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How I Repair a Bathroom Light Fixture that Shorted Out

How can I fix a light fixture that shorted out and will not come on? Guide for Repairing a Bathroom Light Fixture Problem.

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Bathroom Light Fixture Electrical Repair

Electrical Question: How can I fix a light fixture that shorted out and will not come on?

One of the lights in my bathroom shorted out and smoked for a second and now none of the other lights in the bathroom will come on.

This electrical question came from Joyce who is a homeowner.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Joyce.

How to Repair a Bathroom Light Fixture

Application: Repair Light Fixture Wiring.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best performed by a Certified Electrician or Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Hand Tools and Safe Ladder.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal experience, the light fixture and access to the light fixture.
Precaution: Identify the light fixture circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Replacement parts for the light fixture should be compatible with the type of lamps that have been installed.

Guide for Repairing a Bathroom Light Fixture Problem

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Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Bathroom Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.

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GFCI Wiring
This list of articles will help you learn about the features and benefits provided by GFI and GFCI Receptacles and how they are wired.

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Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

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Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book
Great for any Home Wiring Project.
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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
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120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
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The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

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The Plug-In Outlet Tester
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It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

6 Responses to “How I Repair a Bathroom Light Fixture that Shorted Out”
  1. Lily says:

    Please help, I shorted out the electrical/light box in my bathroom. I didn’t see that someone had turned the light switch to the on position , so when I put the new light fixture up to the light box it caused a spark and now none of the lights in the bathroom work. How do I fix this?

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Lilly,
    First – clear any exposed wiring and make sure the wall switch for the light is OFF.
    Next – check the electrical panel for a tripped 15 or 20 amp circuit breaker, which will look like the switch handle is in the mid or less position. Turn the breaker to the full OFF position, then back into the ON position.
    If a circuit breaker is not tripped OFF then look for a GFI outlet in the bathroom, and push the RESET button.
    This should get you going. Use a flash light or set up a temporary light for finishing the fixture wiring.
    Be Careful!

  3. mo says:

    Bathroom lights controlled by one switch black wire of which connected to a GFCI receptacle ), vent fan and light controlled by another switch and walk-in closet light(by another switch. all light gone.

    1)Replaced the receptacle no help. later pulled and moved the wires of bathroom lights a while
    it worked for a few days and died out again.
    2)Turned off the breaker, I disassembled the bathroom lights fixture and make sure no wire shorting with a ohm meter before turning on the breaker and vent fan with light (it worked for more than twenty minutes.)
    3)Turned the breaker off and wrapped the wires with electrical tape before re-assembled the bathroom lights fixture.(double check with ohm meter to make sure no short)
    4)It worked only for a minute and shorted out again. Is it possible somewhere of cable
    inside the wall shorted? the chance is rare and difficult to fix it.
    Please give me some hint.

  4. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Mo,
    If there is a short in the cable or wiring then the circuit would trip off right away.
    Because there is a delay before it trips off there is the possibility of an overloaded circuit. The circuit could be tested for amperage load for overload conditions.
    Aside from that, the circuit and the connections will need to be evaluated for any faults.
    Be Safe,

  5. Patrick says:

    I short out my kitchen light fixture, the black wire was live and touched the recess light housing and produced a spark. Since then I cannot fix it.
    Of course this spark trigger the breaker which tripped off, which I put back on. I changed the dimmer switch, checked all wires but cannot found anything.

  6. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Patrick,
    The following process will help identify this light fixture problem:
    The circuit should be tested at the switch box to make sure there is power from the breaker.
    Double check the wiring connections of the dimmer switch.
    Check the wiring connections to the light fixture, and the circuit power to the light fixture.
    As with any electrical project, this is best performed by a qualified electrician.
    Be Safe,