Help! It's sooo dark in here!!

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  #1  
Old 09-26-07, 06:48 PM
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Exclamation Help! It's sooo dark in here!!

My recessed kitchen lights, dining table light, backyard lights, storage room light, and recessed family room lights suddenly don't work. I went outside to that metal box on the side of the house that has all those switches and looked for one that may have turned off by itself. However, they all are still lined up on the same side (no red showing). So then I proceeded to flip them all OFF, then ON again... one by one, hoping to spark some life into my kitchen once again -- but to no avail.

On a side note, my kitchen appliances all seem to work, just the recessed lights aren't functioning.

Any ideas as to what do do next? OBVIOUSLY, I don't know how to fix anything myself, so please keep you directions simple for a "Wannabe Do It Yourselfer" newbie like me can understand them.
 
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Old 09-26-07, 08:07 PM
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You already did exactly what we would have told you to do first. Are you sure you did all the switches? Did they all crisply switch to the "on" position after you turned them off? Did any of them click, either immediately after you turned them on or a few minutes later?

I can't think of anything else good to try. You may need to get some help in the morning. In the meantime, it doesn't sound dangerous.
 
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Old 09-26-07, 09:21 PM
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Have you tested all GFCI and looked for ones you didn't know you had such as the one behind the box in the storage room? Long shot I know, there really shouldn't be a GFCI but you did say outside lights and maybe there are outside receptacles.

Please no more all bold face type, almost as bad as all caps. <G>
 
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Old 09-26-07, 09:50 PM
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Not that this has anything to do with anything, but it's not bold face--it's just an annoying font.
 
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Old 09-26-07, 10:21 PM
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What's a GFCI?

Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Have you tested all GFCI and looked for ones you didn't know you had such as the one behind the box in the storage room? Long shot I know, there really shouldn't be a GFCI but you did say outside lights and maybe there are outside receptacles. <G>
Not sure what a GFCI is.... Ground Flux Capacitor Indicator?

And not sure how to test one. Is it easy? I only have a very basic tool kit (a couple screw drivers, not sure what the other metal stuff is), duct tape, super glue and a flashlight.

I'll check the storage room and garage to see if there are any other flip switch boxes besides the one on the side of the house.

I am very appreciative of your guidance. I am a single mom, and hoping to not have to spend the money on an expensive service call to an electritian if at all possible -- hoping it's an easy fix and that I can learn a thing or two along the way!

Oh, and I apologize for the bold face font. I mistakingly thought it would be easier to read...
 
  #6  
Old 09-26-07, 10:33 PM
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To let you know the GFCI term is Ground Falut Circuit Inturpter.

if that the case i really doubt that the GFCI can shut off the lighting circuit as you describing but that possible,

but i am more leaning one of the connection is open that why the light won't come on because you need hot and netual to run the light and if one of the two break open then it won't work at all.

somecase it willbe easy to find it and somecase it is not easy to find but majorty of the time it will be either in the switch box or the luminaire [ light fixure ] junction box one of the two places it may have a bad connection.

if you are not confotable with this you may end up getting a electrician to come out and and have them find the curpit for you.

Merci, Marc
 
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Old 09-27-07, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by IslandGirlinAZ View Post
Ground Flux Capacitor Indicator?

Frenchie has already explained correctly. I thought you were looking for the plutonium needed to generate the 21.21 gigavolts for your Delorean!
 
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Old 09-27-07, 09:31 AM
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Island Girl, this is more of a long-term suggestion rather than addressing this short-term problem.

Maintaining a house without spending a ton of money usually requires developing basic DIY skills. These skills take time to develop and the yearning to learn. I suggest you start by reading as many home improvement books as you can. These can usually be found without spending money at your public library. You'll probably also want to buy at least one general one to keep at home (such as the Readers Digest guide to home maintenance). You'll also want to acquire more basic tools. The books will guide you as to what tools you should get.

It's a long-term process. Just stick with it and you can do it. In the meantime, however, you may need to bite the bullet and spend money on this short-term problem.

To be honest and blunt, if you don't have the interest in acquiring these skills, and/or family and friends who have these skills and are willing to help you, you'd probably be financially better off as a renter.
 
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Old 09-27-07, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by IslandGirlinAZ View Post
Not sure what a GFCI is. And not sure how to test one. Is it easy? I only have a very basic tool kit (a couple screw drivers
A GFCI is an outlet with two buttons on it. One button is the test button and one is the reset. If you have a newer house you should have them in the kitchen, bath and perhaps other places. You should actually know where they are and be testing them once a month. As I said unlikely they are your cause but since outside fixtures are involved a non-electrician may have put them on a GFCI. Googling GFCI should yield plenty of info.
 
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Old 09-27-07, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post

To be honest and blunt, if you don't have the interest in acquiring these skills, and/or family and friends who have these skills and are willing to help you, you'd probably be financially better off as a renter.
Not nice and not true! The path to financial security includes home ownership! Even paying for someone else to do repairs is cheaper than paying someone else's mortgage. Rents always go up, a fixed rate mortage stays the same -- for 30 years! I bought a condo in Boston at age 26 back in 1999. My mortgage, insurance, and maintenance fees are $700 (after a re-fi). I now have a tenant who pays $1325 in RENT. Which is now helping to pay for renos of my NY co-op

Island Girl, take the OTHER advise and check out some DIY books at the library and the big box stores (Lowes, HD). Find a good one you like that has great graphics/illustrations and buy it for your home library. As projects come up, that you can do, buy the tools to add to your collection. Also, if you bought your house recently, hopefully you had a home inspection. You already paid the guy/gal and have a report, give them a call and see if they can do a walk-through w/ you again with the report. There might be some things in there that will make more sense now that you are living there and the haze of home-buying has settled. If there are things you need a professional for, your real estate agent is a good source for referrals (many states bar home inspectors from giving referrals due to conflict of interest/licensing laws).

Good luck and congrats on being a home OWNER!
 
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Old 09-27-07, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 594tough View Post
Frenchie has already explained correctly. I thought you were looking for the plutonium needed to generate the 21.21 gigavolts for your Delorean!
Great Scott! I think you mean 1.21 gigawatts...

IslandGirl: Without supporting either side of the "to rent or not to rent" question, let me just say this: electrical work is one of, if not THE, most dangerous type of DIY project to tackle. If you read up on it and feel you understand and are capable of the work, go for it; if you have any doubts, have a qualified person do it. Electricity can kill and your life is worth more than whatever the electrician's bill is.
 
  #12  
Old 09-28-07, 01:50 PM
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Okay, so electricity can kill you. But with a simple $10 tester and some basic precautions, it can be reasonably safe.

I recommend reading some books and getting comfortable with it. It isn't rocket science, just another trade that could possibly kill you.
 
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