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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Ceiling light dilema

    I have a problem with my ceiling light. I was swapping out a fixture that worked fine but was ugly with an old art deco model which was recently rewired. It worked in my old house but moved with me. I have swapped lights many times without problems.

    I took down the old fixture and put up the new. I heard a faint electric noise when I turned on the circuit breaker. When I flipped the wall switch, nothing happened. I tried the other switch (a three-way setup), nothing happened. I checked my connections. They seemed to be good and it did not help.

    I tried a couple other fixtures in case something had gone wrong with the one I was trying to install. No improvement.

    My electric tester glows when I touch it to the black and white wires. It glows more when a switch is turned on but still glows some when they are off. The outlets on the same circuit work as they did before. It seems like the light should work.

    I would love suggestions for things to try. I have run out of ideas.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,621

    Default Re: Ceiling light dilema

    It sounds like you may have lost the common connection somewhere along the line.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Ceiling light dilema

    Thanks for the suggestion. How do I test for that? Since I get a glow with my electric tester, I figured that circuit was ok.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,621

    Default Re: Ceiling light dilema

    One of the first things to check is the outlet on the same circuit and see if the stab connections were used instead of the screws, the a very common problem. I know how I would do tests but I can't recommend it because if you aren't careful and don't know what you are doing you could get electrocuted.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Ceiling light dilema

    The stab connections were used instead of the screws. I was thinking of running a wire from either the common connection on a switch or from what I assume is an outlet closer to the circuit breaker box to see if there is a problem. My tester light does indicate I have a circuit at the overhead junction box. Shouldn't I have power to the fixture then?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,621

    Default Re: Ceiling light dilema

    If you look at the basic drawing attached, If the switch is closed and you use your tester you will get a hot signal anywhere from point A to point B . If it is a problem with the common you can test that by turning off the breaker, disconnect the common wire to the light and run a new wire from a known good common. By the way there is no common wire on a switch. Turn on the breaker and switch if the light then lights you have a known bad common. The first thing I would do is rewire the outlets so all the wires are on the screws. Stab connectors have been proven to be unreliable. The noise you heard may have been one of the stab connectors burning out.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Ceiling light dilema

    Thanks for all your suggestions. It turned out to be the dimmer switch. I had a bit of time Saturday so I put a plug on the light fixture and tried it on an outlet. I didn't think that was the problem but wanted to eliminate all possible problems. It worked.

    I purchased new switches. Tried the throw one first. When that didn't help, I tried the dimmer switch. That was attached with twist connectors. The system functioned when I flipped the circuit breaker.

    Thanks again.

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