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Old 07-12-2015, 07:14 PM   #1
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


Hi Everyone
First, I know nothing about electricity.

I have a chandelier with 6 small lights in it. There is one switch on the wall. The light does not turn on anymore.

Today, I installed a new switch and tested the current when the light is on. When the switch is on, there is current running through the black wire attached to the top of the switch. I also unscrewed one of the small lights and tested the current in socket--there is also current there.

So I don't understand why this light won't turn on anymore when there seems to be current at both points.

Any ideas (put in layman's terms) would be greatly appreciated!

Paul

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Old 07-12-2015, 07:24 PM   #2
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


have you replaced at least on of the bulbs with a known good bulb?

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Old 07-12-2015, 07:33 PM   #3
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


You need power---and a neutral wire that works---did you test from the power wire to the neutral or from the power to a ground (like the box)?
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:35 PM   #4
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


Yes, I tried a new bulb with a few of the sockets.

It is a fairly new townhouse--built in 2004. So the general wiring should be fine.

Paul
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:39 PM   #5
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


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Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
You need power---and a neutral wire that works---did you test from the power wire to the neutral or from the power to a ground (like the box)?
That is something that I wasn't sure of actually. There is one black wire attaching to the right top side of the switch. And a second black wire attaching to the bottom of the right side of the switch. However, there is no third wire, which I am assuming to be the ground.

When the light switch is in the on position, there is current in the top wire. And I don't think there was current in the bottom wire, when on.

Paul
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:40 PM   #6
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


What are you checking it with?
To check a switch you should be shutting off the breaker to that circut, disconnect one wire on the switch and checking OHM's not voltage.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:40 PM   #7
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


neither wire attached to the switch is a neutral.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:44 PM   #8
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What are you checking it with?
To check a switch you should be shutting off the breaker to that circut, disconnect one wire on the switch and checking OHM's not voltage.
I got a Commercial Electric voltage detector from Home Depot that works on live wires and non-contact (through the outside of the wire).

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Old 07-12-2015, 07:45 PM   #9
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


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neither wire attached to the switch is a neutral.
The lack of a neutral/ground will cause it to fail?

Paul
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:48 PM   #10
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


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The lack of a neutral/ground will cause it to fail?

Paul

sorry for the quickie post. All I meant was that the neutral is not attached to the switch but if this light ever worked, there is a neutral at the fixture from somewhere.

so, to start with:

how many wires in the switch box?

what color is each of them?

what are they connected to?
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:49 PM   #11
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


Waste of time trying to trouble shoot with that.
Need a real volt OHM meter.
Even a cheap $15.00 unit will work.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:50 PM   #12
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


At the fixture. Check from the post in the center (hot) to screw shell ( neutral)

If you don't have voltage but then check center post to fixture metal (ground) and have voltage then you lost your neutral
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:56 PM   #13
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
sorry for the quickie post. All I meant was that the neutral is not attached to the switch but if this light ever worked, there is a neutral at the fixture from somewhere.

so, to start with:

how many wires in the switch box?

what color is each of them?

what are they connected to?
It did work previously. Prior to it not working, it did flicker a little.

There are three switches in the box for three separate lights. The other two have very slightly different switch units. So the box is very crowded and its hard to see/untangle wires. The other two work fine.

However for the problem switch, there are only two wires connecting to it (they are black) and I didn't see any other loose wires that could be a third.

The problem is that I am home now and not at the townhouse where the problem is.

Paul
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:01 PM   #14
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


Quote:
Originally Posted by ritelec View Post
At the fixture. Check from the post in the center (hot) to screw shell ( neutral)

If you don't have voltage but then check center post to fixture metal (ground) and have voltage then you lost your neutral

At the fixture, the center was definitely registering with current, but I did not check the screw shell.

So if the center of the fixture is registering with current and the screw shell is not, then the problem is that I lost the ground wire?

Pau

Last edited by Paul-NYS; 07-12-2015 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:01 PM   #15
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Light not turning, electricity seems present


the listing of the wires is pretty important.


did you do anything immediately prior to the fixture not working?

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