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Discussion Starter #1
I need some electrical troubleshooting ideas. I reached out to an electrician for help, but haven't heard back from them yet, so maybe I should keep trying my hand at it...

I tried troubleshooting it a bit, but didn't really know what I was doing.

It seems like power is getting out to the fixture, but the light bulb isn't coming on. I read that it might be due to a problem with the 'return line’.

I put a wireless power sensor near it and it beeped and flashed, indicating power was present. Other than that, I have no idea how to troubleshoot, so I could use some help.

Here’s some photos of it:

https://goo.gl/photos/bs9dLTRqey3E9KHLA

Ideas?
 

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Usually Confused
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First of all, know that the installation as depicted is totally inadequate and not Code compliant nor safe in any practical sense and I will make an assumption that the area not visible is equally substandard. This includes the unsecured and unprotected cable wandering out of the garage, the unconnected equipment ground and I will take a wold guess that the cable is for indoor use only.

If the power was, in fact, getting out to the lamp but the 'return' was broken, the circuit would probably completed through the ground or pole and you might well be dead. You can't really trust those non-contact testers. You should really use an actual volt meter to look for voltage between the two conductors in the cable. The way the cable has been torqued around in the post, I would hazard a guess that one of the conductors has broken, or the cable has failed in the ground and is broken there. Either way, it should all be replaced properly and to Code. Your photos don't show how far a run it is from the house to the lamp so it's hard to say how much work that would be.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Completely agree with everything you said here. Doing it to code... that would probably involve replacing the whole line, which would mean lots of digging and re-sodding of lawn, eh? I'd have to contract someone for the digging, and then someone for the electrical work, right? Or... I could rent a ditch digger at home depot, dig the trench, pull out the old cable, and then do it right myself? Hard to learn how to wire it to code?
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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That's definitely a remove and replace to code situation.

It is simple enough to do IF you have the basic knowledge.

To do it yourself get a basic wiring textbook, and read , them read it again.

And use either buried rated wiring, or buried conduit.

For now disconnect it from it's source, so it is inert, and safe to tear it all out, and start over.


ED
 

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Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
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Solar might be nice.
 

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Usually Confused
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The electrical side is fairly straight forward with basic learned skills: white>, black>black & ground>ground, although we don't get to see how it is connected inside the garage. I have not used one so I don't know how well a power trencher would work in the tight areas near the house and driveway and we don't get to see how far you need to dig and if you have to go under a driveway or sidewalk. Before anybody digs, make sure you get your buried utilities located first.

Depending on location, you will have to go down between 18-24". Also, the lamp post will have to be securely anchor, especially if ground freezing is involved. If you do decide to get an electrician to do this, you might consider asking if he can wire in an outlet to the lamppost, either unswitched or half-switched. I won't bother explaining how here but it is fairly simple and might come in handy.
 
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