Light switch quit working.


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Old 02-14-15, 09:06 PM
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Light switch quit working.

Hi,
My light switch quit working. I checked my ceiling lights and the BULBS are good. I checked breakers and none have tripped. Can a switch just go bad?? See picture. The wires to the switch are pushed in and I couldn't pull them back out. I assumed that was the design. So I cut both wires. I assumed with both bare wires I could just jump them with another wire..... Completing the circuit and thought the ceiling light would go on but that is not the case. I put the meter on the wires and it only shows 60 volts... Not 120. What's my next step?... What else would cause a switch or wiring to JUST quit.?
 

Last edited by drcwks; 02-14-15 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 02-14-15, 09:15 PM
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Test your hot to ground as well as hot to neutral and report your voltage readings. You may have a poor connection upstream. If using a digital meter you may be seeing phantom voltage.
 
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Old 02-14-15, 09:26 PM
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Both wires are black that went to the switch

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Last edited by ray2047; 02-14-15 at 09:42 PM. Reason: Correctly inset image.
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Old 02-14-15, 09:37 PM
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Check from the two spliced blacks to the whites for voltage.

The single black goes out to the fixture.
 
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Old 02-14-15, 09:43 PM
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Back stabs are unreliable. Move the wires on the switch to the screws.
 
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Old 02-14-15, 09:45 PM
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Okay. The black wire coming from the wire nut with other 2 blacks and then the other meter lead to the 3 whites show 123 volts. Then the same black to ground shows 123 volts.
 
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Old 02-14-15, 09:49 PM
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There are no screws. But the new switch I purchased has them. I guess I'm still confused if the switch was bad. And wiring is okay ..... Why jumping the blacks ...with another wire... Why that doesn't complete the circuit and turn the lights on.
 
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Old 02-14-15, 09:51 PM
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It's not the switch. There is a wire loose somewhere after the switch.
 
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Old 02-14-15, 09:59 PM
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Hmmm. So it's possible I should be checking the wires to the light fixture itself. ...?.? All my other lights etc in adjacent bathroom are working. I'll have to tackle that job in the morning. Thanks for everyone's help
 
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Old 02-14-15, 10:11 PM
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Yeah,
The wire nuts at switch box look very secure. Problems arise when connecting stranded wires to solid wires. That's most likely at the light fixture.
 
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Old 02-15-15, 07:32 AM
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That switch looks at least 35 years old. That wiring was probably installed in the early 60s.
 
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Old 02-15-15, 12:36 PM
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I feel kind of dumb replacing the switch. This house was built in 1958 but the light fixture was
replaced before I moved in when rooms were remodeled. I took the ceiling fixture down and one of the stranded wires was not
making enough contact. I have lived here 20 years.... Anyway... I have the wiring all secured
and all is well. Thanks for everyones help.
 
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Old 02-15-15, 12:51 PM
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That's not dumb, that's good troubleshooting. You figured out the lights would not work after jumping switch. You look elsewhere after that.

Good Job.
 
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Old 02-15-15, 01:17 PM
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It is also could you got the wires under screws. Back stabs are one of the problems we see here when things don't work.
 
 

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