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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have ZERO experience with electricity and also just bought a new house and have ZERO money for a professional. I replaced a simple pull chain, medium base, porcelain lampholder and it will not work. The original fixture was coming apart and the pull chain had fallen out. I got a $5 replacement from walmart and followed the instructions (killed the breaker, black wire to copper terminal, white wire to silver terminal) and now it won't work (yes...I flipped the breaker back on). Please help!
 

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Does the fixture have a pull chain? Does the bulb work in another fixture?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It does have a pull chain, I have tried to turn it on by the pull chain once the wires were connected and the breaker was back on. I tried the bulb in another fixture in the basement and it worked just fine. I also tried connecting a fixture I know to work on the wires (again, one black to the brass-colored terminal, one white to the silver terminal) and it didn't work either. Thanks for replying to my post.
 

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Any chance it's on a switch? Do you have a continuity tester or power tester? Try reversing the wires? I'm not an electrician but I've had my hands in enough wire boxes. Sometimes guys use wire scraps and disregard color codes-although I don't think it matters...
 

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The wires were connected to the proper colors. even if they were not the fixture should have worked. It just would not have been to code or as safe as it should have been.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I definitely need to pick up a tester. The fixture worked before I went tinkering around with it, only problem was the pull chain was out and we had to unscrew the bulb to turn it off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To Jim Port: I tried following the wires to their source (there were multiple wires heading into the box the fixture was attached to that weren't actually doing anything, they were just bunched up inside) but couldn't see where it connected to the box. I have a feeling I MAY need to get a hold of my brother-in-law who is an electrical engineer. I feel this may be over my head.
 

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If you can post a pic someone might see something that you don't. Also check to make sure any wire nuts are tight.

You can also check the center tab in the fixture. It might not be touching the bulb base.
 

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I definitely need to pick up a tester. The fixture worked before I went tinkering around with it, only problem was the pull chain was out and we had to unscrew the bulb to turn it off.
Is the current fixture hooked up exactly as the old one was? If you install the old one again does it work?

Just trying to narrow this down without any test equipment is a little tougher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thestig3: You're right, I do need a romex clamp...thanks for the heads up. The wires hanging down were not connected to the old, working fixture. They seem to be old wires that were just never taken out but I can't tell where they are coming from. Need to get a tester and remove them asap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jim Port: The current fixture is installed EXACTLY as the old one was. The old fixture's negative terminal fell off during the removal process. However, I was able to remove another fixture in the basement that I know to work (call it fixture 2, with the fixture I have taken photos of is fixture 1) and connect it to fixture 1 without it working, then reconnected fixture 2 to its original line and it works just fine. In other words, it does not appear that its the fixture at fault, more the wiring. But again...I am far too novice to know what I'm talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The new wire seems to go to a junction box just a few feet away, then redirects outside. I'll take pics tonight and put them up so you can see the progression of the wire. I have a feeling I've bitten off more than I can choose.
 

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If this goes outside there is a chance that a GFI has tripped and has killed the power. Look for the GFI with the TEST and RESET buttons like you might see in a bathroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Jim Port: Turns out my neighbor actually has done some work on this house (for the previous owner) and was able to come over and help me. The wires I thought were old and useless...were not (useless...they're definitely old) and I just needed to reconnect them. Simple fix...however he did mention some other pretty serious oversights near the washer/dryer that I need to take a look at. Thanks for all the suggestions and helping out a newbie!
 
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