How to Fix a Light Switch That’s Stopped Working?
LESLIE: Bruce in Ohio is on the line with an electrical problem. What’s going on?
BRUCE: We have a switch upstairs that – with a light and it was kind of going off and on. And then I just changed the bulb. Thought maybe it was the bulb but in the meantime, it has gone off completely. And I’ve checked it with a multimeter and like that – and there’s no power to the switch at all now.
And I did have a seasoned carpenter that was here and he checked it. He thought maybe the power going to it from one of the nearby plugs or switches might be the power source for that. But we didn’t see anything was loose on any of those.
TOM: So, you don’t really know how the switch is being powered but there’s no power to the switch. And was it powered before?
BRUCE: Well, it was before, yeah, mm-hmm.
TOM: And it worked fine? And so, all of a sudden, it’s not powered anymore? And I guess you checked all your breakers to make sure nothing was off? And you checked your fuses to make sure nothing was off?
TOM: Well, if it lost power and it worked before then, obviously, there is some deterioration somewhere in the line. And I think with – I’m glad that your seasoned carpenter helped you out but I would hire an electrician. Because if worse comes to worse, you’re just going to run new power to it. But we want to make sure that there’s no shorted line somewhere, between that switch and where it originally pulled power, that is the reason that it’s not working anymore. Because that could be dangerous.
BRUCE: Yeah, yeah, that’s what concerns me, too, so …
TOM: And while you’re there – while he’s there – you might want to look into having him install some of the new arc-fault circuit breakers. Because in an old house, those are really valuable because they sense arcing inside the wiring itself and shut the circuit down before any heat can build up.
BRUCE: Yeah, I don’t think the – I think the circuit breakers are fairly new. Downstairs, I think they put fairly new circuit breakers in.
TOM: Well, unless they’re – they’re probably not arc-fault, because that is super-new to the market, but it’s a great invention. It’s made by Leviton – L-e-v-i-t-o-n.
BRUCE: Mm-hmm. OK.
TOM: Alright, Bruce? Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.