Here is my situation.
Have a light switch that controls 2 lights -- A & B on opposite sides
of the front of my house. The wire runs from switch to light A and
then a wire runs from A to B. Both lights used to work. I recently
had construction in my house and had new wood siding put up outside
and drywall inside. Now light A works but B does not.
Here is the weird thing. When I put my electrical sensor (I don't
have a volt meter, just the device that beeps if current is present)
to the wires of light B, it beeps as if current is present when the
switch is on. However, the fixture does not work. I have tried new
fixture and new bulb including moving the fixutre from A that I know
I am guessing that during remodeling they somehow hit the wire with a
nail or screw. But why do I show some current there at all? And if
they hit it with a screw/nail, shouldn't I get a short and keep
blowing a breaker when I turn on the lights?
Can anyone shed some light (sorry for the pun) on this for me? I am
hoping there is a good answer as trying to run a new wire will be
difficult and expensive for me.
Two continuous wires are needed for the light to work. The hot leg, which
your tester indicates that you have, and the neutral, or grounded leg, which
you apparently don't have. The first thing I would do is be sure that the
splices at light A are tight, beyond that, it would appear that the neutral
has been severed
It sound like you have a broken neutral wire. With the switch on and
the light bulb in place, check the neutral wire (white) with your
sensor. If it beeps, then you have a broken neutral wire somewhere
downstream. If it does not beep, then the problem is with the light
fixture itself, which should be easy to fix.
Most problems occur at the fixtures, and rarely on the wires behind
the walls. I would check the neutral wires on both lights to make sure
none of them have come loose.
I don't have one of these things that beeps, so I really don't know,
but does it beep when current is present, or when voltage is? If
current were flowing in the area between A and B, it's either going
through the lightbulb or a short circuit or something.
You know that there can be voltage without current, right?
You need to by a VOM, a volt-ohmmeter. They measure current too but
not AC current and not the amounts used by household appliances.
Turn off the breaker, screw a good lightbulb in... doorbell, got to
They come in both types, as a current sensor or as a voltage sensor,
or some of them have dual mode. It is a handy device because it is a
I think the original poster was saying current when he actually meant
When you have a run like you describe it is fairly common to join the wires
in box A and feed the fixture with a pigtail. If you have a wirenut
connection in that box, check to make sure the connections are tight.and
both hot and neutral are being delivered to box B.
Sorry to say, it sounds like a nail or screw may have cut the wire
somewhere. If it was the neutral that was cut, it would not trip a breaker.
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