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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished a crawlspace remediation and got a call that the sump pumps may be have tripped a breaker....so I checked it out tonight and when resetting the breaker it buzzes then within approximately one second it trips. The onsite maintenance guy said the power supply in the high power exterior building lighting sometimes shorts out.

question: being as they look like a 175w sodium wall mount, will the power supply's some times short out (high current draw)? Don't worry, I don't fix this kind of stuff, but I thought when they go bad you'll have an open or non-igniting light; what is the likely cause?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sorry I didn't clarify-the sump pumps were disconnected from the outlet (nothing is plugged in) which they thought was tripping the circuit-but I doubt the outlets in the crawlspace were part of the security light circuit.
 

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question: being as they look like a 175w sodium wall mount, will the power supply's some times short out (high current draw)? Don't worry, I don't fix this kind of stuff, but I thought when they go bad you'll have an open or non-igniting light; what is the likely cause?
Yeah, they can go bad. I'd try disconnecting one at a time to see if one is bad...
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Doesn't a short cause the breaker to trip in more like 1/1000th of a second? If it takes a second before tripping, that indicates an overloaded circuit doesn't it? Not a short. I saw a similar problem once before with outdoor lights, whenever some of the bulbs were about ready to die, they would draw more power and start flipping the breaker.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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Doesn't a short cause the breaker to trip in more like 1/1000th of a second? If it takes a second before tripping, that indicates an overloaded circuit doesn't it? Not a short.
Usually, but not necessarily. Depends on the length of the run, quality of intervening connections and so forth. And don't forget, the term "short" gets abused more than a remodeler looking for work on CL. :whistling
 

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My guess would be the sump pump motor is bad (shorted, ground fault), because the HPS fixture will take a few minutes to warm up and get going before it would overload a circuit.
 

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I just finished a crawlspace remediation and got a call that the sump pumps may be have tripped a breaker....so I checked it out tonight and when resetting the breaker it buzzes then within approximately one second it trips. The onsite maintenance guy said the power supply in the high power exterior building lighting sometimes shorts out.

question: being as they look like a 175w sodium wall mount, will the power supply's some times short out (high current draw)? Don't worry, I don't fix this kind of stuff, but I thought when they go bad you'll have an open or non-igniting light; what is the likely cause?
These lights are probably HPS & most outside lights like this don't really have a power supply, but a starter circuit, a Capacitor & a Ballast which is basicly a transformer. Yes, usually when one of these parts short or open the light will not come on. But I have seen where the secondary side of the Ballast to the light shorts to ground without burning up the ballast & keep right on working.. Take load checks on each individual light & some signs to look for is a brighter or dimmer light than the others.

Another note - these lamps usually go off & on for a while when the lamp is going bad- and if the lamps are the wrong wattage they will do the same...........
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
they fixed the issue and indicated it was the power supply (or transformer ??).

so, if the transformer shorts, does anyone have the knowledge as to what is actually shorting? is it a step up transformer to give an initially higher voltage to ignite or start the lamp? Is the winding on one side of the core the part that typically shorts? Just trying to learn a little :thumbsup:
 

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they fixed the issue and indicated it was the power supply (or transformer ??).

so, if the transformer shorts, does anyone have the knowledge as to what is actually shorting? is it a step up transformer to give an initially higher voltage to ignite or start the lamp? Is the winding on one side of the core the part that typically shorts? Just trying to learn a little :thumbsup:
Could be the capacitor shorted, not the transformer. They aren't being really specific when they say power supply...
 

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they fixed the issue and indicated it was the power supply (or transformer ??).

so, if the transformer shorts, does anyone have the knowledge as to what is actually shorting? is it a step up transformer to give an initially higher voltage to ignite or start the lamp? Is the winding on one side of the core the part that typically shorts? Just trying to learn a little :thumbsup:
Like Zinsco Stated they aren't being very specific to what they fixed- They either changed the capacitor, the starter "Igniter" or the Ballast. Which part are they calling the power supply??

Anyhow the starter "igniter" is usually a small circuit board in the light housing that when, it is given the voltage to turn on it, lets the ballast step up voltage beaucoup to "ignite" the gas & get it flowing inside the encapsule in the Lamp. Once it starts & warms up the Starter circuit drops out & the voltage drops & regulates to the wattage of the lamp..
It is hard to say which side of a Ballast shorts out but most I have seen are usually "charred" from shorting out & getting very Hot...............
 
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