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RC thread re: end-cap related fire????

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Shawnna

Joey & Xena are the best!
Joined
Jul 1, 2003
Messages
38
Location
Covington, WA
Has anyone seen this thread regarding fire caused by VHO end-caps? I'm scared..... I have a DIY "hood" and lighting and want to be sure I've done things right. I don't even understand half of what's discussed. Anyone in PSAS have experience with this?

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=250465&perpage=25&pagenumber=1

You may have to copy and paste the whole link into your browser.
 

Desolas

Free Jolly Jenkins.
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Lynnwood, WA
I don't have VHO's, but I've seen the end caps. From what I'm reading on that thread it sounds like most of the problems occured do to corrosion build up on the contacts, causing the plastic endcaps to overheat and burn. It will happen, it will happen with any lamp that has a plastic socket that isn't kept clean.

I had a NO flourecent do this years ago, it was over my open sump for about a year solid without cleaning. I took it apart one day when the bulb finally burned out to find one socket was partially melted and the internal contacts were rotted.

If everything is wired fine you won't have a fire if you keep an eye on the contacts. Keep them clean, check your lights ever 3-6 months. If you find corrosion on the contacts after a period of time, clean them more frequently. I check all of my bulbs every 3 months for any problems, my MH bulbs sometimes need the contacts cleaned. I think if you did the same you will lessen the chance of an accidental fire.

I see ads for water proof endcaps, I wonder if these would help any?
 

Doug1

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
Messages
249
Location
Southern Oregon
With the supplied Icecap endcaps and properly installed gaskets you should have no problem, Between me and "someone" else on this board, if it was faulty we woulda found it long ago:)
 

Desolas

Free Jolly Jenkins.
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
165
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Yeah that is kinda my thought. I think it's more of a case of "I did a half-attempt job, didn't bother checking it after 2 years, and boy am I amazed it failed like that!"
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
I have to agree with Doug to. I had the ice cap end caps on my tank for years with no problems. They are designed to be moisture resistant, and if installed correctly they should be fine.

Mike
 

dj88

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2003
Messages
16
A lot of the problems seem to be coming from arcing due to a small space between the pins and contacts in the end caps.

This space will not produce major sparks but in time can make enough of a mess to cause a meltdown and in more severe cases a fire.

The heat created between the contacts and the pins can be transmitted into the metal ends of the lamps and then transmitted elsewhere into the endcaps. This can make for some interesting places being melted(not necessarily the pins etc). The metal acts as a heat sink taking the heat away from the arcing and releasing it elsewhere. Usually where the metal meets the glass and is usually in physical contact with the lamp.

When installing endcaps it is adivseable to make sure that they fit tight end to end(no movement when the lamp is in the endcaps) and that the contacts aren't bent away from the pins.

As was said with proper installation you shouldn't have any problems.

Incorrect installation can result in melting.
 
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