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Outside light problem

NNNN Senior MemberPosts: 24,711 Senior Member
I have an outside light on the corner of the house. 2 days ago one bulb stopped working, I thought burned out bulb.


Today both bulbs came on. 


Tonight neither side of the light works. I tested to see if power was at the light with a Sears AC voltage testing light. There was power to both sides of the light. I switched the light switch off;      there was still power indicated at both sides of the light.


I flipped the ckt breaker off and no power to the switch or the light.


The light switch is one that the toggle has a light.
Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia

Replies

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    Maybe the ground wire to the fixture came loose or got corroded from water infiltration.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,654 Senior Member
    .
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,929 Senior Member
    edited November 2018 #4
    Losing a neutral will cause this. The power is still there but has to have the neutral to work. Usually the white wire.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,711 Senior Member
    The switch should shut down power to the light----right-------unless it can fail and not cut power to the light.


    The light needs replacement-----I don't question that.
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 2,119 Senior Member
    Just reread your original post.  You could have more than one problem, hard to tell for sure without a meter.  Yes, the switch can fail closed (On).  You may have a bad switch and a loose connection in the light.  Check the bulb that wasn't working, then was working.  It may just be loose.
  • Old RonOld Ron Senior Member Posts: 4,265 Senior Member
    If power is on with the switch off ..... bad switch . Then check connections for one light on & off . As long as you don't have a motion sensor on those lights .... I hate those things .
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,398 Senior Member
    edited November 2018 #8
    If you are reading hot to ground (not neutral) with the switch off and reading voltage, the switch is wired backwards and the neutral side is switched instead of the hot. Its why you dont back feed into the panel with a generator. People do things wrong. It is functional, just wrong.
    If you are reading pwr hat to neutral, bad switch. but if the light is turning on and off with the sw, it isnt a bad sw.

    If you are reading hot to neutral and getting power in the sockets most of the time, you probably have a corroded wire nut on the hot or not side. Take it apart, clean the wires and contacts, put new wire nuts on and you should be good.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 23,654 Senior Member
    It sounds like he has multiple problems - always a joy to troubleshoot. I thought of a switched neutral right away, but maybe with loose connections or even bad bulbs - I've seen incandescent bulbs "fix themselves".
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    It seems like the past storm water likely caused the problem. Either a wire, wire connection or the fixture. Inspecting for residue left behind by water flow might help locate the source if it gets difficult to chase down.
  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,929 Senior Member
    Lots of older houses broke the neutral at the switch to the light. When done that way there is still power at the light itself. Like others have said. Check all connections to make sure they are tight. It can be like looking for a needle in a hay stack sometimes.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,622 Senior Member
    Are these LED bulbs NN? I have nothing but weird stuff with LED bulbs in my indoor fixtures, flickering, off and back on if the bulb is tapped, dim compared to the rest of the bulbs in the fixture, primarily using GE brand bulbs.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • GilaGila Posts: 1,828 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Are these LED bulbs NN? I have nothing but weird stuff with LED bulbs in my indoor fixtures, flickering, off and back on if the bulb is tapped, dim compared to the rest of the bulbs in the fixture, primarily using GE brand bulbs.
    I've got the same thing here, and I thought it was just that I'm using an old 3-way lamp.  It's no big deal for me, so I haven't looked into it at all.  BTW, I AM NOT using GE bulbs.
    No good deed goes unpunished...
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,711 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Are these LED bulbs NN? I have nothing but weird stuff with LED bulbs in my indoor fixtures, flickering, off and back on if the bulb is tapped, dim compared to the rest of the bulbs in the fixture, primarily using GE brand bulbs.
    Halogen
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,711 Senior Member
    The main issue I was worried about was the pwr on with the switch on or off.


    I changed out the single pole switch and the circuit is good; no pwr at the light with the switch
    off. The light is half broke and needs replacement. Also, probable bad connections,
    as it switched on for a moment on one side when I checked the circuit.

    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
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