CFL Oddnesss

Submitted to the collective wisdom of the JesusH readers, most of whom are much better at the home improvement/electrical circuitry stuff than I am.

We have a weird problem in the second room of our two bedroom condo (the “baby’s room”, as it’s recently been branded) – the electrical outlets will not operate lamps that have CFLs in them. I can sense that you have follow-up questions, but it really is that simple. Take a lamp, put in an incandescent bulb, and plug it into one of the outlets in the room, and it will work (as will other devices, such as my laptop, radios, etc). Take that same lamp and put in a CFL, and… nothing. Take that same lamp, leave the CFL in, and move it to any outlet in any other room in the house and voila – eerie flourescent light.

Some basic Google searches turn up nothing that would seem to explain this. Though I’m a budget conscious, Inconvenient Truth-watching liberal, I’m willing to just use incandescents if there’s a good, innocuous explanation for why this would be so. However, I’m more concerned that it may indicate a problem that could cause other problems like damaging electronics.

Any theories or suggestions?

3 thoughts on “CFL Oddnesss”

  1. Question number one: is the outlet in question switched? By a wall switch?

    Question number two: is the outlet in question switched by more than one wall switch (not often done in bedrooms, but I am not here to judge).

  2. i suspect the baby room leans pretty heavily to the global-warming-global-schwarming right side of the spectrum.

    luckily this can be tested. plug in a radio and see if it only works when tuned to limbaugh or savage.

    anything different happen if you use a power strip or extension cord?

  3. It is every outlet in the room. There are four outlets, and one is switched. The power strip didn’t seem to make a difference. After experimenting a bit last night it seems to happen with some CFL bulbs but not others (i.e. we were able to get a 23w to work but not a 26w).

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