I have an outdoor light at my house that receives power at random and
then the light goes on; it also loses power out at random. There is no
way to turn it off except to unscrew the bulb. Are there any
suggestions as to what it may be? I have a multimeter and know how to
This sounds like either a troll, or a fairly dangerous situation.
Unless it's a megger, your meter isnt as much help as your eyes. Sounds like
you have rats & some exposed actives. Follow the feed from the light back to
the first wiring intersection.
Don't wait for the house to burn down!!!
Sure. An intermittent connection, like from corrosion or simply bad
physical connection (e.g. back-stabbed outlet feed.)
I'd suggest you forget the multimeter, simply to maximize safety and
minimize drama. Couple bucks at HD gets you an "inductive voltage
tester" which can be used to track live lead, find breaks, etc. No
contact with conductors. Work backwards from light with this one,
obviously when light is on.
2-piece circuit tracer is also very helpful to trace circuit, while
live, from outlet back to breaker. Sperry makes one that I use. Plug
one module into outlet, adjust sensitivity of "tracker" module as you
work along line to breaker.
Alternatively, pull and inspect all the cables and connections
involved. Rather not, here.
Then map out whatever's affecting the branch circuit, or the service
drop, whatever it is. And put in whatever switchgear suits you. Safely.
This situation could cause a fire. Turn off the circuit at the main.
Check to make sure the circuit has no power. Remove the lamp and
check for corrosion. Remove the lamp base and check all the wire
nuts. Chances are one is loose. If you find all connections are
tight, move your way back to every electrical box on the circuit and
check the nuts there too. A loose wire can cause arcing so after you
remove the lamp base inspect the interior with a flashlight for any
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