Fixture bad -- or "wiring?" How to tell?

So, a couple of years ago, I did a major home remodel. Electrician was OK, but he loved to "screw with things," that did not seem to need "screwing with."
And, he got a bit testy when I said I would install various fixtures myself, after he did the wiring, etc.
But, now it is two years later. I have an outdoor light fixture...I use it maybe...once every two years. HA HA.
Went to use it today. It does not work. Replaced the bulb with known good bulbs. No go.
Is there a way to test the light fixture itself without taking it "out." It is sort of a pain to get to. It is a ceramic "pull chain" fixture, located in a SMALL enclosed storage area under a set of outdoor concrete stairs. It is out of the weather, but it does get damp in there in winter).
I'm thinking the electrican, might have somehow disconnected it to the panel as he worked to connect the new cooktops, ovens, overhead fixtures in the house?
I do have a $50 KLEIN digital "whatever those sort of meters are called" to measure current, but I am not very good at using it. So, any thoughts?
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If you put a bulb in it that you know is good and it still doesn't light, you've gone as far as you can go at the fixture without taking the fixture off. Other possibilities are an open breaker or GFCI on that circuit. If that isn't the case, then next step is to remove the fixture and see if you have power there.
It is sort of a pain to get to. It is a ceramic "pull chain"

Possibly corroding the switch. If it's bad, I'd replace it with a fixture suitable for an outside location.

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On 10/26/2011 8:33 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Check all the GFCIs, including ones you never use. I don't think it meets current code, but for several years, 'outside' fixtures like that were often downstream of bathroom GFCIs. I once changed outside outlet here thinking it was bad, before I realized GFCI in bathroom in addition was tripped. (No loss except to pride, outlet needed changing anyway, had the usual missing chunk near where ground prong fit in front.) Does storage room have its own breaker, or is it hung off the nearest inside room? If the latter, may be a GFCI in there, like in an outlet behind some furniture or something.
I'm no electrician, but speaking from experience, I'd lay money on the pull-chain part being corroded. If you decide to take it apart, go buy a new one first. They are so cheap, probably not worth trying to fix. I'd also look at buying a weather rated fixture. I'd suggest a plain fixture and adding a switch, but pretty sure that is beyond your comfort level.
--
aem sends...

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OP Again:
Appreciate all your suggestions and I am not insulted by any, I am really pretty clueless on electrical issues.
I was hoping I could do some magic mumbo jumbo without taking the fixture out, but I guess that is the next step.
The house is 1970 vintage. There is a concrete staircase built as part of the house when it was originally constructed and -- like inside many homes -- there is an enclosed storage area under the stairs (access is through a small door).
Romex (is that right?) comes out of the concrete inside the storage room and runs "behind" the fixture. I imagine there is some sort of "box" there.
No GFCI in the house at all. Wait, I guess the electrician put a couple in around the kitchen sink when he was here, but that's all. I'll check them, but since those circuits are in use all the time....
I'll let you know how it turns out.
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That (corrosion) would be my first guess. Use a pencil eraser to "clean" the center contact of the light socket. Operate the switch MANY times. With luck you can cut through the corrosion.
The next step is to pick up "voltage detector." These gadgets "beep" and and sometimes light when the tip is brought near a hot wire. These are completely insulated so you can poke them around without risk of shock or shorting something else.
With the voltage detector at hand, take the cover plate off the switch and see what's Hot and what's not hot with the switch in it's two positions. That will give you a clue whether there is corrosion inside the switch or the wire connection at the switch is corroded.

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On 10/28/2011 1:47 PM, John Gilmer wrote:

It's a pull chain fixture. Unless OP hasn't found it, there is no switch to pull the cover plate off of.
--
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tim birr wrote:

If it worked after the electrician left and a new bulb won't glow, it's the fixture.
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Find a neighbor who is handy!!!!
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