View Full Version : GE light bulbs failing.

12-19-2012, 11:22 AM
On Monday morning I entered the kitchen and flipped the overhead light on. It came on for a split second, then went out. There was no bright flash as normally seen when one goes. I replaced it with another from the same package. It was fine all of Tuesday. This morning I did the same thing as Monday and it failed just the same way. I again replaced it with the same type. They are GE Reveal 60 watt bulbs.
Could I have a circuit problem, or is it more likely to be the bulbs? I have tested the bad ones in other lamps, they are burnt out. Puzzling.

12-19-2012, 11:54 AM
I think most come from China now. Check the package and see.

12-19-2012, 12:05 PM
Your bulbs are infected with China virus.

12-19-2012, 12:24 PM
If it happens with another brand or package, definitely check the circuit.

12-19-2012, 12:27 PM
G.E., the Microsoft of lightbulbs.

12-19-2012, 12:36 PM
Are they on a dimmer switch? I had a problem with them burning out really fast on a dimmer switch.

Dan Cash
12-19-2012, 12:40 PM
I have the same problem with GE 100W bulbs. They last a bit longer than yours but burn out after only a very few hours of operation. Often, the bulb come off the base when unscrewing. GE=GEunk

12-19-2012, 12:46 PM
Most of the bulbs I change out now the bases are breaking off. It looks like they use some sort of cement that turns to sand when heated. I have started using some electrical grease on the bulb bases to see if it helps as part of the problem is the aluminum bases stick to the aluminum fixtures are difficult to remove. I never had this problem with brass based bulbs. Cheap chinese **** is what they are.

12-19-2012, 01:01 PM
Use a raw potato to remove broken bases. Power off of course. So far Seimens bulbs have been good for me. Non are US made anymore - thanks greenies.

12-19-2012, 01:07 PM
Phillips bulbs are about the same for durability.
The compact flourescents are not lasting as long as advertized either. The warranty process is so onerous that I just pitch them when they burn out.

41 mag fan
12-19-2012, 01:57 PM
time to go back to the candles...that way your savingpower usage so the great one can say he's reduced power output from the electric companies!

12-19-2012, 02:00 PM
Unless the circuit voltage is too high the wiring is not the problem, if that is the case the bulbs would be burning too bright before they go out. Also other electrical devices would be affected so if the bulbs seem brighter than they should it might be a good idea to do a simple circuit voltage test. A light bulb (incandescent) is an extremely simple device and is nothing but a resistance circuit so things like dimmers, etc will not cause them to burn out. Old type light dimmers simply used a resistor to "choke" the current causing the voltage to drop proportional to bulb resistance while the newer type uses a "chopper" circuit that effectively reduces the current draw at the bulb by basically switching the current on and off many times a second depending on the setting, neither type would cause a light bulb to burn out but they may not be good for some other electrical devices.

12-19-2012, 02:11 PM
forWhat I hate about the compact florescent lamps, is the time delay from flipping the switch until they actually come on. Enough delay you COULD trip over something on the floor if you keep going froward.

Then, there's the one lamp that continually flickers, with an audible clicking sound while in operation. I'm gonna toss that one, replace it with an incandescent bulb.

Thanks wallenba for the heads up, I'll avoid GE bulbs when I buy more.

12-19-2012, 02:56 PM
I only use the old incandescent bulbs. I bought a lifetime supply before they were baned.
Better do the same with reloading supplies.

12-19-2012, 05:00 PM
1. They are incandescent bulbs. 2. They burn at normal brightness. 3. They come on briefly before just plain going out, without the normal bright flash. 4. All other circuits seem normal. 5. Not on a dimmer.
I've been thinkin' (yes it hurts a bit;)), that maybe they lose their airtightness, they lose the vacuum or the nitrogen leaks out if that's how they do it, then the filament burns through.

daniel lawecki
12-19-2012, 05:11 PM
China made bulbs don,t have a good base seal. The glass bulb isn,t sealed at the base this air leak will kill the bulb at the flick of a switch.

Stephen Cohen
12-19-2012, 05:46 PM
I knew our countries were close, we have same problems here with greenies, GE bulbs and so called energy savers. Thats a great idea with potato Popper.

12-19-2012, 06:12 PM
have to give the Seimens a try.

12-19-2012, 07:48 PM
Standard (today's standard, anyway) QC on GE products. Buy Seimens, as stated, or Phillips. As for CFLs, the first generation bulbs were flat out awful. CFL bulbs produced now are far better at lighting instantly, none of that "warm up" BS. The "warmth" of the light plays a big role in how they look and light things as well. At one time, I wouldn't have CFLs in my house. Today, about 90% of my interior lighting is with CFLs. YOu might look at an online dealer like 1000bulbs and look at their information. There stuff is a LOT better than at your local BB retailer.
I use CFLs today mostly because it's always hot in S Texas, and the more heat I can keep out of the building envelope, the less I pay for energy.

12-20-2012, 12:15 AM
Try here.http://americansworking.com/lightbulbs.html

12-20-2012, 12:39 AM
Yep...they're Chinese all right fellas. I'll try the Phillips next, when these are done. Which by the looks of things will be soon.

smoked turkey
12-20-2012, 12:41 AM
Since you say the bulbs are normal brightness and that you are not having any dim lights in other parts of the house, I would rule out a "loose neutral". Just so you know this is a very bad situation that results in over voltage on some circuits and under voltage on others. This occurs because the current cannot return to the source via the neutral, so it passes through the other hot leg of your 120/240 volt system to complete the circuit. This puts the loads effectively in series and depending on the resistance of each appliance or light bulb, the 240 vac is distributed along the line at each appliance. So it is possible to get 240 volts on some of your 120 volt appliances. I say this to recommend that your electrician check the tightness of your neutral connection if the bright/dim condition ever occurs. Otherwise it seems unlikely that you would run into so many bad bulbs. I think you should consider replacing the fixture or at least the socket portion of the fixture. It sounds like a problem in equipment to me.

12-20-2012, 02:03 AM
Sylvania soft white 60 watt says right on the package Made in USA. Durability is definitely better than reported by the OP. Found the Sylvania bulbs at Walmart.

legend 550
12-20-2012, 12:15 PM
Yep...they're Chinese all right fellas. I'll try the Phillips next, when these are done. Which by the looks of things will be soon.

If you go to WalMart, look way down to the bottom shelf, the cheap genaric brand are the only bulbs Made in the USA. All the high dollar bulbs are cheap Chinese. Just for the record I refuse to use compact fluorescent bulbs, They contain mercury. Don't we already have a mercury pollution problem?

12-20-2012, 12:33 PM
I have been told by an electrician that we should be pulling the tab at the base of the socket up slightly every time we change our bulbs. He said that the tab often doesn't make good contact, and makes the electricity slightly arc causing short bulb life. this is especially true with old sockets. Don't know how true what he said was, but I do it now anyway.

12-20-2012, 12:49 PM
Check into commercial duty bulbs, they are made for 130 volts and last longer.

12-20-2012, 02:49 PM
smoked turkey---when you refer to the "neutral connection"---do you mean at the main box or at the individual socket/appliance???

The reason I ask is because we have a somewhat spoadic fluctuation in one bathroom wherein the lights and/or the exhaust fan fluctuate in brightness/speed. This has been going on for all of the 7 years we have been in this house and it only occurs in the one bathroom and not all the time.

12-20-2012, 06:50 PM
Loose neutral at the main box buss bar is common, and can cause real problems.

If you know what you are about - and this can kill you if you are careless - tighten
all the neutral connections, neutral is safe but if you touch hot and neutral you will
not like it.

Be careful. I have found wires with the insulation charred black for 6" from the buss
bar in a female friends home. SCARY.


12-20-2012, 08:46 PM
The latest bulb is still burning normally. I rewired the kitchen in 2000. The whole kitchen was remodeled, I even ripped out the subfloor. I'm real confident everything is snug. No heaving or earthquakes here that can disturb anything.

12-20-2012, 09:00 PM
I believe Smoked Turkey is referring to "multiwire" circuits in which two separate circuits share a common neutral. I have a couple of these in my home and it is absolutely imperative that neutral integrity be maintained with this type of wiring. I found the previous "electrician" used one of the outlet device yokes to split the circuits; this is an extremely poor practice, and I question if it was ever legal. Needless to say I rewired them correctly.

12-20-2012, 10:17 PM
If you have an AC volt meter, I would check the voltage at the socket. My guess would be that you have bad bulbs, but the meter can tell you more that I can.

smoked turkey
12-21-2012, 01:32 AM
Yes the "loose neutral" can be very bad for 120 volt loads in a residence or business. I would carefully check all neutral connections in the main electric panel. It will give some protection if good leather gloves are worn during this process. I have an insulated handled screwdriver that I use for this purpose. Bill is correct in that you cannot be careless when doing this. The common sympton is fluxuating 1ights going from bright to dim. Where this will cause the most problems with with appliances that have microprocessor type circuit boards that are not very tolerant to overvoltage. Ofcourse it would probably damage electric clock motors that are rated for 120vac. It is basically a brown out condition in which the voltage goes very low on one side while going high on the other. Depending on what is plugged in and turned on by a switch, the voltage can be from near zero to the full 240 vac. Motors such as refrigerator and freezer type will not tolerate such undervoltage for long without burning out. I recommend a circuit tester that has three lights on it and when plugged into a receptacle it will tell you if you have no ground, a broken neutral, or a reversed hot and neutral wire which is not all that uncommon when someone puts the black wire on the silver screw at the receptacle instead of on the brass one. It just seems too uncommon to have so many bad light bulbs in a pack. Especially when the problem is isolated to one general area. I would be interested in what is found when checks are made of the fixture and circuits. From the description I don't think it is a loose neutral or problems would be on other places within the house. Sorry for the long post.

12-21-2012, 03:23 PM
Started in the early 80's when the original grifter, "Neutron Jack" (Jerk) Welch when(rumored) to after blowing up a chemical plant, was "promoted" headcheese at CGheezE. Incapable of making anything, he decided that the Chinee could do it better. NE Ohio is littered with the remains(neutron bomb...take out the people, leave the buildings) of light bulb manufacturing plants. Took all the equipment, slapped on a new coat of battleship gray, translated all the manuals into Chinee, and off they went overseas, along with many jobs. Union plants or not, they all went. I know, I was there, I saw it.
My consolation is the satisfaction of knowing that I can live out the rest of my days, confident that if that thing ever comes into NE Ohio and accidentally steps foot on my property that he will receive the worst a**-kicking the pus bag ever received in his worthless life.
Sorry, I didn't mean to sugar coat it .... :twisted:

Thanks. I feel better. And a politically incorrect "Merry Christmas" to all the Cast Booliteers! .... Lee

12-21-2012, 09:57 PM
I bought the Walmart brand "Great Value" twisty 60 energy savers from Wally world 4 years ago,replaced all in the queens castle, yet to have any to burn out! "Knock on wood!!"

12-21-2012, 11:10 PM
I recommend a circuit tester that has three lights on it and when plugged into a receptacle it will tell you if you have no ground, a broken neutral, or a reversed hot and neutral wire which is not all that uncommon when someone puts the black wire on the silver screw at the receptacle instead of on the brass one.

That tester will tell you if your ground is bad, or if your neutral is backwards, but it will not necessarily tell you if your voltage is incorrect (due to a loose neutral or other problem). A bad ground or reverse neutral polarity will not damage a light bulb.

I'm still recommending a volt meter. If the voltage is much outside 110-125vac, I'd check the other outlets in the house to see how consistent the readings are.