No power to my kitchen lights

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  #1  
Old 12-06-13, 01:18 PM
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so i tested an old signal pole switch yesterday replaced it and found when I tested the live wires with my multimeter - hot and neutral (white and black) at the same time wont give me a reading...

however when i touch the ground and hot with the multimeter i get 120volts.

samething if i touch the ground and the neutral I get 120...

so needless to say i still dont have power to my kitchen lights.

im not an expert in this so i hope I explained it ok lol.

any ideas? please and thanks!
 

Last edited by Shadeladie; 12-06-13 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 12-06-13, 01:54 PM
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any ideas? please and thanks!
My first thought is you have an open neutral, but if this is a switch loop (only 1 black and 1 white wire in box) you need to do more testing. If a switch loop, you wouldn't have a neutral in the switch box, it would be in the ceiling box. How many cables and how many wires are in the switch box.....and what color are they?
 
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Old 12-06-13, 02:40 PM
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Have you actually checked for power at the light fixture? It could be as simple as a blown light bulb.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 03:46 PM
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Sorry. I should have been a little more clear and gave more detail...

1. No it has 3 wires - green, white and black - ground, neutral and hot.

2. Yes. I did check out the light bulb 1st.



When I touch the black and white from where my pole switch is with my mulitmeter I get no reading - nothing.

That does not happen on the others - I get 120volts with black and white.

however when I touch the ground and hot (green and black) I get 120volts.

same as when I touch the ground and neutral (green and white) I get 120volts.


So what Im asking is - why am I not getting a reading with the black and white together.

Something is wrong somewhere...



Please help? Thank you.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 04:45 PM
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You likely have a "switch loop" so the white is not a neutral.

It sounds like the switch is good - if the switch was "on" when you tested it.

You have 120v between BOTH sides of the switch to ground. That means the switch is closed completing the circuit.

Turn the switch "off" and you should read 120v on just one side to ground. BUT, if the fixture is good, you should also read 120v across the switch as voltage will pass through the meter and the fixture to complete the circuit. The other side of the switch should read 0 to ground.

Double check the socket for the bulb. Make sure the bulb is actually making contact.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 04:50 PM
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thanks for the fast reply!

its a fluorescent fixture 2 long bulbs.

I guess next step is to take apart/open the fixture?

The lights were flickering a little a fews days before this happened...
next day I woke up and no lights.

so the bulbs are brand new - even got 2 news ones. it has no power.

PS - yes sockets are making contact.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 06:18 PM
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It's likely the ballast has failed.

Check for power to the ballast, not the bulbs. Usually it will be the black and white wires.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 06:42 PM
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No it has 3 wires - green, white and black - ground, neutral and hot.
Like I was saying, it could be a switch loop and sounds like it is.
if this is a switch loop (only 1 black and 1 white wire in box) you need to do more testing. If a switch loop, you wouldn't have a neutral in the switch box, it would be in the ceiling box.


When I touch the black and white from where my pole switch is with my mulitmeter I get no reading - nothing.
That does not happen on the others - I get 120volts with black and white.
The others are probably incandescent fixtures and your are getting the neutral through the filament.

however when I touch the ground and hot (green and black) I get 120volts.
This is probably with the switch in "ON" position.

same as when I touch the ground and neutral (green and white) I get 120volts.
The white wire is the hot wire to the switch.

Yes, as was mentioned, probably just a bad ballast.
 
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Old 12-06-13, 06:43 PM
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thank you, everyone...

the "fluorescent ballast" - I will try to swap it out tomorrow!

I'll post tomorrow afternoon with the results.

thanks again.
 
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Old 12-09-13, 04:40 PM
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THANK YOU, everybody

Yes it did work, sorry for the delayed post - due to the wacky snow weather in NJ.

Note - just in case... I installed a 8ft ballast but the lights are 4ft each. very brite. I hope that will be ok.
it was all I had, it did work though.

Thanks again and I hope to post again - you guys are great!
 
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Old 12-09-13, 05:22 PM
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>>> I installed an 8 ft. ballast but the lights are 4 ft. each, very bright ...

Not okay.

Using the wrong kind of ballast for the lamps can greatly shorten the life of the lamps or the ballast or both.
 
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Old 12-09-13, 07:40 PM
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I installed a 8ft ballast but the lights are 4ft each.
Are they T12 or T8 lamps?
 
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Old 12-17-13, 10:28 AM
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Sorry I took so long to respond. T8. 32watt. Im going to change the ballist though... thanks everyone
 
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