I have a recessed light in my bathroom which has decided not to work. I have eliminated the bulb, switch and hot lead as a problem. It is a thermal protected pot that excepts R20 bulbs. Is the thermal coupler ( lack of any other description) replaceable or would a new pot have to be purchased. The pot is IH and is approximately 16 years old. There is no access to the attic area which I feel is where the coupler is situated on top of the can.
Considering your options and the fact that to replace the entire can will be difficult, I think it's worth a shot to replace the thermal switch and see if it fixes things. On most cans, the T-switch is a small rectangular piece (1/2" x 1/2" x 1") that is on the inside of the can. You'll probably have to completely remove the socket assembly to see the T-switch but is is accessible from inside the can.
For a 16 year old can, it may not be possible to find the exact same T-switch or even figure out if it has a particular temperature rating. However, I'm thinking that it can't hurt to try the replacement. Even if you cannot find just a T-switch, you can buy an entire can for about $8 and take one from it.
If that doesn't work, then you will have to remove the entire can, do some patchwork to your ceiling and install a new remodel type can.
Jaybee I looked inside the can and if the T-switch is in the inside it must be directly above the socket. I will look into it further in the AM. The T=switch should be hot on the entry side all the time correct. the exit of the T-switch will only be hot when the temperature is such that it has not tripped cutting power to the bulb. To your knowledge did they ever put the T-switch on the exterior of the pot?
I have never looked for a T-switch before so I am not sure whether the big box store sells them . I know they sell pots so switching out may be an option. I did notice there were screws inside the can which may be mounting screws but who knows what they used and whether there is a portion of the light above the ceiling (junction box)that I will not be able to get to. Tomarrow is another day. At least I have another one on an independent switch so I am not completely in the dark.
Style will vary depending on the can but in most the socket assembly is removable. Some have a metal disc attached to the socket that keeps you from seeing up into the top of the can. Loosen the butterfly nut and this disc and the socket will slide out.
You are correct in that the T-switch is a normally closed switch. Once it gets too hot then it opens, the light goes off and the whole can will cool back down. The switch is wired through the hot side of the circuit. It's really just a matter or tracing the wires within the can - they will go from the socket within the can and exit the can at some point. Then the wires will be contained within a flex sheathing and go to the cans junction box. That T-switch has to be attached to the body of the can to work, all that I can recall are inside the can but I've not seen every can made so I guess it could be on the outside surface.
Another thought is that are you sure that this is a IC type can? It's not clear from your post is the light is out all the time or is cycling on and off due to heat. If it's not working at all then there may be another problem like a loose connection somewhere in the circuit.
Jaybee I looked at the pot light and the switch again this morning. It self healed. No not really but I narrowed it down to one of two possibilities. The original electrician(s) must have accidently got into the light wire from the switch and had taped the nick. When I went to pull the wire out of the switch it came loose. I hate those push in terminals. So I reattached the wire (shorter than I like) to the new switch. Then inspected the bulb base contact which showed power thus eliminating the T-switch. I pryed it off the base a little more to make sure it made contact with the bulb. Inserted a new CFL flood and it was good to go. OK I may never know exactly which two faults were the culpert but both are fixed now (until the next time). BTW the big box stores have no seperate T-switches.
NTE electronics has both the bullet and the disk types of thermal protectors. you can order from any major-line electronics distributor like Mouser or Newark. that said, you are likely to find replacements if there is a small appliance repair shop in your area (also about as hard to find as unicorn horn dressers.)
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Thanks Swschrad but I got it figured out. Wasn't the thermal switch but broken wire (not visible) .Thanks anyway.
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