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Light up address sign

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Jan 03, 2014, 03:13 PM
Light up address sign
A friend of mine has a light-up address plate above the garage door that won't light.
The bulbs have been changed.
The wires connected to the transformer are secured.
I checked the transformer with a volt meter (I think that's what it's called). I'm not good with electricity but I checked a transformer on my furnace with the meter and got the needle to move with various settings. So using those same settings, I got the needle to move similarly on the address transformer. The transformer is hooked into a electric box where the garage door opener is also attached and there are no problems with it.
She lives in a townhouse subdivision and the other address plates seem to have an electric eye because they only go on at night. I took the address box apart to install the new bulbs but saw no "eye."
Sorry this is so long but I'm trying to give as much info as possible.
Jan 03, 2014, 04:52 PM
First thing to do is to figure out what you are reading on your meter. maybe find someone who is familiar with them?

A townhouse style subdivision would be very likely for all units to have the same exterior lighting. So, if the others are on a photocell for nightime operation only then hers is likely to be this way too.

Things to check:

1. Are you getting 110v ac power to the transformer?

2. Are you getting dc voltage out of the transformer?

3. Does the bulb work?

4. Is there a photocell and does it work.

Any of the components - bulb, photocell or transformer are likely to go bad after a few years.

Jan 06, 2014, 01:40 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions Jaybee. I told the owner to call the association to see where the photocell is located. It seems like a no-brainer that the cell would be located in the light fixture itself but I checked and it wasn't there.
Jan 06, 2014, 01:58 PM
if you have voltage from the transformer that is the same as the bulbs, then there is an open in the circuit... loose wire nut, bad bases for the bulbs, two bad spares, etc.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Jan 06, 2014, 02:37 PM
I'm with Jaybee, thinking the photocell conked out. Could be wrong but that is where I would start.

Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...