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Thread: My Bathroom Light Went Kaput, Help!

  1. #1

    Default My Bathroom Light Went Kaput, Help!

    My 3-light fixture above the bathroom mirror stopped working, so I changed the light switch, but it didn't work. There is a fan and ceiling light that works fine. The three have separate switches and are positioned side-by-side.

    I can't afford an electrician, so recommending one will not help my situation.

    Any suggestions are very appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    While it might be unusual for all three lightbulbs to die at the same time, it is possible...did you change a bulb?

    You might be able to visually detect an open circuit (broken wire, loose wire nut, etc.) if you took the lamp down. Without a multimeter and knowledge of how to use it, there isn't much else you can do.

    When dealing with potentiall hot electrical wiring, it can be lethal, so know what you are doing or you can get hurt or killed.

    If you want to try to look at things safely, turn off the circuit breaker or pull the fuse (if it is a really old panel!) before opening things up.

    Are you sure you have voltage to the switch? The problem may not even be there, it could be further back towards the supply.

    You really need some test equipment, a multimeter, or possibly a test lamp, or voltage detector. None of those are particularly expensive.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    New Hampshire


    If you can't afford an electrician you must buy a multimeter. Trying to diagnose and repair an electrical problem without a meter is like a blind surgeon trying to repair his own hernia.

    An adequate meter costs somewhere in the range of $10 to $20 at Radio Shack or Sears. I like the digital versions. Analog meters (the kind with pointers) have their uses but cheap ones are more likely to be junk.

    With a meter you can determine where the power is not available, and then apply logic to determine what must be done. You can easily diagnose whether it is caused by a switch, or a bad connection, or a tripped circuit breaker. You can determine where in the circuit the fault is likely to be. And you can determine that the circuit is safe for you to repair it.

    The only thing better than a meter is a friend who has one and knows how to use it. Most men would be glad to help someone who is in distress.

  4. #4


    I don't know if you know this or not, but, alot of gas companies or electrical companies offers a home protection service. It is pretty affordable and I have used the electrical quite a few times.


  5. #5


    uhhhh....take it apart and see if the wiring is connected?

    Turn off the switch first.


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