Problem - half of the circuit is live, half dead


Old 10-15-13, 02:02 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Problem - half of the circuit is live, half dead

Hello folks,
I have two issues that are similar, though I will describe them separately in case that helps.

Issue 1:
In my dining room, there is a spot for a chandelier that has 3 wires: 2 white twisted together, 1 blue. Before I did anything, I tested the current with a meter and got a full power reading. Before installing the chandelier, I attached a 2 prong outlet end to the wires and plugged it in. Works fine. So I detached the prongs, and (after turning the breaker off) I wired the white of the chandelier to the two white wires in the ceiling, and the black to the blue wire in the ceiling. The breaker didn't want to turn back on. I detached the chandelier and returned the wires to the original state and attempted to turn the breaker back on. It still resisted. I did some back and forth switching of it, and now it stays on (chandelier still detached). So there are several things on this breaker circuit that are working (and I'm certain they're on this circuit), and several that are no longer working. The outlets near the chandelier no longer have power, while the items in the room closer to the breaker have power. Additionally, the same chandelier wires that I previously got a full meter reading on, now provide a no power reading. During this testing, no other items were plugged into any outlets in this area.

Issue 2:
I have a 2nd chandelier for a different room. This one I also tested in an outlet and it works fine. I tested the ceiling wires with the meter, and they have power. Again, the ceiling wires are 2 white twisted together and 1 blue by itself. So I turned the breaker off, attached the chandelier, and turned the breaker back on. The chandelier does not work, but other things on the circuit do. In this case, I have not tested that the chandelier wires have power. Additionally, an outlet that is on this same circuit is now without power (even though the breaker is now on).

Any ideas what could be happening here??
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Old 10-15-13, 09:37 PM
PJmax's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
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Welcome to the forums.

Are those the only wires in box one .... two whites and one blue ?
Same for box two .... two whites and one blue ?

That's actually pretty strange to have two whites and one hot. Since your hot wire is blue we can assume your wiring is in conduit. Are you using a digital meter ? They can sometimes give erroneous readings based on nearby wiring.

You no longer have power between the whites and the blue. Try checking from the blue wire to the box (make sure switch is on). Does that show power ? Based on the same problem in two rooms my first thoughts are an open neutral wire.

Your chandeliers aren't the problem or defective.
Old 10-16-13, 02:25 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Thanks for the response. Yes I am using a digital meter.

The two white and one black are the only wires with endpoints in the box, but there are also a black and red that come out of one hole in the ceiling and into another. Maybe you can see that in the picture I am attaching.

A friend mentioned that the two white is probably used to connect over to another outlet/light (i think this is called a pigtail?).

What do you mean by "checking from the blue wire to the box"?

Attachment 19366
Old 10-16-13, 03:23 PM
ray2047's Avatar
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Location: USA
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What do you mean by "checking from the blue wire to the box"?
One probe of your multimeter to the metal box and the other probe to the blue.

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