Electrical Repairs For Light Fixtures
Why did a light socket pop when I changed the light bulb, which caused all the lights in the fixture to go out? How to Repair a Light Fixture Switch or Socket Problem.
Light Bulb Socket Popped
- I changed out a light bulb in the fixture that hangs over our kitchen table.
- I took the old bulb out, threw it away, then pulled a new bulb out of the box.
- I reached into the socket with the new bulb and POP all the lights in the fixture went out.
- I pulled the bulb out and realized it was too small for the socket and obviously I tripped something or blew out the fixture.
- I took the bulbs out and tested the bulbs in another fixture and they work fine, so it is definitely something electrical.
- Even though the circuit wasn’t tripped, I turned it on and off, but the lights still wouldn’t turn on.
- If it means anything, it is a dual switch and the other switch turns the other light fixture on and off.
- I’m trying to figure out if this is something major, and problematic or if its something minor.
This electrical wiring question came from: John, a Homeowner from Richmond, VA.
Additional Comments: Helpful!
Thanks for your electrical wiring question John.
Light Socket Pop Caused Fixture Problem
Application: Light Fixture or Light Bulb Problems.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best if wired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a non-aluminum ladder and Non Contact Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to access the light fixture(s).
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before servicing or repairing any light fixture components.
Notice: Always install light bulbs that are specified by the light fixture manufacturer. Changes in light bulb type must not produce more heat which could damage light fixture components or the area of the light fixture installation.
How to Repair a Light Fixture that Stopped Working
- Most likely what has occurred is that when placing the smaller size light bulb into the socket it shorted out between the contacts of the socket which may have damaged one of the light switches.
- Inspect the light socket where the pop occurred and replace the light socket if it is damaged.
- To troubleshoot this problem a voltage tester may be used to check the circuit power starting at the light fixture, and then the light switches, to discover where the failure has occurred.
- A direct short in a light circuit is often enough to cause an arc between the contacts of switches which can stop the circuit power from flowing to the light fixture.
- To safely test each light switch individually, it would be best to turn off the circuit power, and then use a continuity tester to see if there is a resistance reading through the switch contacts while the switch is turned on and off. If the resistance reading does not change while operating the switch then the switch is faulty and will need to be replaced.
More about Light Switch Wiring
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How To Use Electrical Testers
Home electrical wiring testers are the sure way to identify electrical circuits and help prevent the possibility of accidental electrical shock. These testers are essential when troubleshooting a faulty light circuit as well.