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kverney

04:24AM | 11/18/06
Member Since: 11/17/06
1 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I have a bathroom fan light that the light itself doesn't work. I changed the wall switch and it still doesn't work. The fan works but the light doesn't. How do I fix that problems and what do I need to know about the wires in the ceiling?

fool4jesus

05:08AM | 11/18/06
Member Since: 06/20/05
53 lifetime posts
You need to figure out where the problem is. I do this by divide and conquer - in other words, figure out which half of the circuit the problem is in and then go from there. So, the first question is whether the problem is in the light fixture (likely) or wiring. There's probably a 3-wire (plus ground) cable between the wall switch and the fan.

My guess is that it's inside the light fixture, because between the wall switch and the light fixture is only a single piece of wire, and that's not likely to go bad. (You can check to see that you have power at the fixture, although you will want an electrician to do this if you are not very experienced working with household current - it could injure or kill you.) More specifically, what usually goes wrong in any electrical setup are the connections. Look inside the fixture at the places where wires join. There's probably a stranded (flexible) wire that you connect to the incoming power, which is attached to the lamp (bulb) socket. I would bet it's in that stranded wire or those connections.

If you have a multimeter, after you disconnect the light/fan fixture from ALL power wiring, you can measure the resistance between the incoming light wire and the light socket to see if you have a break somewhere in there.

On the other hand, I don't know how experienced you are with installing wall switches, but they can be a little tricky to hook up, getting the right wire in the right place. One time I connected one so that the hot and neutral wires were shorted when you closed the switch. Oops. Thankfully I double checked the connections before turning on the power and discovered the problem before causing any problems. So, I would also double check the switch wiring to make sure that's not the problem.


househelper

05:14AM | 11/20/06
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
That's the obvious solution. If a new bulb doesn't help, try this. With the power off, try raising the center tab in the light socket slightly so that it makes better contact with the bulb. Use a small screwdriver or a short piece of 12ga wire with a small "L" on one end. Be careful though, this tab can break off on some inexpensive fixtures.
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