most new boards are split load rcd, so you would not mix and match the same floor sockets/lights on one switch so if one trips, you dont get left in darkness. how old is your fuse board?
 

Sonic67

Banned
I've known some boards trip possibly down to the arcing happening as the filament separates.
 

sparkie1984

Distinguished Member
ive seen it done mate. infact happened a lot in my mums house until i replaced her board for a split load.

also had rcd's trip when an oven hob is switched off. worked fine the whole time the hob was on, only when it was switched off was the rcd tripping.

i wasnt saying defo the problem merely offering some experience on the issue.

of course the OP could be talking about the circuit mcb in which case your quite right. thing is why is the whole house tripping? or does the power stay on? maybe the whole house is on one lighting circuit? hence being in darkness .....
 

MrSossidge

Distinguished Member
To avoid the problem of the pinkness and dullness of the energy saving bulbs, just leave them switched on 24hours a day.


(stolen from @VizTopTips)
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
of course the OP could be talking about the circuit mcb in which case your quite right. thing is why is the whole house tripping? or does the power stay on? maybe the whole house is on one lighting circuit? hence being in darkness .....
Yep, it's the MCB that's tripping & all of the lighting is on the one circuit. It's not so much the tripping that's the problem as it's only when a bulb blows. It's finding the torch, traipsing outside in the cold (& invariably - rain), opening the garage door, etc., etc.
 

sparkie1984

Distinguished Member
have you tried a decent brand lamp? or are you putting in cheapo tesco value lamps?

may have a poor connection at the light fitting?
 
A famous DIY store that isn't B&Q do three LED torches for a fiver :smashin:

Yep, it's the MCB that's tripping & all of the lighting is on the one circuit. It's not so much the tripping that's the problem as it's only when a bulb blows. It's finding the torch, traipsing outside in the cold (& invariably - rain), opening the garage door, etc., etc.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
have you tried a decent brand lamp? or are you putting in cheapo tesco value lamps?

may have a poor connection at the light fitting?
The bulbs are GE branded. No idea where they sit in the food chain but they weren't exactly throwaways at a fiver a pop.
 

Hopalong

Novice Member
This is the I won't say consumer unit I'll call it wooden box with wires in it that my farther in law had. He asked me to take a look at the fuse board for him as he said that when the kettle was on it sometimes blew a fuse.


After a few swear words and the fear dissipated I told him that I was ripping it out. That fed a 4 bed house with a living room and a dining room and kitchen :suicide:
I actually lived there for six months ok I never went in the cellar but if I had know I wouldn't stepped through the door. The damn thing practically fell to pieces when I got near it and that's how I found it there was no cover. Ended up spending nearly a week doing a complete rewire as it was junction box madness he even had used some cable off a lawnmower connected into a junction box to give him a extra socket in the cellar how it never caught fire still amazes me to this day.
 

Hopalong

Novice Member
Nowt wrong with that mr hopalong :suicide: :D
Blind man on a dark night with a deaf dog couldn't find owt wrong either :D

Lucky sod got it done for free well apart from parts I did scare the he'll out of him though when I sent him a invoice when I got back home (they live in Sheffield)
When he was brave enough to call me which took a few days I told him I was winding him up he told told me he nearly crapped himself when he opened it..lol told him he was lucky to have a sparky in the family.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Marantz SR7015 & NAD T 778 AVR + Mission LX2 MKII Speaker Reviews, AV & Film News and More

Latest News

LG SIGNATURE OLED R TV now available in South Korea
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
LG Display teams with Disney for OLED Projects
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Campfire Audio updates Vega and Dorado earphones
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Oppo launches S1 and R1 4K smart TVs
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Lithe Audio AirPlay 2 ceiling speakers world's first
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom