Ceiling light fixture was blinking in and out. Replaced the switch
(single pole, no outlet or anything else in box). Now nothing at all.
Old house, mostly old wiring (knob & tube). $2.00 little voltage
tester, the kind with two prongs and little christmas tree bulb, shows
no juice at switch (touch ends to the exposed wire ends) or at the
fixture (again, touch ends of tester to exposed house wire in box).
Have checked and turned off and on circuit breaker (upgraded panel),
and no problems with anything else on that circuit. Do I need to try a
better tester, or is everything fried somewhere in the line, leaving
the choice of no more fixture or ripping apart plaster in old
house(cha-ching cough cough)?
There are many possible issues. I am going to suggest that from the
information you have provided, you are not really ready to go about checking
for this kind of problem.
Are you familiar with the various ways a light and switch may be wired?
Have you tested the wires in a way that would account for all those ways?
I suggest that you may want to start by buying a good book at the DIY
store or book store and read the section on home wiring. Learn it will
before you start working on this project. Old homes can have many surprises
in the wring. Someone who does not really understand what is going on may
see something that may look OK but it may be a dangerous situation unknown
You may want to call in a professional.
I am sorry, but from the information you have provided I can't offer
specific advice on how to proceed safely in this kind of forum.
Thanks, I should have made it clear that if this involves anything more
than changing the switch or perhap a simple repair to the fixture
itself I ain't touching it. That's why I put in the cha-ching, for
having to pay someone to do major work involving ripping out plaster.
I'm just trying to do a minimal amount of diagnostics myself.
The real point of my post is, can I put any stock in my minimal wire
testing? Does using the cheapie tester the way I did indicate there is
no juice at either the switch or the fixture? And if that's the case,
is the only option hiring someone who can try to find a problem
somewhere in the wiring behind the walls?
Joseph Meehan wrote:
The cheap tester is not at fault. The problem is there are far too many
different possible way it could be wired to allow me to provide
comprehensive instructions that would cover the possible code compliant and
code non-compliant possibilities. Sort of that, I would feel like I was
encouraging someone to try something that could get them injured or even
killed. I had a hold home once. It originally was a log cabin, then brick,
gas lighting added sometime along the way and at least three different
version of electric wiring. I ended up totally rewiring it over several
years. It had may non-compliant issues and many could have been dangerous
to anyone doing testing. It almost got me once when I turned pulled fuses
until I got that light to go out, while working on it I discovered that I
did not get the right fuse, the light had just gone out while I was pulling
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.