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Thread: photocell light

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member hidden 1's Avatar
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    Default photocell light

    i have a outside light that uses a large sodium bulb with a photocell.comes on at dark off at dusk.i changed the photocell a year ago w no problems ,but lately it has been off and breaker tripped as i come home .reset it then 2 days later breaker tripped- back on all night after reset.-is this a sign the photocell is going out?in the last 5 years i have never had a problem ,always working.
    any suggestions?

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    I have the same light, and its photocell is simply a switch in the circuit of the fixture tripping your breaker. I would suspect your breaker is weak and no longer able to supply the light.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    HPS bulbs have a feature called end-of-life cycling. They will be on for a while, go off for a while, back on , etc. This should not trip a breaker. I would just take out the photocell to rule that out, and if the problem persists, replace the bulb, and finally the ballast.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Usually parts for a light such as this cost more than a completely new fixture. There are several things which could cause the breaker to trip. A loose connection at the breaker, a bad ballast, etc., but the photo cell should NOT be able to trip it, unless its circuitry is shorting out periodically.

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    I had a feeling it could be ballast since its got a louder of a buzz after the reset of fuse .
    I may just replace light .I dont think the sodium bulb can factor in on the louder buzzing than usual.

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