Recessed lighting issue

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-15-15, 06:07 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Recessed lighting issue

Hello all,
I'm a new home owner and I'm finishing my basement and I've wired a new 15 amp circuit with an outlet and 4 recessed lights.. I turned on the power and everything works except the lights.. I tested to see if there was power going to the cans and there is to all four. I tested the outlet that is before the light switch loop and it works as well. I looked at all the wiring and everything adds up.. I'm confused, please help.. Some context I live in RI and the basement is all new construction.
 
  #2  
Old 05-15-15, 06:22 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,761
Received 1,321 Votes on 1,221 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

The receptacle works well but the lights don't work at all. This would be a perfect place to have a voltmeter to check for 120vac.

Do you have a meter..... not a non contact test pen ?
 
  #3  
Old 05-15-15, 06:34 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,218
Received 103 Votes on 89 Posts
Can you tell us the connections and wire colors at the switch?
 
  #4  
Old 05-15-15, 06:35 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes I do... I haven't used it yet but I'll give it a shot.. Where would I test on the recessed lights?
 
  #5  
Old 05-15-15, 06:38 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It's a 2 wire/1 ground nm romex
 
  #6  
Old 05-15-15, 06:39 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Recessed lighting won't work in RI. You either have to change the lights to LED or move. JK

There could be a lost neutral somewhere. Check your junction boxes.
 
  #7  
Old 05-15-15, 07:05 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Excuse my ignorance but what's the definition of a lost neutral?
 
  #8  
Old 05-15-15, 07:09 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Checked all Junction boxes and all connectors are tight.. I'm not sure how reliable the non contact pen but when the switch is on its have power to all cans but none of the bulbs are lite
 
  #9  
Old 05-15-15, 07:12 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The neutral is the white wire. It's possible that it's not making a complete connection somewhere along the line. Between the breaker box & the lights, how many junction boxes are there? Look in the breaker box as well for a bad connection.
 
  #10  
Old 05-15-15, 07:14 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I'm not sure how reliable the non contact pen
It's not so those results are not useful.
the light switch loop
If power goes from the receptacle to the switch you would not have a switch loop. At the switch two blacks to the switch and the two whites connected only to each other.
 
  #11  
Old 05-15-15, 07:17 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
From the breaker box there is one outlet and the light switch itself, I tested the outlet and it worked fine and the switch works as it should. Would the user of an AFCI breaker be the cause?
 
  #12  
Old 05-15-15, 07:24 PM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 5,450
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You didn't say how you delivered power to the lights.

Does the wiring go like this:

- black and white from receptacle into switch box
- black from receptacle to one switch terminal, white from receptacle tied to white to lights with wire nut
- black to lights attached to other switch terminal

If so, this is correct. You will have to open up each light wiring box to ensure the wires were not over twisted. When connecting wires with nut, sometimes they can be pulled up into wire nut too far, causing a lost connection. Basically the insulation gets pulled up into connection.
 
  #13  
Old 05-15-15, 07:27 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
the switch works as it should
How did you determine that. If you mean you used a non contact tester then you don't know. Where does power come in? Is it at the switch box?
 
  #14  
Old 05-15-15, 07:29 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Let's go back to the beginning. You opened the breaker box & you installed a 15 amp breaker. When you ran the Romex, where in the box did you connect the white wire & what was the next stop after the breaker box, on the white wire? Was in a junction box or the outlet?
 
  #15  
Old 05-15-15, 07:40 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
OK.. From the breaker I ran Romex to an outlet(attaching to silver screw using a pigtail) from the outlet I ran to the switch (attaching the neutrals with a wire nut) then ran from switch to the lights.
 
  #16  
Old 05-15-15, 08:54 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
I ran to the switch
Then it is not a switch loop for the lights. Are you saying you put the receptacles on a switch loop? How did you wire it at the switch.

Confusing because you wrote:
the light switch loop
The light would not be on a switch loop if power comes in at the switch.
 
  #17  
Old 05-15-15, 08:54 PM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,982
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So both the black & the white wires went to the outlet. Then a second white wire continued to the lights & a second black wire went to the switch. Then a 3rd black wire went to the lights. Is all that correct?
 
  #18  
Old 05-15-15, 10:09 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Black and white went to outlet then black and white went to switch then black and white went to lights
 
  #19  
Old 05-15-15, 10:12 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Is there any way to put a picture on here? I could show the wiring clear any confusion
 
  #20  
Old 05-15-15, 10:14 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
black and white went to switch then black and white went to lights
No. That is wrong. As I previously wrote:
At the switch two blacks to the switch and the two whites connected only to each other.
Name:  sw_circuit-1_zpse7a0670a.jpg
Views: 85
Size:  18.4 KB
 
  #21  
Old 05-15-15, 10:15 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
@ray2047
I apologize for the confusion didn't mean to call it a loop ,the power does come in at the switch after an outlet
 
  #22  
Old 05-15-15, 10:18 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Is this how you wired it:

Attachment 50574
 
  #23  
Old 05-15-15, 10:20 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Correct ray, the two neutrals are connected only to each other with a wire nut and the hot from the outlet is connected to bottom terminal and the hot going to lights is connected to top terminal and the ground are connected together and attached to switch via pigtail with wire nut
 
  #24  
Old 05-15-15, 10:21 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,583
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Then start at the first light and redo all connections.
 
  #25  
Old 05-15-15, 10:24 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 12
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
According to your diagram I have my hots mixed up..
 
  #26  
Old 05-15-15, 10:59 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,218
Received 103 Votes on 89 Posts
The location of the hots does not matter on a single pole switch. The two are interchangeable.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: