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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default Old Bath Light Works New Light Doesn't

    I'm replacing a light fixture in my bathroom. It's a single light ceramic socket sticking out from the wall with a glass globe cover. It's hooked up to one switch along with an exhaust fan. Both the fan and light turn on an off by the single switch.

    My problem is that the new fixture when connected doesn't work. Turning the switch to the off position the light is dim and the fan doesn't work. When turned "on" the light is bright but the fan still doesn't work. I've tried both single-bulb and two-bulb fixtures with the same results. I've hooked up the old light again and it works fine. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    5,434

    Default Re: Old Bath Light Works New Light Doesn't

    - What type of light bulbs were you using with the old fixture and the new fixture?
    - Make sure you are using a good (not burnt) light bulb in the new fixture.
    - Check your wiring and connections again.
    - Try a different fixture and light bulb, if all else fails.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
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    5,620

    Default Re: Old Bath Light Works New Light Doesn't

    The symptoms you describe sounds like you are wiring the fan and light in series rather than in parallel. Cn you tell us what wires you have and how you are hooking them up?

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    3

    Default Re: Old Bath Light Works New Light Doesn't

    I've got a switch with one black and one white wire connected to it. From there they run to the light fixture box where I believe they connect to the main power line and light (3 black wires in a wire nut). It looks like the black power is connected to another wired nut that shares a white and another black which I'm guessing goes to the exhaust fan. The third wire nut in the light fixture has four white wires with one of those coming from the light. Where are the other three coming from? Light switch, main line, and ceiling fan? There are no receptacles in this bathroom.

    I'm guessing that these neutral wires might be where the issue is coming from.

    So in the light fixture box the wires are configured like this in 3 different wire nuts:


    -2 blacks, 1 white. This is the one without a runnoff to the light.

    -4 whites. One of these is a wire to the light.

    -3 blacks. One of these is a wire to the light.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,620

    Default Re: Old Bath Light Works New Light Doesn't

    Quote Originally Posted by rmsmi View Post
    I've got a switch with one black and one white wire connected to it. From there they run to the light fixture box where I believe they connect to the main power line and light (3 black wires in a wire nut). It looks like the black power is connected to another wired nut that shares a white and another black which I'm guessing goes to the exhaust fan. The third wire nut in the light fixture has four white wires with one of those coming from the light. Where are the other three coming from? Light switch, main line, and ceiling fan? There are no receptacles in this bathroom.

    I'm guessing that these neutral wires might be where the issue is coming from.

    So in the light fixture box the wires are configured like this in 3 different wire nuts:


    -2 blacks, 1 white. This is the one without a runnoff to the light.
    Just a guess 1 black is power, 1 black is to outlet, 1 white power to switch
    -4 whites. One of these is a wire to the light.
    Neutrals from power, to outlet, to fan,to light
    -3 blacks. One of these is a wire to the light.
    power from switch, to fan , to light
    You need to look at the individual cables, If the white in the first group is to the fan instead of the switch and the white from the switched is bundled with the neutrals then the feed is through the fan to the light that may be your problem.
    The four cables are power, fan, outlet, switch.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    3

    Default Re: Old Bath Light Works New Light Doesn't

    I guess the main question I'm still trying to find an answer for is why would one fixture work and 2 different new ones won't? I thought I bought a defective 2-light fixture so I bought another with a single-light and it wouldn't work either. Right now I've got the old one hooked up and it works fine. Am I going mad? Are some light fixtures wired differently?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,620

    Default Re: Old Bath Light Works New Light Doesn't

    By any chance does the old fixture have an incandescent lamp and the new ones CFL lamps?

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Old Bath Light Works New Light Doesn't

    The fact that you say "urning the switch to the off position the light is dim and the fan doesn't work." gives me a hint that the bulb is probably a newer CFL. Then tend to still hold a glow after they are turned off.

    It's a possibility that after the voltage drop from the fan, the bulb doesnt have enough voltage to light up with this kind of bulb. Is it possible to test the fixture with a regular incandescent bulb? Maybe a 45 or 60 watt, check the rating of the fixture as well to make sure you dont exceed the wattage it was made for.

    Since CFLs use a different type of technology, they expect a certain voltage range before they will work. That's why most CFLs say non-dimmable.
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

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