Light switches hot, no power to fixture

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Old 12-13-17, 12:38 PM
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Light switches hot, no power to fixture

I can't help but thing it is something small that I am overlooking, but I have a three-way switch for a dining room light. I was switching out the light fixture and forgot to switch off the breaker (did I forget or just turn the switch off...Um, I plead the 5th, especially if my wife hears of this). It sparked at the fixture, so I turned off the correct breaker, installed the new light fixture and though I was off like a herd of turtles. Turns out, the switches have power, but wiring at the fixture does not. Could my switches have gone bad? Why would the switch wires be hot, but no matter how I have them flipped, no power at the fixture. I can't think of anything else. House was build early 80's all the wiring I have dinked around with had been done really well. Thanks for any help!
 
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Old 12-13-17, 01:11 PM
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I should add that neither switch will turn on the light, but if one switch is bad, then wouldn't the other one still work? Is it possible that both blew out when I shorted that wire???
 
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Old 12-13-17, 02:00 PM
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If you used a non contact tester your results may not be correct. Tell us all the wires and connections at each switch box.
 
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Old 12-13-17, 03:20 PM
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Here are a couple photos to help show what's in the boxes. (Hopefully you can see them!) The three gang box has two single poles (I mis-labeled one of them) that both work normal. The one on the right is the switch that is not working. When I put a tester on the wires, is shows hot. Everything is tight and secure on the switch.

The second photo has a single pole and the switch that doesn't work. When my non-contact tester next to those wires, it indicates power. When I put a tester directly on the screws on the switch, I get no power indication.
 
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Old 12-13-17, 03:23 PM
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Here are the pictures...sorry they didn't attach the first time!
 
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Old 12-13-17, 04:47 PM
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Another clue...The light switch on the 3 gang box has a small dim green light that is on when the light itself is off. But on this one, the switch doesn't light up at all. bad switch??? But again, what are the odds that both switches would go bad at the same time?
 
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Old 12-13-17, 04:52 PM
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Hi, ditch the contact tester and get a cheap analog meter, if this fixture is controlled by a 3 ways carefully remove the conductor from the black screw and touch it to one of the travelers and then to the other one and see if the light works, did you disturb any of the splices in the box?
Geo
 
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Old 12-13-17, 05:01 PM
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None of the splices should have been disturbed...i was only messing with the fixture, not the switches...Thank for the reply!
 
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Old 12-13-17, 05:16 PM
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Also, light didn't work when I touched the other travelers with the conductor...
 
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Old 12-13-17, 05:43 PM
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Check your connections and bulb at the fixture.
 
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Old 12-13-17, 06:01 PM
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It was the switches...no idea how both of them stopped working after that short, but replaced with new ones and it works...thanks for the help all!
 
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Old 12-13-17, 07:08 PM
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Looks like you have dimmers. They don't take shorts very well.
 
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Old 12-16-17, 04:24 AM
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I agree with PJ. When you caused the short you likely ran too much current through the dimmer and burned it up. Bypass the dimmer and if the light works, replace the dimmer.
 
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Old 12-18-17, 09:22 AM
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Thanks all, works like a champ now that I switched out the dimmers!
 
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