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Old 05-20-2015, 09:29 PM   #1
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LED - Replacement light - fire

I had trouble with a top marker light leaking water into the lens last summer. All that happened was the bulb would burn out. I had the shop replace it and he replaced it with a LED fixture. We were driving to the campground this weekend...and we had the smell of an electrical fire in our coach. We pulled over and had smoke pouring out of the cabinet behind the TV. Since I could not see what was burning - I discharged a fire extinguisher into the space behind the TV and called the fire department. Long story short - the LED fixture had water in it and shorted out - melting the fixture and starting a fire....is an LED light using more juice and a hotter bulb? I am confident this light could have burned up our coach had we not taken quick action.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:25 PM   #2
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It sounds like you handled the situation quickly and I hope damage is minimal. Led's should operate using less amperage and emit less heat. That is why Rver's tend to change out incandescent bulbs for led's.

I would be somewhat concerned the fuse did not blow before the smoking began. I would check fuse for proper amperage.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:35 PM   #3
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The fire was not from the LED being a hotter bulb or using more current. You had a partial short circuit. The short bypassed the LED, and drew more current than the LED possibly could.

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Old 05-21-2015, 10:03 AM   #4
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I would be somewhat concerned the fuse did not blow before the smoking began. I would check fuse for proper amperage.
I would be VERY concerned that the fuse didn't blow and would definitely check it for proper amperage. Did the fuse finally blow or did the hot wire burn through?

I would also very closely check the hot wire to this light as far back into the coach as I could see. Now that it has been hot the insulation could be melted for several inches creating the possibility for other shorts to ground in the future.

(Once again we have proven the old adage that it is never a good idea to allow the smoke to escape from anything electrical!)
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Old 05-25-2015, 08:46 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input. I also am concerned the fuse didn't burn out. I am taking it back to the shop that installed it and have them look it over. I am not much of a electrical person - but I thought the LEDs were cooler bulbs so I was confused what happened. The wires melted back two inches. but I don't think there is anymore damage. I saved the fixture to show him. I will have to see what the mechanic finds.
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Old 05-25-2015, 09:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input. I also am concerned the fuse didn't burn out. I am taking it back to the shop that installed it and have them look it over. I am not much of a electrical person - but I thought the LEDs were cooler bulbs so I was confused what happened. The wires melted back two inches. but I don't think there is anymore damage. I saved the fixture to show him. I will have to see what the mechanic finds.
Let us know what they find. This is all good info for all of us.
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Old 05-25-2015, 11:11 PM   #7
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Any chance you can post some pics of the removed LED fixture? I'm curious if the fixture caused the short or if the wires shorted before reaching the fixture.

I had a LED bulb short and start smoking last summer in one of my interior lights. As a result I don't leave any LEDs on when we are not in the vehicle.

Sure glad you caught this before it did any serious damage!
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Old 05-26-2015, 04:31 PM   #8
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my marker lights also leaked, expanding foam and silicone, no more problems.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:08 PM   #9
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I ended up picking up a fixture from the dealer as I needed to get it fixed - constant rain up here and I needed to keep the rain out. I hooked up a new fixture and it worked. I don't think any more damage was done. I checked the other 4 and another one hand water in it and was not working. I took it out and discovered it had a "hot spot" on it also. It never melted down though. To say the least I did silicon the heck out of them.....I am going to try and post a picture.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:52 PM   #10
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Hopefully this was posted. Note the top light shows a burn spot - it didn't melt down though. http://www.irv2.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=28234 It appears there is a small diode (or something) that gets wet and starts the melt down?
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:56 PM   #11
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Not a very pretty picture! I would be tempted to go back to incandescent marker lights. You might be wise to check the total amperage draw of the LED lights and reduce the size of the fuse correspondingly. If another one shorts out I'd like to know the fuse would blow before a fire started in the light.

Can you post the vendor and part number of the LED so other folks would know to take take precautions?

Thanks for posting good info for the rest of us!
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:00 AM   #12
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You might be wise to check the total amperage draw of the LED lights and reduce the size of the fuse correspondingly. If another one shorts out I'd like to know the fuse would blow before a fire started in the light.
Excellent suggestion !!
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Old 06-01-2015, 10:02 PM   #13
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The manufacturer is Grote and the light is a Model Supernova 47263, I would like to qualify a few comments as to not defame this manufacturer. I can't say that the "melt down" was caused by the fixture - nor am I sure that it is the correct replacement light. The RV service shop put it in as the replacement. The shop made a few comments to me after the incident - the new replacement does not have a gasket....they also mentioned that there is an RV fuse that is in some coaches that have been recalled because they do not burn out properly. They could not remember which fuse or company. Best lessen learned here - watch your light fixtures and if water builds up in them - address the issue.
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:40 PM   #14
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Darn! Getting ready to run down to Brunswick GA, Coastal RV Park., light check and one in the front and one in the back full of water (Red & Orange). 2007 42 Envoy; order all new, going to replace..
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