Bathroom lights dim, then out in 3 rooms


  #1  
Old 07-20-20, 05:46 PM
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Bathroom lights dim, then out in 3 rooms

I'm trying to chase down the problem on my 2 bathrooms, along with a small side vanity room attached.

The problem started with my main bathroom light fixture coming on delayed, and dimmer than usual. After a couple days all the light fixtures in all 3 rooms stopped working completely (along with fans). Outlets still work.

Breakers have been flipped and reset. Tester light still shows power at the light switch and going into the sockets when the switch is flipped on. wire nuts feel tight. None of the switches or outlets have a gfci reset button.

I'm going to inspect all the other switches and fixtures but can anyone point me toward a central area to be checking, I'm so confused by the fact that there is power at the switch and sockets. Much appreciated.

<img src="https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.doityourselft.com-vbulletin/695x268/lf1_93ea63736fea77b3e0467ba3709b89bce99133eb.jpg" width="695" height="268"/>

<img src="https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.doityourselft.com-vbulletin/696x522/lf2_b5c1151b41e85fbecbeece43dbc27a6e2479a7af.jpg" width="696" height="522"/>

<img src="https://cimg9.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.doityourselft.com-vbulletin/617x637/lf3_d12b6ed2aeff0a0f583946a7db18deb495256f57.jpg" width="617" height="637"/>
 

Last edited by PJmax; 07-21-20 at 06:19 PM. Reason: resized/labeled picture
  #2  
Old 07-20-20, 06:16 PM
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None of the switches or outlets have a gfci reset button.
This makes me suspect there's a GFCI outlet somewhere upstream feeding your bathrooms. Perhaps it is starting to fail, passing voltage with no load but failing under load.
 
  #3  
Old 07-20-20, 07:46 PM
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Sounds like a loose connection. I see the connections are made using a back stab pushin connections. I would move any of those you find to the screw. back stabs are a very common cause of the problem you are having.
Start checking all the connections on the circuit, even the ones in devices that are still working.
 
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Old 07-20-20, 08:37 PM
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A GFI device will not pass hot or neutral if tripped.

Since you are "detecting" hot...... that would mean you've lost the neutral. The circuit won't work with hot alone. That means don't bother checking switches. Check devices like receptacles where neutrals can be spliced and also the neutral splices in each box. More than likely a neutral splice has gone bad.

It's imperative that you know what's on the circuit because the problem will be at the last working device or the first non working device.
 
  #5  
Old 07-21-20, 05:26 AM
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Are both bathrooms and the vanity room powered by same breaker/fuse?
 
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Old 07-21-20, 02:49 PM
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Thanks everyone. here are the updates and a picture that probably tells alot.

I found the GFCI outlet that feeds the bathrooms in my garage. I replaced it regardless because the reset felt worn out. But, that didn't solve the issue.

I tore into the initial fixture that was going dim before all the lights went out. The bare Neutral wire looks like it is just folded in there? In this type of fixture I'm not sure the best place to secure it to. Hopefully that is the issue and it wasn't grounding properly. Once i find a place to connect it better I'll test the lights.

<img src="https://i.imgur.com/qNrArVl.jpg" width="1536" height="2048"/>
 
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Old 07-21-20, 03:20 PM
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The bare is the ground not the neutral.
 
  #8  
Old 07-21-20, 06:12 PM
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As Joed mentioned..... that's the ground wire.

It will not affect the operation of the light. It's there strictly to ground the fixture.
There is a place on the fixture to attach it. I'll put an arrow in your picture.
 
  #9  
Old 07-25-20, 02:07 PM
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Thanks again everyone. So far this is what's happening.

1. I put a brand new GFCI outlet in the garage; I found out that outlet was feeding the bathroom fixtures.
2. All bathroom outlets work fine. No fixtures work. The first fixture to have problems WAS giving me a low voltage reading, but not anymore from any of the wires coming in from the wall, or the tied in wires (4 individual sockets above the bathroom mirror).
3. I tested the other fixtures just because, but as PJmax said it the problem would be at the last working or first non-working fixture. As far as I can tell the wiring from the GFCI goes straight to the problematic bathroom fixture first.

FWIW I also climbed up in the attic and was getting HOT on all the wiring heading toward the bathroom before it was buried in the corner of a truss behind insulation and I didn't chase further. NO HOT coming out of the line in the bathroom fixture.

I'll tear that fixture totally out and check all the wiring but should I be looking at something else now that I'm not getting any "hot" at all? The whole circuit seems dead no matter where I read. I'll see how deep I can get and thanks again.
 

Last edited by Chris Sigo; 07-25-20 at 02:31 PM. Reason: additional info
  #10  
Old 07-25-20, 02:18 PM
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It's not a GFCI if the light went dim first. You have a loose connection somewhere. It could be in a working device on the circuit.
Have you identified everything on the circuit with the lights?
 
  #11  
Old 07-25-20, 02:35 PM
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Yes and sorry if I don't have the right idea about the circuit. If that means everything off the breaker it is just the light fixtures and fans in 2 bathrooms, and the automatic garage door/light for some reason.

Off the GFCI it is all that except the garage door/light.

Should I start pulling fixtures and checking all connections? The other lights on the circuit never went dim, they just stopped completely once the problem light finally did.

Much appreciated.
 
  #12  
Old 07-25-20, 05:22 PM
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Should I start pulling fixtures and checking all connections?
Does anything at all on the breaker work? If nothing I would start at the panel.
 
  #13  
Old 07-26-20, 12:26 PM
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yeah the outlets are all on the same breaker and they work fine when it is flipped on.
 
 

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