Lights Suddenly Stopped Working


Postby voltarei » Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:45 am

Hi All,
Last night a bulb blew in my lounge ceiling light, which tripped the fuse at the main box casuing all the lights to go out located downstairs.
When I checked the fuse it was only the "downstairs lights" that had tripped.
When I turned it back on, all the downstairs lights came back on (apart from the blown bulb), except one whole room.
This room has 3 wall lights and a ceiling light that run from the same circuit as all the other downstairs lights, but has two switches to control the lights.
1 swith is a standard on off switch, the other is a dimmer switch.
All of these lights were working before the fuse tripped.
1 other wall light in the same room runs from a spur and has it's own switch. This light still works.

I have checked the bulbs and they are OK, so I am flummoxed as to why all the lights should stop working after a tripped fuse.

Any ideas?

Phil
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Postby debssolmaz » Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:06 pm

Hi,
I have just had a very similar thing happen to me so maybe someone could help us both. A bulb blew in the kitchen which also blew the downstairs lighting fuse. I fixed the fuse and the living room and hall lights came back on but not the kitchen ones. There seems to be power going to the switches (if my electric screwdiver isn't faulty)and I have replaced the bulbs but they still don't work. I have inherited the wiring from my Dad who is a DIY enthusiast but he can't remember quite how all the lights link up. There are two uplighters ( one of these is the one that blew) and a ceilinglight coming from a double switch and then a flourescent and a single bulb coming from another double switch. Have checked wiring in all of these and it seems fine. Any advice as to how i can test where the problem is would be great.
Thank You
Debs
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Postby ericmark » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:51 pm

Fault finding is a mixture of skill and experience. We tend to first jump to faults we have had in the past and if this does not work it is a slow processes of elimination. The domestic is a problem as in the main wires are concealed in walls.
With florescent units there may be a fuse in the unit it’s self.
Where lamps have been changed often more wires than the design was for are shoved into block connectors and common for one to pop out.
Neutral wires will not affect how a neon test screw driver works but they will affect the lamp so if neon lights then likely a neutral has been dislodged.
Any slight overload is likely to coincide with failure but lights are daisy chained so fault may be in light before the one that does not work.
Once these have been checked then we start on testing step by step slowly tracing every wire and hoping the previous people have followed the rules. Any screw can work lose and the vibration of people walking on floor above can do just that. So the rules are all junction boxes which are not accessible for maintenance should be of a type not using screws. Normally spring clip arrangement. But this is not always followed and some people seem to think writing on a floor board junction box below and using screws on floor board means it’s accessible even when underlay and carpet have been placed on top of the floor boards.
This takes some detective work looking at what may be an extra lamp and trying to work out how it is likely to have been wired.
This includes people who add fused spurs etc.
Hope that gives you some pointers. I have tried all sorts of tricks including sticking hand and camera through holes and taking series of flash photos and it has worked.
All best Eric
ericmark

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