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Test light brings ceiling light circuit to its' knees ... ?

Test light brings ceiling light circuit to its' knees ... ?


Old 10-21-16, 01:17 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: USA
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Test light brings ceiling light circuit to its' knees ... ?

I wanted to start using a ceiling light that had never been used before.
When I turned on the switch, nothing came on.
I went to replace the bulbs and saw they were the ~6" flourescent kind.
Preferring to stick with standard bulbs I took off the existing fixture.
Before buying a new fixture I wanted to double check that power was going to the wires.
I clipped my trusty autocraft testlight to one wire and touched the prong to the other.
The test light came on for a nanosecond then heard the pop of something blowing.
I turned off the switch, reset all the breakers, but can't seem to revive that circuit, what happened and how do I fix it?
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Old 10-21-16, 02:03 PM
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Your trusty auto test light is only rated for 12v use. So the bulb is definitely bad. I wouldn't think that would trip a circuit breaker but possible the bulb internally shorted.

Is the whole circuit dead or just part of it ?
Old 10-21-16, 02:49 PM
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The pop you heard was the destruction of your test light. So the circuit is fine, the test light no longer works.
Old 10-21-16, 02:57 PM
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Are there other things (e.g. lights) on the same circuit that work or do not work?

Are you sure you did not fatfinger the test prong to short out the circuit against some nearby metal object?

With a direct short of not too thin wires and not too small metal objects touching, the breaker still almost always trips quickly and prevents a fire. But there can still be a moment of current well in excess of the usual 15 or 20 amps that may damage connection points notably push in "backstabbed" connections in receptacles and/or switches along the daisy chained circuit path. We also cannot rule out damage to the breaker for that circuit or the switch for that light.
Old 10-24-16, 10:03 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2016
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pattenp, that was exactly what happened. the test light is done. thank

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