No Light... (but the tester says there is!)


Old 09-06-01, 12:17 PM
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Okay, here goes.

I wanted a new light in a closet. I drilled the hole got the line into the basement. The closest place I could find to run the power from was the middle of a line running from someplace to an outlet. So, I cut into the wire and wire nutted (is that a word?) the the right colors with the right colors. I then went upstairs and hooked the switch up, both black sides (one from the power and one to the lamp) were put into the back of the switch, I wire nutted the two whites together. I then ran the lines up to the lamp and again made sure the right colors were on the right things. I turned the power back on and went up to see my new light; no light! So, I figured I must have a bad bulb, I got a new bulb (I've tried 6 different bulbs) the I figured I must not have power someplace. So, I got my tester out (a real cheap thing that lights up when there is a power). It shows (lights) at the switch and at the lamp. So, I tried checking all the connections again and still nothing.

Short of calling in a Pro at $75 I'm lost. Can someone give me some direction. This isn't the toughest thing I've done around the house, but it is killing me that I can't figure it out!

Thanks for your help!

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Old 09-06-01, 04:00 PM
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Does your tester light up with the same intensity on the new circuit as it does at a receptacle that works? It sounds like you may have an open neutral in the new circuit.
When you tapped into the existing circuit, did you install a junction box, or make this connection in an existing junction box? All splices are required to be made in a box.
Old 09-06-01, 04:18 PM
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Are you testing between black and white, or between black and ground?

Note: it is risky to simply tap into a line and take off the black and white wires, without knowing precisely where the line is coming from and where it is going to. Not every pair of black and white wires is carrying power (could be a switch loop). It's possible that you wired this new light in series with something, and there isn't enough voltage to make the lamp light (but there is to make the tester light). You might consider investing in an inexpensive digital voltmeter.

Finally, it's possible your fixture is bad. Have you tried installing it somewhere else?

Is this an incandescent or a fluorescent light? You must mount at least 12 inches (if incandescent) from the edge of the fixture to the edge of any possible storage.

As Don said, make all connections in permanently accessible junction boxes.

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