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Question – There is Power Going to the Fixture, But it Still Isn’t Working

Because your old existing fixture stopped working it seems that there is a problem with the fixture circuit.

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I want to install a new light fixture in a bedroom. The old quit working so I thought I would just replace it. However, after taking the old one down and replacing it, the light will not work. I have a volt sensor and it indicates there is voltage. I’m getting voltage even when the fixture is not hooked up.  I hooked it to another room and it worked fine (lights and all).  How can there be electricity running through wires but the light won’t turn on? The breaker is not thrown. The light just won’t work. It is an older house. 1950’s. The wiring is original. Wiring connection is white to white and black to black, right? Why won’t the darn light turn on? And yes, the light bulbs are good.

Sorry to hear that your fixture is still not working. Because your old existing fixture stopped working it seems that there is another problem with the fixture circuit. The voltage reading you are getting could be caused by a condition known as a Neutral Feedback. If this is the case, the Hot Conductor has encountered a loose connection, or even possibly burnt itself apart. Typically this will be found at another junction box found somewhere in the vicinity of the bedroom. This is discovered through a process of elimination. If you know which breaker or fuse feeds this circuit then it should be shut off before proceeding. The fault is usually discovered by opening and checking each junction box. Many times shorts such as these are found in other ceiling fixture boxes such as a bathroom or kitchen. Older ceiling fixtures created a lot of heat which can cause brittle and cracked insulation over time, and with a home of this age there may be connections that are affected and coming apart. This is a serious situation because if it is a connection that is shorting this is a potential fire hazard.
Given your situation I would recommend calling a licensed electrical contractor who will be able to perform the proper tests, locate the problem and make the repair. Depending on what is found, you may want to consider an in-depth inspection performed for the entire electrical system, especially at the circuit panel.


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Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
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How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

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.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
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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