How do you find loose connection wire in walls?

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Old 03-30-11, 08:17 AM
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Cool How do you find loose connection wire in walls?

I'm confused.
I replaced a new single pole switch with a new one. The light works fine the first day. But the next day it would not come on, but i just left evrything the way it is. And oddly, the light came back on in a couple of hours.
Then yesterday it wouldn't come on at all. When i pull out the switch, all connections to the switch seem tight.
So my Q is, do i have a loose wire in between the feed, cos' i detect no power from the feed. Could it be a loose neutral? Need help and thanks.
 
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Old 03-30-11, 08:21 AM
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You may have loosened a connection in the switch box when you replaced the switch. Check any wire nutted connections.
 
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Old 03-30-11, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
You may have loosened a connection in the switch box when you replaced the switch. Check any wire nutted connections.
I checked it. But i don't think that was it.
I know there was a loose connection in a wire, cos' no power was coming in. The wire that come in only supply to the dimmer switch (in the same box) other switches have its own feed. Any other ideas? Thx (:
 
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Old 03-30-11, 09:27 AM
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Unless somebody screwed up the wiring there are no connections in the wall. All connections are in accessible boxes. It is best to remove all wire nuts and redo the connection with new wire nuts. If any of the connections were made by inserting screw into holes in the back of the device (backstabs) they need to be moved to the screws.

Have you redone all the connections at the light. If power comes in at the light have you checked the connections at the source of power for the light, maybe another light or it might be a receptacle or even a different switch box. Bottom line you need to check the connections at all of the fixtures and devices on that breaker.

The wire that come in only supply to the dimmer switch (in the same box) other switches have its own feed.
Can you expand on that. It is unclear to me what that means. Also tell us how many 2-conductor (black and white) cables and 3-conductor (black,white,red) cables are in the box and how they are connected.
 
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Old 03-30-11, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Unless somebody screwed up the wiring there are no connections in the wall. All connections are in accessible boxes. It is best to remove all wire nuts and redo the connection with new wire nuts. If any of the connections were made by inserting screw into holes in the back of the device (backstabs) they need to be moved to the screws.

Have you redone all the connections at the light. If power comes in at the light have you checked the connections at the source of power for the light, maybe another light or it might be a receptacle or even a different switch box. Bottom line you need to check the connections at all of the fixtures and devices on that breaker.

Can you expand on that. It is unclear to me what that means. Also tell us how many 2-conductor (black and white) cables and 3-conductor (black,white,red) cables are in the box and how they are connected.
Yeah. That makes sense, thanks.

Can you expand on that. It is unclear to me what that means. Also tell us how many 2-conductor (black and white) cables and 3-conductor (black,white,red) cables are in the box and how they are connected

It is in a four gang metal box, with 3 switches operating on a seperate feed.
The wires that come in to feed the dimmer is seperate then those three switches. What i have for the dimmer is two blacks; one being hot & the neutrals are tied together & the grounds are tied together.
So can you help me on this problem? Thanks.
 
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Old 03-30-11, 05:44 PM
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You need to start with redoing the wirenuts both at the switch and light. Don't just check, take apart and redo.

The wires that come in to feed the dimmer is separate then those three switches. What i have for the dimmer is two blacks; one being hot & the neutrals are tied together & the grounds are tied together.
If by separate feed you mean different breakers the neutrals shouldn't all be tied together.
 
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Old 03-30-11, 06:43 PM
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Thanks for the info.
I hope that's all it is lol.
 
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Old 04-16-11, 09:06 AM
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A wire becoming broken within the wall is almost unheard of but a junction box hidden in trhe wall is not unheard of. Also not unheard of is a break in the copper wire inside the insulation in the 6 inch or so portion coming into a box.

There is no easy way to find problems of this kind. The closest you can come to is using an electronic gadget with two parts, one that clips onto the end of any wire and injects a signal and the other part behaves somewhat like a stud finder and it senses the signal and converts that into an audio tone. The loose connection could well be at the next outlet box along the circuit.
 
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