Bathroom Light Fixtures not working, but power is coming to them

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Old 04-20-14, 06:33 PM
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Bathroom Light Fixtures not working, but power is coming to them

I have two bathroom light fixtures that stopped working. At first, I thought it was a loose connection, as I pushed up on the light and they both came on. But after I tightened everything, it won't come on at all. There is power coming to the lights, but not getting anything. I don't think the lightbulbs are bad (would 1 bad stop both fixtures, and the other 5 bulbs to not come on?) We used to notice one of the bulbs would flicker ever so slightly, no matter whether we loosened or tightened the bulb. Any help would be appreciated.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 07:04 PM
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How do you know power is coming to the lights? If you used a non contact tester then you really don't know. Are they on the load side of the bathroom GFCI, line side, or a separate breaker?
 
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Old 04-20-14, 07:24 PM
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I used the pen tester that you hold up. I turned the breaker off, and didn't get a noise near the lights. Turned it back on, and it made noise...just assumed power was getting to the lights. There is no GFCI in the bathroom.
 
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Old 04-20-14, 08:32 PM
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I used the pen tester that you hold up. I turned the breaker off, and didn't get a noise near the lights. Turned it back on, and it made noise
Doesn't really mean anything. Most likely just induced voltage. You need an analog, not digital, multimeter to check for voltage. An $8-$15 one will do fine. A solenoid tester (Wiggy) or a test light would also work. Have you checked the connections at the bathroom receptacle?
 
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Old 04-21-14, 05:28 AM
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Receptacles are working. Also, everything else that shuts off with the breaker is working as well. I added an image to see the lights. Neither set is working
 
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Old 04-21-14, 06:46 AM
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Receptacles are working.
Again doesn't mean anything. The problem is often at the last working light or receptacle. That is because one light or receptacle feeds the next. The connection to the receptacle or light may be good but not the connection out.
 
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Old 04-21-14, 07:01 AM
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So basically what you're saying is....

Breaker----->Receptacles (could be working fine)
Breaker----->Light 1---->Light 2 (so if there's an issue at Light 1, light 2 won't work either?)
 
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Old 04-21-14, 07:46 AM
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Breaker>receptacle [problem]>Light but there are many other combinations. No one way. Could be breaker>switch then splits to lights and receptacle for example.
 
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Old 04-21-14, 07:55 AM
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Does me pushing the loose light against the wall, and it coming and staying on, until I let it go again (and turns off), lend itself to not being the switch and something happening at the light itself?
 
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Old 04-21-14, 08:06 AM
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Yes.

.
 
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Old 04-21-14, 08:43 AM
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So what would be the next step? Using a multimeter to test for power at the light? How do I go about doing that?
 
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Old 04-21-14, 09:30 AM
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I would remove the fixture(s) and check the connections. I certainly sounds like something is loose if you can make the lights work by pushing on the wall.
 
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Old 04-21-14, 09:49 AM
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I did reconnect everything. I'm starting to wonder if the light itself has gone bad. When I took the light down, the wires coming out of the light seemed to move (as if they might be a little loose from inside of the light) . But I can't get to where the wires start inside the light. Is there a way to test whether its the light or the wires coming from the wall?
 
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Old 04-21-14, 10:25 AM
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Put one probe on the shell and one probe on the tab. If you haven't tried bending up the tab try that first in each socket.
 
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Old 04-28-14, 06:25 AM
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Still trying to figure this out. Here's what I've done.

Tested switch and it is working.
Tested Resistance and everything checks out for all the wires.

Tested Voltage:

Light 1:
Black to White: 60 Volts
Black to Ground: 120 Volts
White to Ground: 120 Volts

Light 2:
Black to White: 60 Volts
Black to Ground: 120 Volts
White to Ground: 120 Volts

Should I be getting 120 from black to white? Is this an indication of the problem?
There are other lights and outlets on the breaker which are all working. I'm getting 120 at all the outlets.
 
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Old 04-28-14, 08:45 AM
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Not a Sparky, but usually black to ground would be 120 volts as would black to white. White to ground should be zero volts.
 
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Old 04-28-14, 09:21 AM
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Black to White: 60 Volts
Are you sing a digital meter? if so the real reading is probably ~0. In any case that indicates an open neutral somewhere.
White to Ground: 120 Volts
Were all the wires disconnected when you took the reading?
 
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