Getting low current in wires to kitchen light......

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  #1  
Old 01-19-11, 10:20 AM
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Getting low current in wires to kitchen light......

My son just bought an older home, when he moved in the light above the kitchen sink never worked, we replaced the light and it still won't work. On the wall there is a plug receptical and the swithch to the light in one electrial box. The plug works fine, took off the switch and tested it for power and only got a dim light on my tester. Hooked the switch back up and tested the line going to the light about the sink and only got a dim light too. There are three lines coming into the lights electrial box, (2) 2 wire and (1) 3 wire. All the blacks are tied together and the same with the white. For the light there was a jumper wire on the black side and a red coming from the 3 wire, touch my tester on these two wire and get a very dim test light. What would cause us to get low current like this? Any ideas? Thanks......
 
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Old 01-19-11, 11:30 AM
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Two possibilities come to mind. The first is a very loose or weak connection in the circuit, perhaps a wire that is almost completely broken or burned through. The second is that the light fixture(s) are wired in series instead of parallel. Is this problem confined only to the kitchen light or are there other unusually dim or bright lights in the home?
 
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Old 01-19-11, 12:17 PM
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Have no problems with anything else on this circuit, only the wiring coming into the electrical switch box. I think there may be a problem with the 3 wire seeing the red wire is the one with low current, it's hard to tell where this 3 wire goes in the wall.
 
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Old 01-22-11, 05:43 AM
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I found a juction box above the kitchen ceiling with the # 3 wire that was spliced going to the fixture. Inside this juction box is the old 14-3 wire, old gray cloth paper wire spliced to a piece of 12-3 new romex about 4 foot long going to the fixture. Would this was anything to do with my low voltage problem? Thanks....
 
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Old 01-22-11, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by grantiman View Post
I found a juction box above the kitchen ceiling with the # 3 wire that was spliced going to the fixture. Inside this juction box is the old 14-3 wire, old gray cloth paper wire spliced to a piece of 12-3 new romex about 4 foot long going to the fixture. Would this was anything to do with my low voltage problem? Thanks....
Remake the connections in the Jbox with new wire nuts. Check the wires for corrosion if any and clean before remaking the connection.

Just so I'm understanding correctly what are the colors of the two wires connected to the light?
 
  #6  
Old 01-22-11, 06:56 PM
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It could also be a bad switch. Also, 14awg is too small for kitchen circuts. Not causing this problem, however. Something tells me there is a 20A breaker involver somewhere...
 
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Old 01-24-11, 07:36 AM
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The wire colors connected to the light are Black and Red. The black wire is a pigtail coming from all the blacks tied together, the red wire is just its own wire going directly to the light fixture. I'm going to put in a new light switch today, not sure if that will work because the wires in the light swith box show low current too. I'll let you know what happens, thanks for all the help so far.....
 
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Old 01-24-11, 07:56 AM
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grant, I would hold off on the new switch as I think you just stated the problem. I'm not an electrician so I'll let those qualified complete the thread. Also, I didn't see where you mentioned where the white was connected in the light.

Bud
 
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Old 01-24-11, 08:05 AM
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The wire colors connected to the light are Black and Red.
That is what I thought from your post. That is wrong. It should be black and white or red and white but never black and red. I suspect Ben was correct when he suggested the lights may be wired in series instead of parallel.

Right now I'm not making any sense from the wiring you have. Maybe just too early for my mind to track. What I would probably do in a situation like this is disconnect everything and go from scratch but I hesitate to suggest that because I don't know your skill level so read the next paragraph.

Basically right now there are two things you need to do. First get a white neutral to the light. The other thing is find out if the red or black is controlled by the switch. If one is controlled by the switch you leave it connected and the other you disconnect and cap off with a wire nut. You then test to see what devices/fixtures still work and which don't.

To test if red or black to the light or switched get a white neutral there first then use your tester between the neutral and each wire as someone works the switch.

You weote:
There are three lines coming into the lights electrial box, (2) 2 wire and (1) 3 wire. All the blacks are tied together and the same with the white.
This bundle of whites should be where your neutral comes from that should be hooked to the light.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-24-11 at 08:24 AM.
  #10  
Old 01-24-11, 04:29 PM
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Thanks for all the help, I too thought it was odd with the red and black going to the light fixture. I'll change the wiring so I have a pigtail coming from the bundle of white wires in the electrical light box then test the power. If I'm correct, I can't remember off hand but I think they have the Red and Black hooked up to the light switch. No matter how I connect the red and black to the wall switch, I only have power to the light fixture in the off position. I may have to make a pigtail from the whites coming into the wall switch too and tie all the blacks together in there also. I'll test it and see if I get full current with the red and white wires. I'll post as soon as I check it, probably won't be till this weekend. Thanks again, I'll keep you posted.....
 
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Old 01-24-11, 06:07 PM
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Good deal. Sounds like a plan. We will be here.
 
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Old 01-24-11, 10:15 PM
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Also let me give you a head up rather a stern warning before you make a pigtail spices with bunch of white conductor .,,

Make sure that is not a switch loop { that part you may need to verify at the switch box } if you have switch loop we will give you slightly modifed instruction when we get there if that is the case.

And three way switches they are little tricky to deal with it espcally with older home with goofy conferation which some part are illegal per modern NEC code.

If you have three way switches in that room please make a extra step to make a note of connection so that way you can able slove the issue.

Merci.
Marc
 
  #13  
Old 02-01-11, 05:31 PM
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Just wanted to update you on my electrical problem. I hooked the light fixture up to the red wire and made a pigtail coming out of the all the white wires tied together, the light now works. On the walls electrical box they have the light switch and a receptacle in the same box. The light switch still has a red and black wire on it but the fixture had to be wired to the red and white wires, not sure why, but the the light works now. All the other lights and receptacles work on the circuit so I guess it must be wire right. Thanks for all your help and time........
 
  #14  
Old 02-01-11, 06:31 PM
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The light switch still has a red and black wire on it but the fixture had to be wired to the red and white wires, not sure why
It is not uncommon to use red and black on a switch if available. When white is used it is supposed to be recolored black or red or any color but green or gray. While not a rule usually the black is the hot and the red is the switched wire.
 
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