Bulbs keep blowing

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RAGchickens, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. RAGchickens

    RAGchickens New Egg

    Sep 26, 2012
    It got really old here this week, so I broke down and put a heat lamp in my coop, despite having never previously doing so. Within a day it had blown. I replaced it with another 250 watt bulb and it blew in 5 minutes. Since I was now out of heat lamps and don't really care to just keep blowing them, I put a 100 watt white bulb in. That lasted 36 hours before it was not working. Any suggestions on the cause here? This weather is past now, but I just want to know the cause for future reference.
  2. Harleyx2

    Harleyx2 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2013
    Try a new lamp fixture
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    There are two points of contact in a light socket one is the outer metal circumference the second is a metal tongue (I will call it for want of the correct term) in the center of the socket.

    This metal tongue becomes depressed and only makes an arching contact at times with the center of your bulb.

    This cause you to blow bulbs when the filament starts to act like a spark plug. The filament is sparking so fast that it is sometimes unable to be noticed by the naked eye.

    Using different bulbs from different manufactures in the same socket will make this problem even more common.

    Pulling this tongue up can fix the problem.

    You might want to shut the power off before you pull it up LOL.

    With a bulb of over 40 watts make sure you have a ceramic socket. NOT something like in this photo.

    Murphy's Law says you will burn something down if you do not.

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    Chickens are not polar bears we have to keep in mind. Laying, vocal, and active birds in my opinion is a sign everything is right in their world. That being said when a chicken has 3 trips around the sun it is there as a pet not for egg production. If your birds or animals are showing signs of stress you have to do what is right in your situation. The one size fits all is a recipe for disaster.

    Take inventory on your animals daily and make daily decisions is what I do summer and winter. A heat lamp and TLC can happen not only in winter and not always due to cold.

    In Canada I am subject to -40º cold snaps. I do NOT heat or give extra light in my coop. Murphy's law says my birds will find out what -40 is all about when my hydro goes out. Regardless what you decide feed Extra Corn over the winter you will not be sorry.

    Or something like this may help also; You could even knit a hoodie for those extra cold days..


  5. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2013
    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    Think about what happens to a cold glass dish if you pop it into the oven, or if you run cold water over an oven-hot plate.

    The bulb it probably heating up too quickly or the temperature difference between the air inside the bulb and outside the bulb is too extreme causing condensation or the expansion of gasses inside the bulb causing the filament to fail or the glass to break.

    That’s why they sell outdoor-rated light bulbs.
    1 person likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Is the outer glass part of the bulb shattering...or just the filament inside?
  7. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2013
    Are you using an extension cord,if yes this is why bulbs are blowing,too much wattage is flowing through cord,very dangerous as this will start a fire.

    If not using an extension cord then it is either screwing the bulbs in too tight or loose or incorrect wiring,either way this is very dangerous and you are at risk for a fire.
  8. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    I would have to agree that your light fixture is at fault (Hokum makes some good points above). We have turned on and off outside light fixtures with regular bulbs during 20 below temperatures with no problems.

    Replace your fixture and see if that helps. During extreme cold temperatures you can leave your light on full time in case the temperature fluctuation has any relation with the bulbs "blowing" if replacing the fixture does not do the trick. The standard 250W heat bulbs (red) are explosion proof per the manufacturer for whatever it is worth. We run a few lamps it large coops mainly for egg production.

    Hopefully you have your lamp secured so that it is impossible for it to fall to the bedding and also protected from any rain or the ability to get wet. You will also want coop ventilation for moist air to escape and prevent any overheating. And of course always use proper wiring.

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  9. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    What Hokum Coco said. Also the described arcing & sparking from a loose connection doesn't necessarily have to happen in the light fixture, a loose neutral or hot connection ANYWHERE in the circuit can be arcing & sparking cause the same bulb blowing effect. Inside a switch or receptacle box in the wall of your home, shop or wherever your getting the power from, for example. You could have a fire hazard in more places than your coop.
    1 person likes this.

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