Light fixture has power but will not energize a bulb

Old 08-14-10, 12:27 AM
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Light fixture has power but will not energize a bulb

My front porch light is connected to a Intermatic wall timer in the house. The lighting fixture is a 18” fiberglass sphere with a hole in the bottom. It hangs from a chain over the porch, the wire runs to the socket within the links of the chain. Bulb was burned out, went to change it to a confirmed good bulb – no light when switched on. Used a electrician’s probe- tip glows red when there is electricity present - to check for current. Tip glowed red when stuck in the light socket and glowed red when I held it 2’ away from the light socket and, had my other hand on the fiberglass sphere. When I released my grip on the light fixture the red tip stopped glowing. Did this several times to confirm my hand on the fixture (fiberglass section) caused the change. Any ideas on what is happening? I’ve never encountered a good bulb not working in a light fixture that has power or, the probe glowing when not near a hot wire.
Old 08-14-10, 05:28 AM
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Your non contact tester is detecting the presence of a hot lead. It doesn't detect the continuity of the circuit. Your neutral connection is probably compromised at some point, whether it be at the socket or inside the junction box. I'd de-energize the circuit and investigate the neutral issue,especically at the timer. Let us know how it goes.
Old 08-14-10, 06:50 AM
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The center tab on the bulb socket may have gotten too depressed to make good contact with the base of the bulb. With the power OFF you can gently pry the tab upwards. If this does not work you may have a wiring issue and some troubleshooting would need to be done.

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