Multiple Lights went out simultaneously ... any ideas?


Old 11-05-14, 04:12 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Canada
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Multiple Lights went out simultaneously ... any ideas?

I returned home to find all of the lights in my garage out (there are three, one over each bay in a three car garage). I checked all breakers and they are fine, all outlets in the garage work fine as well. I checked for power at the switch and at each fixture and there is power to all three fixtures. I checked all of the bulbs and all are functional. There is what I would call an interrupt switch as well in that it can interrupt the power between the switch in the house and the lights.
I would assume that a loose connection would interrupt the power to the downstream devices and I should not find power at all three fixtures. Is this correct? Any ideas?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-05-14, 04:52 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

You didn't use one of those non contact test probes...... did you ?

Their only job is to inform you that you have dangerous voltage in the area you are checking. In your case it sounds like you may have lost the neutral. For that you will need a voltage tester or meter.

You'll need to check from the black wire to the white wire and from the black wire to ground.
Old 11-05-14, 05:04 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Canada
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Thanks PJmax. Indeed I did use a non-contact test probe. I'll check the grounds with a voltage tester, assume I'll work my way out from the switch and then check each fixture in succession unless you have any other suggestions. I'll let you know how I make out, but won't be able to get at it until Friday.

Old 11-05-14, 08:15 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
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If you lose the neutral you could still get an indication of voltage with the non-contact tester, but lights still will not work. If you lose the hot side of the circuit nearby you still might get an indication of voltage with a non-contact tester. They aren't very useful when troubleshooting.

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