Ceiling lights do not work.


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Old 02-06-21, 11:04 PM
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Ceiling lights do not work.

Pardon my terminology, I hope I can explain this correctly. My ceiling lights (pot lights?) in my living room will not turn on. I am able to turn them on and off from two separate light switches (double switch?). No matter how I put the switches the lights will not turn on (one off one on, both on, both off). I have checked the breaker box. No breaker is tripped. All other lights and outlets in the house are working properly.
Can someone help me understand what could be wrong? Please dumb your response down to my knowledge level if you would - say 5th grade level. LOL. Thank you in advance for any assistance.
 
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Old 02-07-21, 12:19 AM
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So they used to work but now don't? What changed? What you have sounds like a three way setup - did you do something like change out one of the switches?
 
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Old 02-07-21, 04:53 AM
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When breakers trip the lever often does NOT move to the off position. It only moves slightly out of the on position. Turn off the breaker for the lights and turn it back on to insure that it is reset and on.
 
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Old 02-07-21, 05:24 AM
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Often the labeling in an electrical panel is not very accurate. It can be easier to go through the entire panel and turn each breaker to the off position and then back on.
 
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Old 02-07-21, 06:32 AM
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For instance, I have 3 breakers in my breaker box that have some form of designation for "kitchen". 2 of them are for different outlets, one of which is in my dining room. Not the kitchen. Imagine my surprise. My wife was confused as to what I was testing and said it was off when she plugged my tester into it. It was not. Luckily it's only 110, as that was an uncomfortable surprise.
Someday soon, hopefully, I would like to pull all new wiring and replace the breaker box.
 
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Old 02-07-21, 06:08 PM
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Thank you all for replying. I have not done anything with the switches that control the lights. I turned them off one night, the next morning they would not turn on. I checked the breaker box several times. The last time I turned off, and back on every breaker in the box. There is only one box.
All other light switches and plugins through out the house are working as usual.
 
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Old 02-07-21, 06:29 PM
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Your next step is to identify if you have power at the switches. This would be a perfect application for a non contact voltage test pen. You could pull both 3way switches out of the wall with the wires intact and test with a meter.
 
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Old 02-08-21, 05:11 AM
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Hi, are these pot lights low voltage, is there a transformer located somewhere? Post some pics of the pot lights and any model # etc. on them .
Geo 🇺🇸
 
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Old 02-09-21, 09:44 PM
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The pot lights are original to the house @ 30 years old. There is a series of 5 lights. I got a non contact voltage test pen. One of the light switches has constant power. The second one does not have power coming on it. I tried turning one off, one on, both on, both off. I got the same result. All wires going to both switches look good and seem to be secure. Any thoughts wound be helpful. I was thinking the one without power may be bad. I may try to get a new one and replace it unless someone here tells me that is not a wise thing to do. Again, thank you for your replies.
 
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Old 02-10-21, 06:00 AM
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Do not rely on the non-contact tester. They are notoriously unreliable. You need a voltage tester or multi meter to determine which wires have power.
 
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Old 02-10-21, 06:07 AM
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Please post a picture of the switch box with the switches pulled out so that we can see the wiring inside the box.
 
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Old 02-10-21, 09:21 PM
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I mentioned the non contact tester only to check for power at the switches. Ok.... you've done that. You have power at one switch. This points to a problem with the switch or switch wiring. Since you have it at one switch but not the other.... it could mean the live end switch is bad.

As mentioned.... some pictures of the wiring will help narrow down the problem.
How-to-insert-pictures.

 
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Old 02-15-21, 02:27 PM
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Thank you all for replying to my needs. I've been down with my back the four days unable to do anything.. I ordered two three way switches. I just replaced them (with breaker turned off) one wire at a time making sure they were secured tightly by the screw. I turn breaker back on and my lights are working again.. Thank you all for your willingness to help me.
 
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Old 02-15-21, 03:46 PM
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Thank you for posting back. I am glad you got it figured out.
 
 

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