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Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

Old 11-25-2008, 08:32 AM
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Default Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

The light in my ceiling fan went out, the fan is working. Got this far troubleshooting and I am stumped. Removed the light fixture to expose the power leads. Volt meter shows 120V. I have a test light (bulb, socket, two wires) that works when stuck in an outlet. Connected to the power leads on the fan, nada. The light is connected to a wall switch that is a slide dimmer.I'm no electrical whiz but this seemed pretty basic. [img]../images/emoticons/confused.gif[/img]
Old 11-25-2008, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

Have you tried a new bulb in the light fixture? Can you test the light switch on the fan for continuity?
Old 11-25-2008, 09:10 AM
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Default RE: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

Yup, that's how I got to the point of removing the fixture all together. Swapped bulb, changed switch (pull chain on the fixture), nothing. Now I just have the two wires that go to the fixture, they have power but will not light a bulb. [img]../images/emoticons/confused.gif[/img]
Old 11-25-2008, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

Touch the bulb to it WHILE you're measuring the voltage... I'm guessing it will immediately drop to nothing. Could be that you have 120v but no current behind it? Your slide switch could have fried and done this...
Old 11-25-2008, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

Can you run a wire from the hot side of the slide switch to the light's lead? This would eliminate the switch as a suspect and would introduce a known 120V source to the light.
Old 11-25-2008, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

Are you using a regular light bulb? Those new twisty energy saver bulbs don't work with a dimmier.
Old 11-25-2008, 09:47 AM
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Default RE: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

I have a spare switch, non dimmer, that I can swap. Didn't think that was it since I was getting 'power' to the fixture. I thought power was power.[img]../images/emoticons/confused.gif[/img] Like I said, I'm no whiz with the electrical stuff.

Yup, regular bulb.

Thanks.
Old 11-25-2008, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

sounds like a bad neutral wire or ground check and make sure there are no breaks and that there connections are good.
Old 11-25-2008, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

Put your test light in where your volt meter says you have 120 then bypass the switch on the wall. Does the light turn on? If so, replace the dimmer switch.
edit:
If not, does your test light work with any of the wires? If not, then there is a broken wire.
Old 11-25-2008, 11:07 AM
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Default RE: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

I just installed a CF with remote control.

The instructions say you can NOT use a wall dimmer switch with the remote feature.

Dimmers reduce the voltage which can damage the control circuitry.
Old 11-25-2008, 11:18 AM
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Default RE: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

BW23 - 11/25/2008 2:07 AM

I just installed a CF with remote control.

The instructions say you can NOT use a wall dimmer switch with the remote feature.

Dimmers reduce the voltage which can damage the control circuitry.
True............but like as you've said, no dimmer switch with the use of the remote feature. CF and dimmer switches go together like bacon and eggs.
Old 11-25-2008, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

A dimmer still passes enough voltage for a "tick" to work. I'd suspect a bad dimmer.
Old 11-25-2008, 05:25 PM
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Default RE: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

Swapped out the switch and we have light! Guess the booger went bad. Still don't understand how it can have 120V and not light a bulb direct wired to it. Then again, if someone explained it to me, Iprobably still wouldn't understand.[img]../images/emoticons/hitfish.gif[/img] Oh well, one more thing off the pre-thanksgiving honeydolist. That's a good thing!

Thanks for the replies. [img]../images/emoticons/thumbsup.gif[/img]
Old 11-25-2008, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

I have not tried it but supposedly you can use a dimmer switch on a CFL if you do not try to dim it to much. something like not less than half.

When you test the voltage, is it before or after the little pull chain switch that comes on these things?
Old 11-25-2008, 06:10 PM
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Default RE: Electrical question - how can this be? Ceiling fan light

It was before. I had removed the light fixture and was testing thewires that went to it from the fan, got 120V.

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