Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


06:14AM | 10/14/06
Member Since: 10/13/06
1 lifetime posts
My husband was putting a cap on a ceiling wire in the living room we thought was dead, the wire arched and caused sparks. Then he capped off the wires etc. The next day my dining room light stopped working. Now this morning an outlet in the kitchen does not work and it worked yesterday. We bought a new switch for the light in the dining room and have not yet installed it. I am thinking that maybe the dining room light and the kitchen outlet are connected to what happened in the living room. Any suggestions. By the way my house is set to go up for sale this weekend and of course never had a problem like this is 13 yrs and now everything is falling apart. Please help.



07:04AM | 10/14/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
Hard to say where the problem is.

But first try this. Go to the CB panel and flip the breaker OFF and then ON. Some breakers when the trip don't move much and it can be hard to see that they have tripped.

By kitchen "outlet" that is not working I assume you mean a receptacle. By code for a long there is not suppose to be any lights on the circuit that supplies those receptacles.

So that might be a clue that things are not done properly, or that the house is very old before those requirments.

But I would start at the receptacle. And check for all of the wire connections. Specially if they wher back stab. Those are likely to cause problems.

If not there check all of the connections in the two lights that are giving a problem and the boxes for the switches. Which ever one has more than one cable is where the power feeds through to the next device.

If you don't find it there, then check the upstream receptacle or light that feeds this part of the circuit.

If you know which circuit breaker feeds this circuit then you can turn if off and then see which other outlets stop working.

WARNING - the fact that ceiling light wiring was not dead when you though it was indicates that there might be some "creative wiring" done that is dangerous. Such as a switched neutral instead of hot and/or circuit is being powered from two different breakers.

It might be time to call in an electrican.

Tom O

09:35AM | 10/14/06
Member Since: 09/17/02
476 lifetime posts
I'll add to Bill's warning. Thinking that a conductor is dead is not the same as verifying that it is. I sincerely hope that your husband has learned a lesson here. For a Xmas stocking stuffer for him, get him a non-contact voltage tester, about $15 to $25 at the home center.

Joe Tedesco

04:20AM | 10/15/06
Member Since: 07/27/02
140 lifetime posts
The best advice would always be as stated in a reply here:

"It might be time to call in an electrician."

Time to stop teaching the readers about how to do electrical wiring!

This must stop.

I am not happy with some of the unqualified replies from someone with no technical background!

Joe Tedesco, Moderator


04:40AM | 10/15/06
Member Since: 11/18/98
187 lifetime posts
If you have a "creative" wiring situation in your home. You shut off the power and still have power. There may be the potential for fire as well as electrocution.

While many electrical projects can be performed by a novice. Whenever you get to the point that is beyond your tools and competence level its time to call in a pro.

Or the next time you make a repair you may need to make sure your insurance policies are all up to date.

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