Why Your Light Fixture May Not Be Working
Light Fixture Problems and How to Fix Them: Identify a Problem Wire Splice, Repairing an Electrical Wire Splice.
Light Fixtures that Stop Working
Electrical Question #1: I have a wall plug which I use for a table light. I attempted to turn the light on, but the light will not work.
- I attempted to turn the light on, but the light will not work. It was working earlier in the day. The bulb is good and I reset the breaker for that specific plug and still got nothing. Also I noted that two adjacent wall switches are not working either. Other wall plugs and switches serviced by that breaker are working.
This electrical wiring question came from: Glen, a Homeowner from San Antonio, Texas.
Electrical Question #2:
- We have 2 ceiling fan/light combos. One in the den and one in the kitchen. The other day the light in the den cut off. When I flipped the switch it did not come on. There was the same exact issue in the kitchen. All other lights and appliances work perfectly. I checked the circuit breaker outside and nothing was tripped. I checked the fuse box and noticed that out of the 4 fuses (3 15amp SL & 1 20amp D), one of the 15 amp SLs was broken. I replaced it and when I did, the new one ‘popped’. Also, our house alarm had a trouble light come on and we were contacted by our security company. They said the battery was low or dead. We replaced the battery but we still have the trouble light, and both above items still do not work. The house is 65 years old.
This electrical wiring question came from in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Thank you for your electrical wiring questions.
Light Fixture Problems and How to Fix Them
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with hand tools and electrical troubleshooting skills.
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring or inspections.
Note: Electrical troubleshooting for lighting is best performed by a qualified electrical contractor.
Light Fixture Electrical Circuit Problems
- Light Switch and Electric Wiring
- Glen, because you have stated that the electrical power is not working for more devices in this room the wall light switch should be tested. The wire splices located in the wall switch electrical box should be examined for possible loose or burnt connections.
- Identify a Problem Wire Splice
- In many cases such as this the problem may be caused by a faulty electrical connection or an electrical splice connection that has failed.
- Checking Other Switch Locations
- All electrical junction boxes associated with this circuit should be opened and examined as well until the problem has been located.
- Repairing an Electrical Wire Splice
- Burnt wiring or electrical wire splices will need to be repaired by removing the burnt areas of the wire and creating a new splice with a quality wire connector.
- It is best to use a pair of pliers to twist the wires together gently and then trimming off the ends of the wire.
More about Light Switches and Electrical Wiring
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
- Wiring Diagrams
- Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
Electrical Circuit Wiring
- This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Electrical Junction Box Splice
- Electrical junction box splices can be made safely when you understand the method.
- This example will show you how its done step by step and shows how to make a junction box splice and the related electrical codes.
Testers to Help Solve Electrical Problems
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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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