How To Troubleshoot Light Switches and Light Switch Wiring

How To Troubleshoot Light Switches and Light Switch Wiring



8850 ate it baby get it baby hi this is rick patterson with the handyman toolbox thanks for coming to my video today just real quickly we're going to run through a test i've got a light switch that is not working and the light to the outside on the deck is not coming on so i'm going to kind of walk you through how to find out what the problem is or in other words troubleshoot a light switch now again any time that you're working with electricity you've got to show respect to it always assume that the wires or are hot now what I have here is I have two black wires going through ordinarily on any given switch you would have a white wire and a black wire but in this case the electrician the original electrical work was with two wires so the white wires in the back are all tied together that's the wire right there and so what I've done is just take off the caps off these wires like so and do an inspection to make sure that all of the wiring is on there correctly and that they're tight once that's done and you go back in twist that back really really good and then you're good to go now one thing that I do as an electrician I go back behind and make sure that I'm the last one in the box so to prove that is I will wreck all the wiring closed with electrical tape that way I know that I'm the last one in okay so once I inspect that then I go here to the black one I've already inspected that one and all the connections are good and now I'm just going to wrap some electrical tape on it as well and do the same thing it serves two purposes one is just to kind of get my mark in the box but two is to ensure that there's no electrical wiring touching outside of CAP sometimes wires are cut too long all right so the only cause that can happen here is once that I've done my testing and what I'll do here is just to kind of prove this if you can get a hold of this this is my ohmmeter and what I've done here is put this on two hundred let me kind of show you what that looks like I've placed the dial here to two hundred and then I have a common which is my black and then I have the red cord going to the v4 voltage red versus amps or homes okay now I'm going to carefully touch this here and see if I can go move to both of these at the same time oh do the same there and this is live and I'm doing this for a test I do not recommend if you do this on your own and so I'm doing this just for the video sake and it's showing the 121 so the connections are good except when I go outside then I have a problem let's go outside and take a look at this and do the same test there okay as you can see here I've already taken the light away from the house and this deck light on the back porch is not working so we've already tested with a with the light bulb it's not working at all and now what I've done here is just taking the caps off again when you're working with electricity make sure that everybody understands in the household not to touch switches not to touch anything in the panel or anything like that and you the only person that will do that so again what I'm going to do here is take my voltmeter turn it on to 200 I'm going to take the probes and I'm going to touch here and I'm going to touch here on either side and I have nothing showing whatsoever it's completely dead even and the only reason I would touch it because I know it's dead I kind of want to prove it if it was on I'd be doing the happy dance for you right now and I'd probably get a million hits but within this case it's not one other good thing that I like to do this is called what I call a sniffer it's actually a voltmeter and it's a voltage detector and as you can see right here it has a particular edge to it I turn it on at the side this takes about a a three a battery a double-a battery and so every once a while it'll tweet I don't know if I can get it to tweet or not for you but just to prove this if I was to hold this up and it had any voltage in it what would happen was it would tweet and there's no voltage no power here at all so I know the line is completely dead now this is not my problem this is not so I know that you know that that the current goes here if it's on so we're going to we're going to replace the switch that's what it tells me all the connections are good so the only thing to do now is to replace the switch let's go ahead and do that now okay the first thing you want to do when working with any electricity is make sure that the power source at the box is turned off completely that way there's no danger of any shock or any hazardous operations to get you hurt so this is what we're going to do go ahead and open up the box and you see the box or they call this the panel and I've already located where this is going to be so I'm going to turn off the kitchen lights and the deck and do the same thing for the receptacles because I do not want any hazard whatsoever to be shot once you've done this go ahead and close the box if you're working in a house where there are other people around make sure that you close this sometimes I will even do this I will put a piece of I'll put a piece of tape electrical tape over the door over the handle that way anybody that comes along since hey you know lights off in the house let me go turn it on and not be aware of that the you know that way I don't get hurt working on it neither would you the other thing the important to do is let everybody in the household know what you're doing if they're small children in the room make sure or in the house make sure that they are supervised and are away from the electrical lines that you're working on and especially that you let everybody know that this is a no touch zone okay so now let's go on okay what I'm going to do first off is work with this particular piece right here and instead of doing everything fancy and whatnot I'm going to go ahead and clip this just to make it real quick clip everything off with my cutters and this is a special tool that we use it's called strippers and so I do going to lay this aside now and we're I don't we use this again and what you do in these is you take your stripper and then you just pull back about a quarter of an inch wiring what so and do this on both ends and because it's so very very cautious I'm going to do this one more time I'm going to go ahead and get my tester out and make sure before I start stripping any of these wires and so there's no tweets whatsoever so I just double check all those just to make sure that rather be safe you know the old adage you rather be safe than sorry well that's in this case that is a sure thing you can recuperate from a leaky faucet that's pretty quick but it's kind of hard to recuperate from a shock so what I've done here is made my initial twist for the ground wire and if you see this here the new switch is it's marked clearly at the top so I'm going to make sure that when I put this back in that the on position is at the top and the off position is at the bottom and what I do here is go ahead I've already done this particular curb and pinch the wire with my stripper that way it stays on there completely like so and then I use my Phillips to go ahead and ground this wire take it all the way in and by the way you want your turn little curb that I made you want that curve to go inside or with the turn if you have it turned counterclockwise when you do it it's just going to come out so that's how I do that then what I do here is this is designed to go straight in and I'm going to go ahead and push this straight in like so there's two holes and I'm going to do the same thing there it's called a quick connect and I've done that there what I like to do though is a couple of extra things I do not leave these screws open some electricians will I want to make sure everything's snug and so that way I'll have any problem about things touching inside the box then remember I talked earlier about my mark well what I like to do also it just takes some electrical tape and cover the connections like so make sure that none of the quick connects help you that you have any of the wire hanging out you don't want that nothing exposed that's why you only do about order of an inch cut so now I'm ready to put everything back in the box but before I go to all that what I'm going to do is go back downstairs turn the power back on at the box and then test everything to make sure everything's working and then it was the switch indeed okay so what I've done here is just going inside and replaced the switch to make sure that it works it does work turn the power back off and now I'm ready to go ahead and reinstall the light back on to the porch again what you want to do is do not handle the wires whatsoever okay don't touch the ends of them taking the wire nuts twist them straight on alright make sure everything's attached as it should be now there's a ground up here a ground wire here but it's already grounded inside and so I'm just going to let that suffice and what I do here now again I'm going to especially this is an outside so I'm going to go ahead and let these right here just one time what this does it lets me know that if I'm ever back out here I'm the last one to do this because there's not too many people that wrap their connections so let's just back in here take this like so mount the screws everything back up inside and I've got to feed the wire nuts through the casing got that done and I'm ready go ahead and put the bolt the nuts to the bolt back on take that just start it I know this is interesting see the back of my ball head what the while I'm doing this but that's how we do it screw that all the way in do the same thing and this is just a little black nut that I'm using it's a decorative nut and I'm done here I'm going to show you just a little bit something different from a different angle okay what I'm going to use here is some caulk some people use clear I didn't have any I'm just going to use white and I'm going to caulk the very top and the sides of this particular he's here that right there and just run a bead of caulk pretty heavy all the way down now I don't have to go all the way around it because water will drip off at this point right here I'm going to do this on the other side as well stop halfway look nice neat there you go so we're finished now thanks for listening this is Rick Patterson with the handyman toolbox see you next time by the way before you go I want to encourage you to check out my other videos and you'll see a link below click on it the 1000th person that subscribes to the handyman to lots calm gets a free tool go ahead and register now see you there

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