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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    1

    Exclamation No power in ceiling light, power at switch


    Recently our ceiling fan stopped working. Have power at light switch, but no power in ceiling. Tested light/fan and they are working. Is there any way to find the problem without removing drywall?

    Thank you for any advice in advance, greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,941

    Default Re: No power in ceiling light, power at switch

    Just to be sure -

    1- Have you put a voltage tester on the wires in the ceiling ?

    2- Also put a voltage tester on the output of the switch.

    3- If a dimmer / rheostat is involved, check that for operation (usually by bypassing it with a jumper)
    Last edited by HoustonRemodeler; 01-09-2014 at 10:48 AM. Reason: more better

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,963

    Default Re: No power in ceiling light, power at switch

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRemodeler View Post
    3- If a dimmer / rheostat is involved, check that for operation (usually by bypassing it with a jumper)
    Also, this fan/light isn't on a 3-way circuit, correct? I've run into situations where a fixture was on an unknown 3-way, the unknown switch gets flipped and the fixture no longer works. This probably isn't your problem, but it is worth mentioning.

    Pulling drywall is rarely a tool in finding an electrical fault. By code, all junction boxes must be accessible, which means that every connection between the breaker and the light fixture will be accessible, you will just need to find them.

    If you've got power to the switch but not to the fan, then the issue will be relatively easy to find, you just have to trace the wires from point A to point B, inspect any junction boxes and all connections in between.

    As Houston suggests, make sure you've got power in AND out of the switch, and check all connections within the switch box. Do the same at the ceiling fan box.

    If you do not have power at the switch, start by figuring out everything that is on the same circuit as the fan/switch, then you'll have a "map" of the circuit and a general idea of where to look for the problem.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: No power in ceiling light, power at switch

    When you say you've got power, I hope you're checking with a quality two wire than loads the circuit a little.

    A "non-contact chirper" will have you all confused. Since it will indicate you have power available when you may not have a neutral available.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: No power in ceiling light, power at switch

    In my 30 years I have found the wire in the cable broken twice. This is almost certainly not the problem but it's worth mentioning. A problem I have found more often is a buried junction box. This is a troubleshooter's nightmare but it happens.

    I think it likely one of the other answers will clear up your problem.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    698

    Default Re: No power in ceiling light, power at switch

    Quote Originally Posted by John freeman View Post
    In my 30 years I have found the wire in the cable broken twice. This is almost certainly not the problem but it's worth mentioning. A problem I have found more often is a buried junction box. This is a troubleshooter's nightmare but it happens.

    I think it likely one of the other answers will clear up your problem.
    John, I too have only found a few actual cable problems. One was in a brand new spool of 12-2 w/g Romex. It actually had a dead short in the middle of a 250 ft spool, that looked perfectly fine.

    Another was sabotage by a previous electrician.

    Buried JB's can be a real problem, probably because someone who would do it would probably not do it well. Ironically, the Code now allows a buried Romex splicing method, which pierces the insulation. I've not yet heard of a problem they've caused, but they will be very had to locate.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

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