02:31PM | 06/11/09
Member Since: 06/10/09
2 lifetime posts
2nd floor bedroom light fixture wouldn't work so my son put in a new one. the light switch which controls it also controls an outlet. The new fixture won't work either but the switch turns on the outlet which will work, but the switch won't turn the fixture on..........Help what is going on? The volt meter shows low voltage at the wires for fixture.


11:38PM | 06/11/09
Member Since: 01/09/07
197 lifetime posts
Ignore the voltmeter -- they generally give inaccurate readings unless it's a powered circuit with a working load.

The circuit probably runs from the switch to the outlet, and then up to the ceiling fixture. And there is a break in the circuit somewhere between the working outlet and the non-working fixture. If you're lucky, it's right in the box where the working outlet is -- a wire leading up to the fixture has come loose, and just needs to be reconnected. This is the most likely cause -- things get plugged in and out of outlets, and eventually wires can come loose. Especially if they were wired with backstab terminals.

So proceed as follows:

1. turn off the power at the breaker box.

2. with a lamp of something, check that the power to that outlet is really off.

3. Remove the outlet cover, unscrew the outlet from the box, pull it out a few inches, and look around for the disconnected or loose wire.

4. Fix that, turn the power back on, and test that the fixture is working now. Then turn the power off again, and replace the outlet & it's cover.


02:20AM | 06/12/09
Member Since: 06/10/09
2 lifetime posts
Thanks, we will try that.


07:06AM | 09/03/10
Member Since: 09/02/10
1 lifetime posts
This website is full of so much great help! I'm not a professionally trained electrician at all, but i was able to use this information to help me out!


09:14PM | 02/13/12
Member Since: 02/13/12
6 lifetime posts
I think you have to check again whether there is crossing of wires in the circuit. I suggest you do this with the main power turned off. I had lights with the same problem, but it might be because of different reasons then yours.

John -


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