Changed light fixture, now other light doesnt work


Old 01-21-07, 01:00 PM
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Unhappy Changed light fixture, now other light doesnt work

First, I have very little knowlege of how lights and circuits work. Maybe someone can help me solve this problem. I changed a light fixture in the basement stairwell that is on a circuit that has one other ceiling light on it. Two switches can turn the lights on from the top of the stairs and from the bottom. When I installed the light and turned the breaker back on to check it, something shorted and the breaker kicked off. Now neither light works when I do the light switch, no matter which light switch I try. However, other lights which were connected to the same breaker work. I changed both light bulbs but no luck. Is it possible I damaged the circuit? Do I need to change the light switches, or would that even make a difference? I tried to redo my wiring with the new light fixture but I still get no power to it (I think). I'd like to fix this myself, but I wonder if now I need to get in a professional who knows what they are doing. Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old 01-21-07, 01:40 PM
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I would get someone with a voltmeter and that understands 3 way switches and have them troubleshoot the problem.

Sorry I could not be more help, but that is how I would solve the problem.

Good luck
Old 01-22-07, 04:53 AM
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There is a lot of info needed to answer your question. All the wires and their colors in the light box even if not connected to the light. Same info for both switch boxes.
Old 01-22-07, 05:02 AM
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Sorry if this sounds harsh, but if you have "very little knowlege [sic] of how lights and circuits work" then you should not have been attempting this work. At least not until you have read and learned about the subject.

I envourage you to buy and read several books on home wiring, starting with "Wiring Simplified", so that you will be better prepared in the future.

You made a mistake anjd did not connect ther new light in the same manner as the old light, or you managed to damage a wire somewhere and you caused a short circuit. Often when a short circuit occurs, or when a high current draw occurs on a circuit, a connection will open. This is what happened in your case.

You need to check every junction box on the circuit, those not working and also those working. Somewhere you will find an open circuit. That is, somewhere you will find a wire that has become disconnected. Check each and every junction box on the circuit. As you are checking (with the power oiff of course), move any back stabbed connections to the screw terminals and remake any wire nutted connections with new wire nuts.

As a final check, if checking each junction box does not resolve the problem, use a volt meter or a two wire tester and very carefully check for proper voltage at every box along the way.
Old 01-22-07, 09:05 AM
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Thanks to each of you who responded. Points about reading up and gaining more knowlege are well taken. As is the advice to not venture beyond your knowledge. However, this project was not my first. I have installed two other light fixtures (very carefully reading instructions and safety guidelines) without difficulty. This one seemed even easier as the wires matched without problem (e.g., white, black, and the copper ground.) There was one orange wired which attached to the old fixture, which was attached to the ground screw. Since the new fixture had it's own ground wire, I did not use the orange wire and tied it off with a nutscrew. I attached the new ground as directed in the instructions. What I think happend was that the black wire came loose as I put the wires into the box.
But I dont know.

Since I don't know how to use voltage readers and don't understand how junctions and circuits work, I will call an electrician to figure out how to fix it.

Thanks again for your input.
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