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All lights and some outlets when out when changing light fixture

All lights and some outlets when out when changing light fixture


Old 10-17-14, 04:44 PM
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All lights and some outlets when out when changing light fixture

Hi all I'm new to the forum and have read some interesting stuff. I have installed outlets and switches but never a light fixture. Anyways I had the main breaker shut off and pulled down the ceiling fan that was in the place previously. I was looking at the wiring and the only two wires are black. I think this is due to the fact that it is a very old house with the cloth wire cover and the white has come off. So while I left to pick up a multimeter at home depot to check which is which, my fiancee came home and turned the breaker on and used the bathroom switch. The light flickered and died. now all of the lights in the house and a handful of switches are out. The light switch that she hit was a part of a gfci outlet. So i'm wondering if i will need to hook up the fixture in order to get the power back to the other lights or what the issue is with the power. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-17-14, 06:27 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

The light switch she hit was part of a GFI circuit and now most of the lights in the house are dead. That doesn't sound good.

That sounds like too many items on a circuit. There shouldn't be any lights on with that GFI circuit. It sounds like you have an older house with very few breakers supplying the house. It would not be unusual for the bathroom lights to be on with the GFI receptacle but that's it.

You had two wires hanging from the fan, as long as they weren't touching they shouldn't have affected the circuit. Did you try resetting the GFI receptacle ? Did the breaker in the panel trip ?
At this point if you have a voltmeter you can check at receptacles on that circuit from the short slot in the receptacle to the box. (assuming you have three prong receptacles and BX or newer wiring) you should measure 120vac.
Old 10-17-14, 07:43 PM
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im not getting any voltage from the receptacle. I also checked a gfi outlet in the kitchen that wasnt working and there is also no voltage there. I've reset bother of them to no avail, and no breakers went off. It is an old place and there is only 4 breakers for the entire place.
Old 10-17-14, 09:24 PM
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Is this an apartment?

Old 10-18-14, 03:28 AM
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Unless a splice in the fan box was disturbed that was not noticed, two wires hanging out of the ceiling should not affect other parts of the house.
Old 10-18-14, 05:25 AM
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Did you reset the main breaker?
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