Light switch problem


Old 05-01-05, 03:32 AM
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Light switch problem

A couple days ago I heard some popping noise coming from the back room. Today I notice that a ceiling fan/light does not work at all. I checked the voltage at the switch and I am only gettting about 30 volts. There is another switch on the circuit and is pulling 120 V. The switch that is not working is jumpered from the good switch. What caused the popping and how can I fix this problem?
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Old 05-01-05, 04:31 AM
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Check switch that popped and change if needed

You may have either a loose connection on the switch that was poping or the switch might be defective. Turn off the power to the circuit and check to see it is really off with your meter, then pull the suspect switch out and check to see if all connections are okay. If the switch is back-wired (wires are pushed through holes in the back of the switch body) you might want to move the wires to the side-screw terminals that are more reliable. Change the wires one at a time so you don't get mixed up which goes where. You didn't say if the switch was a 3-way or not. If it is, there will be three terminals, and perhaps a grounding screw on the strap of the switch too.
If tightening the connections and/or moving wires from the back-wired terminals to the screw terminals does not fix the problem, replace the switch. Again, move the wires one at a time when you change the switch so you don't get the wiring confused. Three way switches have screws with slightly different colors brass and gray or some other comination. Two will be one color and one the second. Move the wires from the original swich terminal that has the single color to the one on the replacement with the single terminal, then move the other two wires to the other two colors.

Your meter probably read 30 volts because it is a modern high performance instument that requires very little current to work.

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