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Thread: Help please !!!

  1. #1

    Default Help please !!!

    Ok I'll try to put this as short as possible (You can read my posts over in the HVAC on what has been going on for long version)

    Ok the kitchen light was a recessed 4 tube bulb ballast ,I framed in the recess and sheet rocked in. We then put 4 can led lights in, daisy chained them in. I installed a dimmer switch , which the led lights are rated for a dimmer... Has worked perfectly now 9 months.
    Ok a week ago had the insulation removed from the attic , while they were up there they had bumped 2 of the can lights and they were hanging down about 1/4 -1/2 inch . They left , next day had the HVAC system replaced ok. Now the Insulation guys are back to air-seal and blow in insulation.

    Now to the problem ! While one guy was up in the attic air sealing/cleaning up more of the insulation they didn't get from last time. The other guy is here in the kitchen trying to get the can light fixtures to stay in place and then screw the led lights in..
    He finishes up and goes back up into the attic , I walked into the kitchen and turned the lights on , only 2 of them come on.
    Start with light #1 is on, 2nd one in sequence #2 is out , 3# is on , and then #4 is out.

    They don't have a clue, so they call an electrician (actually is a HVAC guy, but does electric too) they clean up their mess and leave telling me the electrician will be here shortly.
    He shows up 4 hours later, first thing he does is crawl up into the attic and checks wires etc, says there is only 103volts should be 120. Next he did something up there and I heard a pop noise, he said he pulled a wire out and it tripped a breaker, so I go out to the panel , no breakers are tripped ! Now all 4 lights are out, with the switch turned off he did something up there and it was back to only 2 lights working when I turned the switch back on.

    Ok he comes back down and says its gotta be the switch , as soon as he sees that its a dimmer switch he says thats the problem.
    He removes the switch (stilled wired) checks the circuit and says its not getting a full 120 ,he says its definitely is the switch. He then removes the switch and checks the wires and says it has 120 now. He touches the the wires together BUT still only the 2 lights come on.

    Its now 9 PM he needs to go home , tells me to get another switch and he will be back tomorrow after 5PM and will try the new switch ???

    It had worked fine until they were up there moving stuff around cleaning up their mess that should have been cleaned up last week when they were here for 6 hours that should have been here only 4 hrs according the owner of the Insulation place...He's pissed too...

    Can someone chime in on what to do ?

    Sorry for it being long , but trying to set the picture of whats going on ..

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
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    DO NOT let that "electrician" come back and continue with his foolishness. Contact the company owner and demand that he
    either send out a real electrician, or find one yourself and send the bill to the insulation company, if it proves that
    they caused the problem.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Any time you read something weird...like 103 volts....that is an important symptom. You have to understand the circuit to realize WHAT can cause funky readings. It usually involves an open circuit, with the test meter completing a path for current flow. It can be related to a VERY poor connection, but loose connections are often intermittent.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jimbo;340984It can be related to a VERY poor connection, but loose connections are often intermittent.[/QUOTE]

    Jimbo could well be onto something here. One of the MANY reasons to only trust electricity to a competent electrician is that he will understand the need to truly twist the damned wires together.

    Painfully, I get lots of troubleshooting calls. I compare swapping panels or installing a dozen recessed lights very favorably to chasing down voltage drops or partial outages on circuits. The panels and lights I can reasonably estimate and bid. You walk into someone's home and some receptacles have gone out, well, that could be resolved in a few minutes ("Did you install any GFI outlets lately?") or you could be chasing around for hours.

    And it can be vastly worse if the problem is not some professionally installed and inspected wiring from 50 years ago that has just gone funky (an opportunity to sell a re-wire!) but is a wonky install of some recessed lights by some handyman or worse still some not terribly talented homeowner.

    Use a linesman's pliars and twist the blessed wires together! And appreciate the business of including a stranded wire in with solid wire(s) under a wire nut.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the replies !!
    I called the owner and asked him if the guy he sent out was a licensed electrician he said he was an HVAC tech , thats when I stopped him and told him I wanted a licensed electrician out to check it out..
    He agreed , so tomorrow afternoon he has one lined up to show up and see whats going on.
    We'll see what happens ?

  6. #6

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    Well waited three hours for the "electrician " to finally show , he finally got here at 4:30 he comes in ,I show him the lights and tell him the story , he says ok I'll be back tomorrow morning between 9-10 AM and we'll see what we can find and fix for ya .. I stand there with the WTF look on my face . He leaves I have to cool off so I wait to call Cliff the insulation Comp. owner.. 15 minutes later he calls me and asked how did it go ,as he just got off the phone with the electrician.. I told him I had expected it to be fixed/working today. He said he was thinking the same thing as he had it set up to have his guys here first thing in the morning to do the insulation blow-in...

    So the sogga continues

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Seeing as the electrician was in and out so quickly, I'd have to guess that he was there as a favor to the guy whose people messed it up in the first place, and that the electrician was not expecting to make real money off of the job.

    Lord knows more than a few real estate agents feel privileged to get me out to work for free.

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    One of the key phrases is that you said they were "daisy chained" together. IF so, then having alternate lights on and off would make no sense as far as the wiring goes. If he measured 103 volts after the dimmer that could be a function of the dimmer switch. Someone is doing a bad job of diagnosing the problem.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  9. #9

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    Right now with the wires together and switch out of the equation still only light 1 and 3 are on , lights 2 and 4 is still not working...
    The electrician is here now up in the attic ...


    OK ya won't believe this !!

    The electrician checks the light cans , wiring,etc up in the attic, shows 120 everywhere he checks.
    Comes back down he switches #2 and #3 bulbs this time all three work , removes #4 bulb and adjusts can screws and re installs the bulb, now all 4 work.. apparently the bulbs where just in enough on making contact , but when they were cleaning they bumped the cans/wires enough to not make a good contact with the bulbs ??

    BUT when the HVAC tech was up there the other night and I said I heard a loud pop he did do something to the switch, so did replace the switch too and all is working fine now...
    Last edited by Abouthadit; 04-13-2012 at 09:37 AM.

  10. #10
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You that NO ONE, not even the "electrician", checked the bulbs even though the problem was with alternate fixtures. That would normally be the first thing before checking the wiring, given your type of installation.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  11. #11

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    Well in a way the bulbs were checked , the guy removed the led lights that screwed into the can housings then adjusted them, then reinstalled the lights.
    I guess he didn't screw them in all the way ? They still didn't work , then I had him switch #3 that was working with #2 that wasn't, but same thing #3 worked and #2 didn't..
    But yes maybe the real electrician that showed up should have checked the light sockets first, but I had told him what had happen and what the insulation guy did to adjust the cans then screwed the lights back in and how only 2 of the 4 were working.And how I had him switch lights and the same two still didn't work . Then they had the HVAC tech friend stop by and did what he did and that I heard a loud pop , but it didn't trip the breaker.
    So maybe the electrician thought the the HVAC friend did something to the wires ??
    Once he checked the wiring up top he came down and said its got to be the bulbs . The bulbs are actually the whole baffle trim ring led in one. So he removed one of the non working lights, slide the light socket down abit from inside the can and screwed the light back in and thats when it worked, so he did the other one that wasn't working and got it to work too.


    Not making excuses for myself , but I had major back surgery 5 weeks ago , and am not suppose to do next to nothing or I would have been up the latter working on the lights or climbed up into the attic if needed to...

    But just glad it fixed !

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