Burning Down the House

Just kidding.  Kinda…

I was taking a shower the other night when I noticed a weird smell (it wasn’t me!  honest!).  It was warm, sharp kind of smell- the kind that you get from hot wires/electrics.  I didn’t smell it when I left the bathroom so I determined it had to be coming from there.  None of the outlets/switches felt warm, so I hopped up on the counter and sniffed the light fixture.   It smelled really bad so I made my husband hop up on the counter and smell it too!  I’m really glad we don’t have a window in our bathroom or the neighbors might start wondering about us…

Anyway, I freaked out and turned off the light and declared it off limits until we could figured out what was going on.  This bathroom is attached to our bedroom so we can just use that light most of the time and it works out just fine, but I did put a lamp in there for when we shower:

IMG_8633 (Small)

It’s actually kinda fun- like mood lighting!  …for your bathroom… ok, maybe that’s a bit weird, but then again so am I :)

Anyway, back to the light.  A few months ago, one of the bulbs went out, but since they use those special skinny bulbs (and we didn’t have any in the house) and since the other 3 still gave off plenty of light, we just left it.  But then a few days ago a second bulb when out and things got noticeably darker and we couldn’t put off buying bulbs any longer.  Except that we forgot to look at the wattage of the old bulbs before going to the store so we guessed and got 60W.  We checked the old bulbs when we got home and found they were only 40s, but the fixture said it could take up to 1ooW, so we figured it was ok.

We were wrong.  And since we broke half the remaining original bulbs, we couldn’t just swap out the new bulbs for some lower wattage ones to see if that made a difference.  So we decided to not use that light until we knew if it was just the higher wattage bulbs or if we really did have an electrical problem.  I did pop the fixture off the wall to look at the wiring and there was nothing obviously wrong with it- no cracked insulation, no scorch marks, nothing melted, and all the wires were secured in their greenies with electrical tape.

But I worried all that night about our house burning down.  I wish light fixtures (and other electrics) could just pop up a green light or a sign that says ‘it’s ok, my lights are just warm.  I won’t burn down your house’, or flash angry red lights and laugh maniacally while telling you that they intend to burn your house down while you sleep.  It would make my life so much easier.

And then I woke up to this note:

SAM_1567 (Small)

(I took the fixture’s shades off to wash them just in case it was built-up dust getting too hot, which it look worse than usual, but even fully assembled it needs some TLC, or at least some ORB!)

In case you can’t read it, it says: It’s okay.  I won’t burn down the house. -The Light Fixture

And it made me smile :) but I didn’t use that light until the bulbs had been replaced.  There’s still a faint hint of that acrid electrical smell, but it’s nothing near as bad as the high wattage bulbs, and you have to be standing on the counter to catch a whiff.

So what do you think?  Can we chalk it up to the higher wattage bulbs?  or do you think something more sinister is going on?  Personally, I plan on leaving the lamp in the bathroom and using that for the foreseeable future until I know for certain that fixture won’t burn down our house!

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3 Responses to Burning Down the House

  1. Alvin says:

    From Dad, Go to your ACE HARDWARE and get LOW ENERGY BULBS. they don’t get very warm, they use less electricity, last 3 times longer and give good light. We have almost all our lights converted and it appears there is a difference on the bill. Take Care. Our ACE had them on sale for 99 cents awhile back.

  2. Pingback: A Series of Fortunate Events | Life Through the Lens

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