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Wiring problem/ Any help appreciated

Old 02-27-2012, 05:21 PM
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Default Wiring problem/ Any help appreciated

I have an all around anchor/nav lite combo up high midship. 3 wires running to it. black/ white/ grey. None of the lights work now. Worked fine in the past. Pretty new fixture maybe 3 years old. ALL the wires test hot when switch is in the anchor lite position. Shouldn't one be a ground and the other two positive. DO I HAVE A BAD GROUND? WTF Bulbs are good. no signs of corrosion. Shows power right at the bulbs but NO LIGHT! Gotta be a ground wire right? Switch perhaps?White wire should be a ground??;?
Old 02-27-2012, 08:51 PM
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When you say all three wires are hot, how did you determine that? Are you using a VOM and if so, how did you get a ground to determine the three wires were all three hot? You are correct, one should be the ground, the black wire.
Old 02-28-2012, 06:42 AM
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White and gray are hot....tthat is when switched on, the white usually lights the front side and the gray the rear, black is ground.
Old 02-28-2012, 07:10 AM
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Have you checked the continuity of the bulb?
Old 02-28-2012, 07:23 AM
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If you are saying all three wires are hot, meaning (+)??? how can you find 3 positives with no ground?

White and grey should be positive, black is ground.

Find a multimeter, set it to VDC and test the wire..... you can also check continuity of the wires (buzzing the wires) using the multimeter...
Old 02-28-2012, 10:15 AM
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Thank you to all. I checked it with a simple 12v tester grounding to my battery terminal with a long lead. I will check for a bad ground on the BLACK lead.Bulbs are good. I'm thinkin bad switch.
Old 02-28-2012, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Bertram Bahia Mar View Post
Thank you to all. I checked it with a simple 12v tester grounding to my battery terminal with a long lead. I will check for a bad ground on the BLACK lead.Bulbs are good. I'm thinking bad switch.
A bad ground does not become positive on its own, something was altered. I don't think it's the switch either. The switch should only have a positive feed to it and the positive switch on wires going out of it. When you're at the light fixture, what are you getting when the switch is in the OFF position on all three wires? You should not be getting anything on the white and gray wire when you also have a ground applied(not the black wire as it is in the present case). It sounds more like the ground wire for whatever reason has been moved from the negative buss to the positive buss. If this is the case, the black wire will be reading 12V when a ground is applied whether the switch is in the ON or OFF position.
Old 02-28-2012, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bertram Bahia Mar View Post
Thank you to all. I checked it with a simple 12v tester grounding to my battery terminal with a long lead. I will check for a bad ground on the BLACK lead.Bulbs are good. I'm thinkin bad switch.
Are you using a Digital volt meter?

Why are you running a long lead from the Battery ground, simply test between white & black, then Grey & Black... if it doesn't work, check the starting point of the black (GND) wire... also, check between the battery ground and black wire, if you are reading 12V between those 2 wires, your black wire is definitly a positve.

Also, if you have a digital volt meter, use it to check continuity of the Switch in the ON position. If it's Nav Light switch, most likely it has 2 ON positions.
Old 02-28-2012, 07:39 PM
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The reason you are reading a voltage on all three wires is because your ground is open. Your white and grey wires are connected to 12 volts as they should be when you turn the switch on. As soon as you have 12 volts on the white and grey wires you will also see 12 volts on the black wire because it is now connected to 12 volts through the light bulb filament. Find where the open is in your ground wire and your problem is solved.
Old 02-28-2012, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by D_Westie View Post
The reason you are reading a voltage on all three wires is because your ground is open. Your white and grey wires are connected to 12 volts as they should be when you turn the switch on. As soon as you have 12 volts on the white and grey wires you will also see 12 volts on the black wire because it is now connected to 12 volts through the light bulb filament. Find where the open is in your ground wire and your problem is solved.
I'm not following your logic, if the ground is open, how is the circuit completed? The OP states that all three leads are hot using a test light that he has grounded directly to the battery. Using a test light in the method he has described would not light a test light if the black ground wire was connected to ground as it should be or if it was open.
Old 02-29-2012, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by D_Westie View Post
The reason you are reading a voltage on all three wires is because your ground is open. Your white and grey wires are connected to 12 volts as they should be when you turn the switch on. As soon as you have 12 volts on the white and grey wires you will also see 12 volts on the black wire because it is now connected to 12 volts through the light bulb filament. Find where the open is in your ground wire and your problem is solved.
spot on...

Originally Posted by Team Ruby View Post
I'm not following your logic, if the ground is open, how is the circuit completed? The OP states that all three leads are hot using a test light that he has grounded directly to the battery. Using a test light in the method he has described would not light a test light if the black ground wire was connected to ground as it should be or if it was open.
the ground is open between the light and the actual ground wire connection (buss bar, etc)...the positive leads bring power to the bulbs...it passes through the bulbs to the ground to illuminate them...if there is no ground there is no place for the power to terminate and a voltmeter will read battery voltage at the ground wire...if you used a grounded test lamp to check the circuit the lights would probably illuminate as the ground path would be through the test lamp...the resistance through a dvom is so high it is considered no current flow so the circuit wouldnt be completed through it...there are times when a test lamp is more valuable than a dvom...
Old 02-29-2012, 09:06 AM
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He is closing the circuit simply because he is using the Battery's GND.....he mentioned connecting a long lead from the battery to the Volt meter.

He needs to test the circuit using the actual ground to the light.(the black wire)
Old 02-29-2012, 09:56 AM
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right...and he'll find an open ground...
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:20 AM
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^^^^^^^
exactly the diagram I was going to draw tonight when I got home.
Old 02-29-2012, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by D_Westie View Post
^^^^^^^
exactly the diagram I was going to draw tonight when I got home.
textbook voltage drop check...
Old 03-01-2012, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Stephanie22 View Post
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When you say all three wires are hot, how did you determine that? Are you using a VOM and if so, how did you get a ground to determine the three wires were all three hot? You are correct, one should be the ground, the black wire.
IN A PREVIOUS REPLY...

"Thank you to all. I checked it with a simple 12v tester grounding to my battery terminal with a long lead."
Old 03-01-2012, 06:30 PM
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" i don't follow your logic" i love these threads.

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