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Old 11-16-2012, 05:58 AM   #1
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Asking for help with an residential electric problem


I own a two story brick home that was built in 1973. On the second floor the ceiling light fixtures in the master bedroom, kitchen and living room all stay on regardless of the switch position. I have replaced the swtiches in the bedroom and kitchen with no improvement.

I beleive all 3 rooms are on the same circuit with junction boxes in the attic.

Any idea what the problem could be based on anyone experience?

I just read a book on basic wiring and I think I have a very basic grasp, but could use some advice. Thank you kindly for any help you can provide...

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Old 11-16-2012, 06:51 AM   #2
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Asking for help with an residential electric problem


Have the lights always been acting this way? Did you just move in? Was any electrical work done before this happened? Did the switches function before you changed them?

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Old 11-16-2012, 11:15 AM   #3
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Have the lights always been acting this way? Did you just move in? Was any electrical work done before this happened? Did the switches function before you changed them?
I have lived here about 8 years and I'd say I had this problem (embarrassingly enough) for about 3 years. We use lamps in the bedroom and livingroom and I installed a ceiling light with a pull cord in the kitchen.

It just occurred one day. I tried the light switch replacements after it had already began to stay on.

THe only thing that I could tell you that might be a clue is that I would notice that on occausion when my sons would wrestle or thump around in the livingroom the light would go off and they could jump on the floor and it would come back on?

and another thing is happening currently is that the light in my bedroom closet makes a noise and goes dim to bright and vice versa in a random cycle?
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:28 AM   #4
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Well that's terrifying....
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:35 AM   #5
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Asking for help with an residential electric problem


Loose connection. Find it ASAP. The dimming one is arcing and trying to start a fire.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:26 PM   #6
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Ok what is loose? A wire in the ceiling fixture, I assume? Or probably a better question where do I start? I have a multimeter, but haven't used it very often.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:45 PM   #7
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Turn the breaker off and pull down the light fixture and check for loose connections.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by walker38 View Post
Ok what is loose? A wire in the ceiling fixture, I assume? Or probably a better question where do I start? I have a multimeter, but haven't used it very often.
Well, a wire somewhere. The problem, of course, is finding it.

I'd start by making a list (or diagram) of all the outlets and fixtures that aren't acting normally. Turn the circuit breaker for those outlets off. Use your multimeter or circuit tester to verify that there's no voltage on the circuit.

Start with the light in the bedroom closet that dims and brightens randomly. With the circuit breaker off, remove the fixture cover. There should be two (or possibly more) wire nuts inside the work box, making the electrical connections. Pull on each wire nut; it should not come off and expose the bare ends of the wires. Unscrew the wire nut from the ends of the wires. Inspect the wires that were inside the wire nut. They should be twisted tightly together, and you shouldn't be able to "jiggle" them loose. If all connections in that fixture are OK, replace the wire nuts and the fixture cover and move on to the next.

The problem won't necessarily be at the fixture which displays the symptoms. For example, it might be in an unused outlet which contains a connection which feeds the problematic fixture. There's not much more you can do at this point, other than one by one examine each outlet, fixture, and junction box.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:32 PM   #9
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Asking for help with an residential electric problem


Sounds like at some point someone changed a light fixture of ceiling fan and did not make notes on where the wires went and by passed the switch leg, then did not even make a good connection.

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