Home wiring question

Discussion in 'Home / Garden / Outdoors' started by Moonraker, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Moonraker

    Moonraker Rocket Scientist

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    This is a tough problem to identify a solution for.

    I was asked to replace a halogen bulb in an outside, row home fixture, and I know that it worked the week before. When I installed an LED then a CFL bulb, in daylight, it did not appear to be ON, until I accidentally touched a ferrule nut holding the fixture to the wall. Then the LED and CFL came on fully, OFF when I let go or when I touched any other of the fixture. All surfaces seem to be painted or conversion coated.

    When I installed an incandescent bulb, nothing happened with or with out touching the same nut.

    I have yet to try a replacement halogen bulb, as if that might be the solution (need to borrow a ladder again)

    The only other point of information, is that the house was refurbished less than 8 years ago. In keeping with the NEC, they back filled the ground (3rd) pin in the electrical outlets, as they did not carry a ground wire to those outlets. I assume hot & neutral are in the lamp's switch box, as I see both white and black Romex wires.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. paul100

    paul100 Well-Known Member

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    My quess would be that the neutral is disconnected and touching the side of the light. When you touched it it completed the circuit to ground. There was enough resistance in your body that only a small amount of current flowed. Enough to light a low wattage bulb like the LED or CFL. But not enough current to light a higher wattage bulb. I think it is time for a new fixture.
     
  3. Moonraker

    Moonraker Rocket Scientist

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    Thanks, but if the neutral were open, and I completed the circuit, it would still be 110 on my finger, and enough current to give me a good shock. Ideally, as an outdoor fixture, it should have been rewired with a GFI.
     
  4. Bixbyte

    Bixbyte Well-Known Member

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    You touched a metal nut off the ground side and completed the circuit.
    Wow how nice!
    I suggest you find a competent electrician or do you know how to diagnose simple AC electric circuits?
    There are only three wires in this light - hot, neutral and ground.
    Did you ever use a volt meter?
     

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