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Old 09-07-2012, 11:54 PM   #1
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Light switch weirdness


I have a light and fan switch that no longer turns on in the bathroom, but the electrical outlets work. I've checked the breaker box but nothing seems to be out of place. For good measure though, I flipped the breaker back/forth for that bathroom and for the rooms closest to it. The light switch still doesn't work. What could be the explanation?

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:01 AM   #2
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Light switch weirdness


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I have a light and fan switch that no longer turns on in the bathroom, but the electrical outlets work. I've checked the breaker box but nothing seems to be out of place. For good measure though, I flipped the breaker back/forth for that bathroom and for the rooms closest to it. The light switch still doesn't work. What could be the explanation?
Are you sure that the light & fan are on the same circuit as the outlets ?
Might not be so !

Or you have a loose wire / faulty switch.

Have you used a tester on it ?
What type of tester ?

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Old 09-08-2012, 12:05 AM   #3
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Light switch weirdness


I haven't run any tester on it. It happened after the cleaners cleaned the whole house. There were a few times when the vacuum they used, killed the electrical to the room and I had to reset the breaker to restore power to that room (sorry for the n00b description). However, that solution doesn't seem to be working on the bathroom.
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:25 AM   #4
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Light switch weirdness


There could also be a tripped out GFCI somewhere,
You might not even know it !
Check all recepticules everywhere !
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:30 AM   #5
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Light switch weirdness


After you mention vaccum cleaner I am sure you may have a loose connection so you will have to check couple receptales and switches and verify the wirenuts are good and tight.

I know most case the GFCI is not used on the luminaire / fan unless it is above the bathtub or shower and it have to be used per manufacter instuction.

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Old 09-08-2012, 01:10 AM   #6
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Light switch weirdness


dmx: Thanks, I'll check the receptacles.

frenchelectrician: The light switch/fan switch aren't above the shower or in the bath. They are located on the wall when you first walk in near the sink.

If it were the vacuum, I guess I'm a little confused on how a receptacle could affect the light switch and a bit more confused on why the receptacles are still working and but the switches aren't.
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Old 09-08-2012, 05:58 AM   #7
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Light switch weirdness


Its most likely a loose connection somewhere !

As for the gfci,
someone could have added the light switchs
on to a power circuit that was controlled by a gfci.
Possibly not even realising it !
A lot of DIYers just find the nearest thing,
that has power and join onto that !
Without really considering where it comes from.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:28 AM   #8
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Light switch weirdness


I believe what French was referring to, 'above a bathtub, or shower', was the light/fan itself not the switches.

After looking for the GFCI receptacle, my next step would be checking the light/fan combo, easier to check it than start tearing switches and receptacles out.

Then start at the closest power source, that is still working, from the bathroom.
How old is the home?
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:53 PM   #9
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Light switch weirdness


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Originally Posted by mven View Post
why the receptacles are still working and but the switches aren't.
Separate circuits.... loose wire.... faulty light fixture... faulty switch... many possible reasons.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:52 PM   #10
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Light switch weirdness


Just an update -- I feel like a goof.

Looks like all I had to do was hit the reset button on an outlet in the garage (weird).
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:19 PM   #11
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Just an update -- I feel like a goof.

Looks like all I had to do was hit the reset button on an outlet in the garage (weird).
Dont worry too much !
Your not the only one to make this mistake,
And many more will too !

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