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Bad relay

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by justgeorge, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. justgeorge

    justgeorge Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    How often do relays go bad? The one I just installed for wiring my reverse lights apparently went bad already. The lights would come on no matter what position the switch was in, and even after the wires were disconnected from the switch the lights were still on. I had a new relay already (it had been in the center console of my truck for a year or more, had bought it for my Ditch Witch and didn't need it) so I swapped it out and now everything is fine.

    I have the relay tucked just behind the taillight assembly. It did go out after driving in the rain, but I think it would stay dry where it's mounted.

    Thanks.
     
  2. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    relays are current rated.
    the relays for my work lights and strobes are 4 years old. the relay for my onboard air compressors burn out every 2-3 months because the biggest i can find locally are 40 amp, and the compressors draw 40 amp.
     
  3. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    not sure what kind of relay your using but maybe get one with 2 set of contacts and put the load across both sets
     
  4. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    are you using a mechanical or solid state relay. what is the load that your putting on it.
     
  5. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    it would not make any difference if there were 10 csets of contacts. a 40 amp circuit is only good for 40 amps. sooner or later it is going to overheat from running at max capacity and melt.
    what i need to do is put a larger relay on there, something like a ford starter relay that is good for 100+ amps.
     
  6. justgeorge

    justgeorge Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    It was a relay on the shelf I picked up at Pep Boys, $7 I think. Load is only 2 LED 18w reverse lights.
     
  7. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    Agreed, my thinking was from the standpoint that maybe the contacts were arching so bad that they weren't making good contact anymore. DC tends to do that. Because a compressor is in an inductive load a larger rated relay would be better.
     
  8. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    2 18 watt lights on a relay is 36 watts. that converts to only 3 amps. so there is no reason for the relay to die unless it was defective to start with.
     
  9. chuckraduenz

    chuckraduenz Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    is it a sealed waterproof relay?
     
  10. Dissociative

    Dissociative 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,066


    you know your right here.....but if you would take a min. to think about this you might find that when you stack 2 relays together sharing that 40amp load you cut it to 20 per relay..

    any good installer knows never to push your fuse or relay above 75% of its max under normal conditions.