Author Topic: My room is currently full of Smoke !  (Read 788 times)
wide-lite 1000
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My room is currently full of Smoke ! « on: November 18, 2019, 07:17:19 PM » Author: wide-lite 1000
Today I decided to fire up my Norelco SOX streetlight and let it run for a bit (FIRE being the key word here !).  Well, it ran for roughly 2 hours and suddenly went out. I no sooner started to open the ballast compartment (light still plugged in !) and heard a sizzling noise followed by a VERY LARGE CLOUD OF SMOKE !!! Shocked Shocked Shocked ! I quickly unplugged it, opened the windows and examined the light , FOUND IT ! , the capacitor is all puffed up and currently 8 zillion degrees ! I don't get it, I DID test the cap when I changed the ballast and it tested fine at the time. Can capacitors suddenly fail like this ? Once it cools to a semi normal temp I'll pull it and get some photos .  

 All this happened less than 10 minutes ago !  Roll Eyes  Now I see why this light was only $10 !  

 To date : new lamp , new ballast , now need a new capacitor . WHAT NEXT !!!!! REALLY ?

PHEW ! THAT STINKS !
« Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 07:34:03 PM by wide-lite 1000 » Logged

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wide-lite 1000
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Re: My room is currently full of Smoke ! « Reply #1 on: November 18, 2019, 07:35:16 PM » Author: wide-lite 1000
The smoke has cleared but the capacitor is still over 120 degrees !
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Bottled lightning
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Re: My room is currently full of Smoke ! « Reply #2 on: November 18, 2019, 07:59:13 PM » Author: Bottled lightning
Iíve heard of that happening, be careful as it might have pcbs.
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wide-lite 1000
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Re: My room is currently full of Smoke ! « Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 08:18:12 PM » Author: wide-lite 1000
the capacitor was the original (date 40th week of 1974) but it tested good when I installed the new ballast.

PCB's or not , I have asthma so I don't need to be breathing smoke anyway so I opened the windows, turned on the fan and "got out of dodge" till the cloud cleared !
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HPSM250R2
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Re: My room is currently full of Smoke ! « Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 08:30:52 PM » Author: HPSM250R2
Sorry, but PCB's won't bite. It takes exposure over a period of time to affect someone if it ever does. In my opinion since I worked on equipment that contained them for over 10 years.

I wish I knew this a long time ago. A few years ago I purchased a used Westinghouse OV-25 on eBay. When I received it, I plugged it in and it ran for maybe a few minutes then I noticed there was liquid in the upper housing, (I had the fixture laying on the floor in the garage.) So my first thought after the disappointment of the capacitor swelling and leaking, was to take the fixture outside and clean it out. So I used the hose to spray it out while it was leaning against the wall by the garage in the driveway. I was standing in front of it so I was standing in the water that was running out of the fixture from the hose that contained the PCB oil. After telling another member what happened and being warned that the oil was a carcinogen I freaked out. Because I had just been standing with bare feet in the driveway with the water and oil running down the driveway under my feet. So I didn't want to even mess with it anymore. I pitched the whole fixture in the garbage can. I had been shaken up enough already lol.
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Re: My room is currently full of Smoke ! « Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 08:36:59 PM » Author: HPSM250R2
That's good. Hydrogen gas will make you nauseous.

"Because of their chemical nature, electrolytic capacitors have lifetimes limited to about 10 to 20 years. After this, the chemical paste dries out, and the component loses its ability to hold a charge. If a device sits unused for many years, the capacitors can dry out. Later, when you turn the equipment on, the electric current produces heat and chemical reactions in the capacitor, making it bulge."

Does this only apply to older PCB capacitors? Or do new capacitors have the 10-20 year life? I have a bunch of NOS mercury vapor 113's from the year 2000 I think and I really hope their capacitors will be good when I eventually use them.
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wide-lite 1000
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Re: My room is currently full of Smoke ! « Reply #6 on: November 18, 2019, 08:43:51 PM » Author: wide-lite 1000
I've spent 35 yrs doing paint and body work . Almost all the paint materials we use contain Isocyanates. It says right on the can that "long term exposure to isocyanates can cause respiratory issues" Guess where my asthma came from !
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Re: My room is currently full of Smoke ! « Reply #7 on: November 18, 2019, 09:07:57 PM » Author: wide-lite 1000
I've learned a ton doing paint and body over the last 3.5 decades and I constantly argue with newbies over stupid things they want to try that  I've already tried and know WON'T WORK, then laugh at them when it all goes wrong !
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mobilite
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Re: My room is currently full of Smoke ! « Reply #8 on: December 02, 2019, 02:47:03 AM » Author: mobilite
Just watch, years from now Spray 9 cleaner will be lumped into the "hazardous" category along with pcb's. I knew a elderly retired electrician, he said there was no better cleaner than pcb's. I guess you thermal cycle anything a few million times and anything may change composition.
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