Light fixture not working - Help!

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Old 04-21-08, 03:18 PM
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Light fixture not working - Help!

I'm trying to change a light fixture in one of the closets. The old one used to work when I bought the house, however, it stopped working after a month or so.

Initially, I thought it was just the light bulb, but I changed it with a new one and that didn't work either. So, I thought maybe it's the fixture.

Now that I was replacing the 50 year old fixture with a new one, I found there is no Ground. Only two black colored wires coming out of the sheet-rock. No junction box either.

I got the tool that beeps when it finds a wire with current and it showed that there is current in one of the black wires and the other one doesn't. So, I connected the one with the current, to the black colored wire on the fixture and the other wire to the white one from the fixture.
(The fixture has four wires two for each bulb so I just coupled them together and connected them together).

The problem is, that it still isn't working. I checked that there is still current in the fixture when I turn the switch ON.

Please help with any ideas.

I'm posting a picture which shows the connections.

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/f...e/IMG_1087.jpg
Thanks
 
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Old 04-21-08, 09:43 PM
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From the picture it looks like only two wires. Is that correct? Is it operated by a switch? You need a test light or analog volt meter to verify if you are getting 120v. No box is troubling. While you can sometime make connections inside the base of a fixture a Jbox in this case is best practice. Experts will have to say if it is even legal. I wonder though if there is a Jbox these wires were extended from and that is where the problem is.
 
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Old 04-21-08, 10:49 PM
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however there are some issue it will come up.

1] look like someone did install the drywall and they did not mount a juction box at all or there were a junction box but buried it [ it is a no no per nec code]

2] all the cloth closet all the luminaires must be enclosed no open bare bulb types at all.

did you check the switch to make sure you got good connections there ??

if so then you got connecion issue right above the luminaire location you may end up open that drywall anyway to get the bad connection but try to check the switch connection and see how many wires are in there it will make the diffrence there.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 04-22-08, 04:52 AM
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Yes, there is a switch to operate it, and seems like it is working, the wire gets current when the switch is turned ON.

It used to work not so long ago. I do not have a multi-meter, I just checked it with one of those "pen-shaped" tester I got sometime ago that detects the presence of current. So, yes looks like the switch does work.

Merci,Marc - did you mean to find out how many wires are coming to the switch? Shouldn't that be two?
 
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Old 04-22-08, 05:29 AM
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Non-contact voltage detectors are fine for indicating the presence of voltage, but will not detect if a complete circuit exists. Try a neon voltage tester between the 2 wires from the ceiling. Does it glow? If not you have an open circuit.

As Marc said closets cannot have bare bulbs. There are also very restrictive Codes that indicate distance from shelves.

As a side note: most new fixtures have a warning to be used with only 90 degree C wiring. There is no way that your wiring has this insulation rating and fixtures with this labeling should not be used.
 
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Old 04-22-08, 11:14 AM
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Yes i am refering to the switch location the reason why i want to know how many wire and the colours in the switch box on the wall because this way i can able tell if the switch is straght shot or loop'ed that way i can able pin point little more better.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 04-27-08, 01:51 PM
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I got a chance to open up the switch today and there are two wires. I think whoever did it before was not a certified electrician and knew nothing about wiring.

Anyway, I clicked a picture (not so clear). The white wire had voltage and the black didn't. I also saw a red wire which wasn't connected to anything.

http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/f...e/IMG_1089.jpg

What do you think the problem could be here?

Thanks
 
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Old 04-27-08, 03:53 PM
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Bingo.,, now you got some pretty serious issue going on however after you posted the photo that is the switch loop there however if that switch is used with the closet luminaire there should be a junction box where the wires poked thru the drywall.

i know you don't like to hear bad news but you have no choice but you have to open up the spot where the luminaie is located but before you really " grunts " at me a min .,,

it possible you can enlarge the hole where the wire sticking thru dont go any bigger than 3 inch diam and take a very strong or powerfull flashlight and see where that closet luminaire wires go i am sure it should have a junction box right above it or near by and i know some peoples do a crazy idea is make a running splice which it mean make a splices without junction box which it pretty dangerous anyway.

if you feel not too confortable with this you can get ahold of one of your freinds that can help you or get a electrician to get this fix up.

senice you mention pretty old home it may possible i say may have K&T [ kont and tube ] wireing in there i just can't be sure but just in case you may find that that can change a bit.

Merci,Marc
 
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