No Power to Lanai lighting

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  #1  
Old 01-09-16, 07:30 AM
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No Power to Lanai lighting

Here in Clearwater, Florida, my swimming pool area is lighted by five overhead120v lights in the lanai area and the pool has an underwater 120vac pool lamp in the concrete wall. These are fed from a Cutler-Hammer load center via a 120vac gfi circuit breaker and controlled from any one of three locations by standard 120vac switches. The swimming pool light has a separate switch but the same AC source. Recently, we are unable to get power to the lights. The output of the gif breaker is 121vac and all wires are solidly connected. Opening each of the three switches and measuring to a nearby 120vac power outlet yields 119 vac from the smaller outlet slot to the black lead on each switch. The lights are all good. Looking in the attic indicates no obvious line breaks. HELP (and thanks).
 
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  #2  
Old 01-09-16, 07:42 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

In tracing the power you need to check both the hot and neutral wires. A circuit will not work if either is open. You can check the hot to neutral or ground. The neutral should have continuity to ground. Use an extension cord as your reference source.
 
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Old 01-09-16, 04:34 PM
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Have you checked at the light sockets,center post to shell,did these all stop working at the same time ?
 
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Old 01-09-16, 05:23 PM
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Opening each of the three switches and measuring to a nearby 120vac power outlet yields 119 vac from the smaller outlet slot to the black lead on each switch
I don't think that test will tell you anything.
Try replacing the switches one at a time (marking all wires first), or post back for proper testing.
 
  #5  
Old 01-10-16, 10:05 AM
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Oops!

Don't look now but, measuring 119 volts from the small prong hole of the extension cord end to a black wire attached to a switch in the wall means something is wrong.

The small prong hole should be the hot. The black wire attached to a switch should be hot. Measuring from hot to hot correctly yields about zero volts (or about 240 volts depending on where the extension cord was plugged in).

Maybe the receptacle into which you plugged the extension cord in was so loose that you plugged the cord in backwards so the small prong hole incorrectly gave you neutral.

Maybe your switches are really not getting hot (power). You measured the 119 volts because you touched the probe to the load side wire (wire going to the light). That wire may have gone nowhere (due to a problem upstream) except that the light bulb completed the path to good neutral.
 
  #6  
Old 01-10-16, 10:18 AM
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Suggest repeating the tests you tried with these refinements:

From screw (with wire still attached) on switch to extension cord prong hole.
Do it with all the switches in the off positions and again with all of the switches in the on positions.

Repeat the tests again using the other prong hole of the extension cord for good measure.
 
  #7  
Old 01-15-16, 06:21 AM
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Thanks for all the responses, which will now be integrated into my next steps.
 
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