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Multiple light switch failures

 
 
jratay
 
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2015 11:37 am
I have a light above the sink in our kitchen. The light worked for four years since we moved in and as far as I can tell has been undisturbed for years before that. Last week the light stopped working. I replaced the bulb but that was not the issue. I then replaced the light switch (simple single-pole) and the light started working. Within two days, however, the light stopped working. I assumed a fluke and replaced the switch, which worked. I have now replaced the switch three times. There is no sign of water in the kitchen ceiling or the room above. I am at a loss as to how undisturbed wiring now has a problem. Does anyone have any suggestions on this?
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 904 • Replies: 8
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dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2015 11:47 am
@jratay,
Jr, seems like there must be something else on the circuit besides the light; maybe an inductive load of some kind that sparks when interrupted
TreborY
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2015 11:53 am
@jratay,
Just for reference check the switches you took out. If they test ok (with a continuity tester/ohm meter) then check the fixture connections. I had a fixture that broke connections when the bulb heated it up and I too thought the switch was the problem when it was the wirenut at the fixture.
jratay
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2015 12:21 pm
@TreborY,
Thank you. Good suggestion to test the switches with an ohm meter. I'll do that. The problem is that two of the failures occurred overnight -- meaning the light worked in the evening but would not come on the next morning. All components had cooled off overnight.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2015 12:22 pm
@TreborY,
I like Trebor's idea better than mine; I'd wager they're okay--you might have a loose connection that opens when it gets hot
0 Replies
 
jratay
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2015 12:22 pm
@dalehileman,
Thank you for the fast reply. I'm scratching my head as to what could be creating the extra load. No changes were made. I'm going to take the light fixture down over the weekend.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2015 04:22 pm
@jratay,
My guess is that there's either corrosion on the socket or the wiring heats up near the socket or fixture and creates the problem.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2015 04:41 pm
When all else fails, replace the breaker.
0 Replies
 
bahtah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2015 06:19 pm
@jratay,
You may have a loose neutral (GCC) that is passing through the switch box and when you move the wires it makes contact only to fail again later. When the light is not working try checking for voltage between the switch and the ground wire. If voltage is present then chances are you have an open neutral there or at the fixture. Its a place to start..
0 Replies
 
 

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