getting shocks from old ceiling light

jimyyzMarch 6, 2010

i was installing an antique ceiling light which has 4 up lights and 4 down lights. One pair (i.e. one up and one down) doesn't work. When I tried tightening the two bulbs, thinking that perhaps they weren't fully seated, I got a shock. (Note: All of the bulbs were hard to get into the sockets, probably because it's a very old fixture. I had to turn them to the point where i was worried about breaking the bulb.)

I'm guessing there is a short or lose wire somewhere??

Can anyone suggest how to go about checking/fixing it and what I should be looking for? Do i just need to take apart and check that one socket for a lose wire?

Believe it or not, I just spent $200 at a specialty lighting shop to check the fixture and get it ready for hanging. You think they would have checked it too -- which they claim they did. But anyway, it's too much work to take it down and back to the store.


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It's important that fixture polarity be correct. The threaded part you can come into contact with as you screw in a lamp is the grounded neutral and small center contact point is the hot. Newer factory made chandeliers should all be consistent and have a identifier on the cord to show which is hot and neutral. Rewired chandeliers don't always have this right and some sockets may be one way, some the other. Electricians test each one.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 4:23PM
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They might have wired it assuming your wire colors in the wall are correct, which they may not be.
You should check with an incand. test lamp that it fully lights when wired between the black wire in the wall and a "known good ground" [probably a cold water pipe].

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 6:24PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong but since the other lights in the chandelier work fine it can't be the wires in the box.

I'll test the socket and report back.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2010 at 11:28PM
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