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Old 01-09-2010, 12:34 PM   #1
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2 lights stopped working!


Hello,
My kitchen & dining room lights both stopped working at the same time. The bulbs are fine & the breakers are fine. Can someone help figure this out? Here are some more possibly relevant facts:
  • I have an old house (1909) with copper wiring.
  • Not using a 3-way switch.
    • Each light only has one switch.
  • I checked both these switches and all the wires are connected securely.
    • Same at the light fixture.
Is a wire broken somewhere? If a wire is broken somewhere, how would I find this? What would make both lights stop working at the same time? could there be something else on the circuit that would cause this problem? If so what & how could I fix this?

I really appreciate anybody's assistance with this!

Cheers.

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Old 01-09-2010, 12:48 PM   #2
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2 lights stopped working!


Is there a GFCI outlet somewhere that could be providing power to these lights - and it's tripped?

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Old 01-09-2010, 02:12 PM   #3
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2 lights stopped working!


i'll try to help need to know a little more though.do you know which breaker is feeding the lights? and is there power at the switches or lights? are you certain there are no breakers tripped? some time in the older Electrical panels its hard to tell if one is tripped. if you know which breaker operates that circuit shut it all the way to the off position and then back on. its important that you find out which breaker that feeds those lights.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:24 PM   #4
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2 lights stopped working!


Do you have a way to measure voltage. If not, go to your favorite home store and get a volt meter (readily available for $20) or less. I think this will be a shot in the dark without being able to determine where you have power and where you don't.
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:57 PM   #5
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2 lights stopped working!


Sounds like the problem is in the power feed to the two lights. The problem could be in a working device(light or receptacle).
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:37 PM   #6
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2 lights stopped working!


I do not have a GFCI Outlet nearby.

I have it narrowed down to one of 2 breakers that feed these lights. I have switched them off all the way and turned them back on.

I like the suggestion to find where there is power using a Volt meter - i will attempt this tomorrow

will this help me discover if there is a receptacle causing the issue?
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:51 PM   #7
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2 lights stopped working!


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Originally Posted by ohwinnipeg View Post
I do not have a GFCI Outlet nearby.

I have it narrowed down to one of 2 breakers that feed these lights. I have switched them off all the way and turned them back on.

I like the suggestion to find where there is power using a Volt meter - i will attempt this tomorrow

will this help me discover if there is a receptacle causing the issue?
No. It won't. The advice about checking for a receptacle was a visual check on a GFCI receptacle, if the test button is tripped. Since you have none, it doesn't apply. Also, there is no shortcutting here. You'll have to (if qualified to do so) open up the wiring at certain points and see where the power stops flowing. Other than that, you'll have to call in a professional electrician.!
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:36 PM   #8
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2 lights stopped working!


If you know which breaker, turn the breaker off and check outlets by plugging a light into the outlets. Once you find the outlets on the same circuit check and see it they have to wires on the side screws or if they are in the stab connectors on the back. If the are in the stab connector s remove them and put them on the screws, turn the power back on and see if the lights work.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:40 PM   #9
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2 lights stopped working!


Here's a link to a webpage that may assist you!

http://www.thecircuitdetective.com/tree.htm
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:23 PM   #10
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2 lights stopped working!


2 new discoveries:

1. I narrowed down which breaker feeds these 2 lights - 3 other lights are on the sme circuit and they work fine.

2. I used a cheap volt meter to check the power at these 2 light switches & at the fixture. It appears there is live power (however faint) that reaches the fixture.
doesn't this mean the lights should work?
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:36 PM   #11
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2 lights stopped working!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ohwinnipeg View Post
2 new discoveries:

1. I narrowed down which breaker feeds these 2 lights - 3 other lights are on the sme circuit and they work fine.

2. I used a cheap volt meter to check the power at these 2 light switches & at the fixture. It appears there is live power (however faint) that reaches the fixture.
doesn't this mean the lights should work?
Then it could be either the bulbs or the socket/s. The bulbs could be checked with a continuity tester. Look inside the sockets. Either there is corrosion, which prevents a good contact to be made. Or, the base (of the socket)! does not touch the bulb.

Last edited by spark plug; 01-10-2010 at 09:37 PM. Reason: Failed to Capitalize
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:55 PM   #12
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2 lights stopped working!


Depends how you tested it.
It could be phantom voltage if you used digital meter. You said faint power.
It could be open neutral if you tested hot to ground.
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:09 AM   #13
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2 lights stopped working!


"However faint"? Please describe, and how you measured it.

Generally, if you have normal voltage at the fixture, your light should come on. If not, I am with JoeD. Bad bulb or bad fixture (contact problems).
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:18 PM   #14
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2 lights stopped working!


THANK YOU!

Thanks to all your wonderful suggestions that led to the root of the problem. The junction that feeds the power to both lights had a loose wire.

it has now been resolved!

I REALLY appreciate all of your time and input.

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