Why Don't My Lights And Plugs Work?


6 Answers

Robert Wilbur Profile
Robert Wilbur answered
I would go with that. As you look from outlet to outlet you will eventually find a problem wire. It will be loose or burnt, etc.
Measuring the power is a good helper in the checking. As an electrician, I think the other commenter took for granted his/her experience and failed to keep explaining. There will be plenty of outlets with no power to them in your situation. Keep moving around the room until you find the next nearest one that works. Pull out the working outlet and tug a little on the wires to see if they are loose. If the first working one is not the problem, look the other direction for the next nearest working outlet and do the same. Older houses were wired from the light to the outlets, where newer houses are wired around the room from outlet to outlet. Either way, no matter what method was used the problem , most likely is the result of a loose connection.
eugene hunt Profile
eugene hunt answered
Go to the hardware store, invest a few bucks in a test light (little neon bulb with two leads on it), check in the breaker box first, Hold one lead of the test light on the long connector strip with all the white wires going to it (neutral bus bar) and touch the other lead to the wire coming out of the breaker going to that room (usually a black wire, each room will have it's own breaker). The test light will light if you have electricity out of the breaker, if not, you need a new breaker. This test is only necessary for the room where nothing works......Then get in the attic and find the wiring from the breaker box and notice where it enters the room (the first box it goes to in the room will have all the connections to the lights and plugs tied together in it). Test across the black wires and white wires to make sure you have everything there, this is your most likely problem spot.... One pair of wires will probably service all the plugs and another will go to the light switch ( which will tie into the black wire and the white wire will go straight on to light fixture(s). You should always be able to get voltage from any black wire to any white wire, if not, then you have a bad connection where one of the wires ties into the wires from the breaker box. This should be enough info for you to troubleshoot all of your rooms individually, remember all the plugs in one room are tied together, and all the lights are tied together in that room also. The green wires are grounded and are for safety's sake only, they carry no voltage, the black wire is the hot and the white is the neutral. Good luck.
thanked the writer.
Daniel Boger
Daniel Boger commented
Thank you very much for the answer, by doing what you said and this does not work I'll just sell the house ha ha Thanks
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
If your serious about fixing this problem yourself then get yourself a Digital multi meter Fluke is pretty well known. For the lights start out at the socket "where the bulb goes" disconnect and use the meter to ensure you have 115 to 120 volts from your hot to neutral and test your switch by turning it off and on checking if you lose your 120 volts when the switch is off. If this is the case and you do have 120V at the bulb then there would be no reason for your bulb not to work so replace the bulb with the proper size wattage this matters because you can burn the wires on the light if a too high wattage bulb is used. If there is no power on your light when the switch is on but there is 120V coming from the breaker feeding this circuit then my guess would be there is a junction point somewhere in between the 2 and possible a neutral wire lose given that this is an older style home there may be junctions anywhere I'm unaware of the electrical codes in the past but code says to date that you must be able to get at any junction point for any circuit. Try this first your plugs may be wired in the same circuit as your lights as well which would mean that if your plugs don't work then your lights will not be getting the 120v that it needs preventing them from working as well
but just like the lights plugs require 120 Volts to operate correctly. You can check them with your meter as well by inserting the meter prongs into the plug.

Hope it helps somewhat.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
We bought a new house last year and the lights have always worked. They burn out and we go and change them but for some reason they don't work the light bulb we replace doesn't seem to fit right why?

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