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Old 07-25-2009, 11:47 AM   #1
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Wiring problem in the wall, what to do?


My kitchen lights stopped working. I opened the switches, and tested:

Between black and ground: 120V, Between white and Ground, almost nothing.

I checked in the breaker box: all normal, black and white wires for this route are all well connected and all tested fine.

I suspect that somewhere between the breaker and the switchs, the white line is broken. Then I jumped a white line from a close-by plug to the switches of the kitchen lights: it worked!

My conclusion right now is that, this wire is cut or chewed up somewhere in the closed wall. Does that make sense?

What should I do now? Do I open all the wall and check the wire or can I try to jump a visible white line?

Thanks in advance

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Old 07-25-2009, 12:46 PM   #2
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Wiring problem in the wall, what to do?


Help needed!!Thanks

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Old 07-25-2009, 12:57 PM   #3
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Wiring problem in the wall, what to do?


Some studfinders have a wire trace function.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:33 PM   #4
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Wiring problem in the wall, what to do?


More likely a loose connection at one of the boxes where the circuit daisy-chains from one receptacle (outlet; plug) or switch to the next.

If the wires going into a switch or receptacle are pushed into little holes in back and supposedly stick there without being held firmly by an internal screw clamp, it is a good idea to undo them one at a time and refasten them using the screws on the side of the switch or receptacle unit.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:45 PM   #5
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Wiring problem in the wall, what to do?


Quote:
Between black and ground: 120V, Between white and Ground, almost nothing.
You left out the most important test........between black (hot) and white (neutral). Should be 120V



Quote:
What should I do now? Do I open all the wall and check the wire or can I try to jump a visible white line
Don't jump anything and don't tear open the walls.....yet.

The circuit takes a somewhat logical path from the panel, thru the switch and recep boxes. Remove the receps and switches on that circuit and you will find the faulty connection, probably in a backstabbed recep or loose wire nut.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:55 PM   #6
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Wiring problem in the wall, what to do?


[quote]You left out the most important test........between black (hot) and white (neutral). Should be 120V


Did the test, almost nothing, 20-30V.

I will try to check the boxes, and switches to hopefully find the fulty connection. ... before opening the wall!
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:13 PM   #7
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Yeah...open neutral. 90% chance it's a backstabbed recep.

Look in the high use receps like iron, toaster, heater etc.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:50 PM   #8
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Wiring problem in the wall, what to do?


In addition to the open neutral situation, the fact that the jumper between a nearby neutral & the switch resulted in the light functioning (rather than a dead short or nothing) indicates that the kitchen light has a switched neutral or that hot & neutral are reversed somewhere else.

The most likely location is the ceiling box for the fixture. The OP needs to check that out. An outlet tester would also be handy to verify their polarity.
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Old 07-27-2009, 09:22 AM   #9
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Wiring problem in the wall, what to do?


You guys were right!!

I found it! The neutrual was loose in one recep box along the route.

Thank you all!

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