Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-01-2009, 01:58 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Buzzy4's Avatar
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Argyle , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 73

Today I was replacing several G4 Halogen bulbs in my ceiling. As I was attempting to pry open the light fixture, the small screwdriver slipped off and I noticed that the light flashed. I did the same several times and each time the light flashed and finally stayed on. I went to two other lights that needed replacing and was able to get a flash of light on each. They didn't stay lit but I didn't flash them as many times as the one that remained on.

It could be a short, but it occurs to light fixtures on two different circuits and not all lights on either circuit are out/not working.

Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas what is going on?


Buzzy4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 03:42 PM   #2
Rivet Master
HowieE's Avatar

1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,311
Images: 12
You have closed an open.

If you have bad bulbs and move them sometimes the filaments will touch one another and light momentarily.

Another possibility would be if the bulbs were just loose in the sockets and the power was on. Moving the bulb in this condition would also cause it to light.

I can't think of any way a short would cause the light to come on. Shorts blow fuses.

2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 04:21 PM   #3
Got gandkids?
Jim & Susan's Avatar

1973 27' Overlander
'Possum Holler , Georgia
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 5,252
Images: 39
Ed, have you tried testing the socket with a multi-meter? Switch on, then switch off? I think HowieE is probably right about the basics of it.


On edit: you can also test the bulb with the meter, forgot to mention that part of it.

Air No. 6427
Jim & Susan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
Rivet Master
2011 25' FB Flying Cloud
Anywhere & , Everywhere
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,089
This a likely a bad ground. Whenever one of the bulbs go out before you even think about replacing it move the fixture a little bit and if that doesn't work give it a few "love taps". When I had problems in my last trailer this worked almost every time - I only ended up actually having to replace 2 bulbs.
Al - K4GLU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 06:55 PM   #5
Rivet Master
2005 19' Safari
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,359
This was a trick that oldtimers used to use when a bulb "burned out". When a bulb with a filament quits working, the filament is usually broken. Oldtimers used to lightly "pound" on the light fixtures to try and get the loose ends to short together. Sometimes, after they touched (inside the bulb), they would stay lit until you either turned them off or the fixture encountered a shock big enough to break the connection. They would use this trick to get a burned out light to work until they could get a replacement bulb.

I used to have an old Dodge van that had broken lens covers on both tail light fixtures where my father-in-law had (at different times) "fixed" them. It made me mad both times he crack the lenses, but I laugh everytime I remember how proud he was that he got the tail lights to light up.

Check the bulbs with a multimeter, and if they are "open", just replace the bulbs and don't worry about the flashing. It's just the ghosts of oldtimers playing with you.
Phoenix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 07:54 PM   #6
Rivet Master
arodriguez60's Avatar
1959 22' Flying Cloud
1969 25' Tradewind
1983 34' Limited
fairview , New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 574
Images: 85
I'd check for corrosion or looses on the socket. Also the fixture may have the same where it mounts.I agree with Al-K4GLU its a possible bad ground. The majority of problems with 12 volt lighting systems are grounds. Touch the srewdriver where it contacts the bulb and the socket at the same time. if the light works it is the ground.
arodriguez60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 08:32 PM   #7
Rivet Master
Gene's Avatar
2008 25' Safari FB SE
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,814
If the switch is wired across the ground wire rather than the hot wire, grounding the fixture with a screwdriver might turn the light on. Sounds unlikely to me, but it could happen. Check the switch to see if the ground wire is wired into it rather than the hot wire. Switches are supposed to switch the hot wire, but mistakes are made.

Gene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2009, 10:53 PM   #8
Rivet Master

2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,239
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
Hi, the bulbs are bad and the filiments are making and breaking contact. Continue replacing these bulbs, you were right in the first place. Don't get all confused about shorts, opens, or grounds.

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2009, 07:05 AM   #9
2 Rivet Member
Buzzy4's Avatar
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Argyle , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 73
Well, The two bulbs that mysteriously came on are still on. Others, I had to replace. I wasn't able to determine for sure what the cause was. From the way they were behaving it seems that ROBERTSUNRUS's idea was the most likely.

The trip into Chaco Canyon This past May apparently broke more than a few interior rivets.

I will be replacing most interior lights with LED's soon anyway.

Buzzy4 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Here is Something Quite Strange dmreilly10000 General Motorhome Topics 19 12-16-2006 01:56 PM
Strange 'Streams smily Our Community 14 12-15-2002 06:00 AM
Strange nut Pahaska Windows & Screens 2 10-22-2002 12:47 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.