Puzzle: Power coming to fixture socket, why no light?

mahatmacat1August 23, 2010

Hi--I'm writing for my DH, who is scratching his head trying to figure out why our porch light suddenly won't work. It was working fine, and suddenly stopped. Of course we tried changing out the bulb, but no light. He's also tested to make sure there was power coming to the bulb socket, and sure enough, there is.

So what could be causing the problem? Our other porch light is downstream on the same circuit, and is working fine. We'd very much appreciate any insights/leads. TIA.

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normel

Check the center tab of the socket. With the power off and the bulb out, use a pencil or other small tool to gently lift the center tab up a little, allowing better contact with the center of the bulb.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 1:24PM
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windslam

Check the bulb too. I've run into some, several times over the years, where the center terminal on the bulb didn't protrude enough and wasn't touching the center tab.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 6:15PM
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mahatmacat1

Thanks, guys (gals? don't want to presume :)). Wish I could say DH hadn't tried these already. Any other ideas?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 11:56PM
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hrajotte

All I can figure is a bad batch of new bulbs. Try the bulbs in another lamp. If they do work someplace else, must be a poltergeist at work.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 6:00AM
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Ron Natalie

Exactly how did he verify there was electricity at the socket?
It is possible the neutral side is open depending on how he measured it.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 8:56AM
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countryboymo

I vote for a bad connection that will not carry the load even though it is very minimal.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 11:04PM
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mahatmacat1

ron and countryboy, thanks for your replies. DH will try rewiring it...the odd thing is that it worked for several days and then suddenly stopped--does that affect your vote in any way, cb?

What does "the neutral side was open" mean? He checked it with a voltimeter.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 1:26AM
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Ron Natalie

Where did he put the probes? If he didnt place one on the threads but used some other metallic part of the fixture, the wire leading to the threaded part which should be connected to the neutral.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 1:14PM
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mahatmacat1

Well, just a followup--my DH rewired the connection and it works now! He recut the black lead out of the fixture and bound it in tighter with the other ones. the other sets of wires (white and ground) were fine.

Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 1:28PM
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