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Old 10-06-2007, 11:18 AM   #1
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HOLY CRAP!!!%@#$*&


Well...it appears that "Murphy's Law" is alive and kicking. Just two days after posting (on this site) that my Odyssea MH/CF fixture has run flawlessly for over two years I now stand corrected.

The story...We were over at our neighbor's house last night for a bomb fire and some Friday night cocktails. My wife ran home to get something for our son (thank goodness), came back over and said there was a strange smell in the house and asked that I go investigate. I went home and was immediately met with the faint smell of burning plastic and chemicals...Kind of an electrical fire smell. I searched the up stairs and found nothing some I proceeded downstairs (where my large reef is located). Our basement was full of a smokey haze and the burning plastic smell was strong. I immediately thought of my light fixture over my tank and shut it off. I called my neighbor over, who is a firefighter in the city we live in, and we searched the house but could not find the source. We called 911 and the fire department responded with a thermo-imaging unit to search the inside of the walls and electronics for hot spots. Sure enough, when they scanned the external ballast box that drives the MH on the tank, it glowed a bright red. Even after the fixture had been off for several minutes. I think we found the source. I took the ballast box apart and this is what I found...
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:22 AM   #2
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WOW! Sorry to hear about that. Glad noone is hurt and there was not a real fire.
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Old 10-06-2007, 12:01 PM   #3
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Oh wow...that had to have been scary. Thank goodness no one was hurt and the house is ok. I have not read good things about the Odyssea brand. I hope your tank holds up in the meantime until you can get a new light.

This story kind of reminds me of a somewhat similar incident. We got a new halogen torchiere light (a few years ago) in the living room. A big moth got in the room and went into the light (I didn't realize it at that moment). That was an awful, burning smell. My husband and I were searching for a sign of fire since it sure smelled like a fire. I thought that we should call 911 since the smell was just so terrible. Just then Steve figured it out (the moth burning in the light). Unfortunately we had to put up with the smell until the light cooled down to clean it out, but no damage was done.

I hope that smell goes away quickly in your house!
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Old 10-06-2007, 12:26 PM   #4
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Thanks. I am glad no one was hurt and all it okay. I had the windows open and fans blowing in the basement all night for ventilation and the smell is gone. Good thing...we are hosting my son's 2nd birthday party here tomorrow and we have 25 people coming over.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:44 PM   #5
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Glad nobody was hurt!

That looks like the igniter went bad (the white thing). I believe the three wire black device is a capacitor, and the white thing that burned is an igniter. I see this quite frequently on pole mounted MH fixtures but in your home is a whole other story. This should not be an expensive repair. Just see if you can find an electrical supply house that will sell retail, or even better if you have a W.W. Grainger near your home. This will be a pretty common stock item.
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Old 10-06-2007, 02:06 PM   #6
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Yikes, glad you are okay, Brian!
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Old 10-06-2007, 03:37 PM   #7
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Glad everybody was OK. Sorry to hear the news
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Old 10-08-2007, 10:35 AM   #8
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Yikes! Good thing your wife was aware. I had the same thing happen with a light switch. I noticed it was warm. A few weeks later I was walking by it and heard a buzz. I shut off the breaker and took a look. The plastic had been melting, so I replaced it.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:56 AM   #9
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Thank goodness you and your family are ok. That is truly scary.
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:19 PM   #10
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I have tried contacting AquaTraders today and am waiting to hear a reply. From what I understand, their post-sale customer service leaves al lot to be desired. We shall see.
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