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BJN
What could the problem be?

Recently purchased a house and got the electric upgraded from 100 to 200 amp but a couple of lights stopped working after moving in. We were not able to figure out why and asked a handy man who still could not fix either light. The house is over 100 years old and still has nob and tube in some places. My question is if the upgrade had any thing to do with the lights not working anymore? The first one is an old dining room chandelier (wanted to put a dimmer on it). The other light is in a small room off the kitchen that has a electrical boxes running from the ceiling to the switch on the outside of the wall (b/c it has stone walls). What could the problem be? I would like to fix the problem without calling another electrician (man are they expensive).

JLMCDANIEL
Re: What could the problem be?

If it was a licensed electrician, he may not have connected any K&T wiring when he updated the service. Or the old K&T wiring may be wired to an old still existing fuse box and you have a blown fuse.
Jack

BJN
Re: What could the problem be?

Thanks for responding. We have other K&T lights and outlets that still work. And when the wires were tested with the hot wire tester they lit up. I only see switches in the circuit breaker box no other fuse box in the basement.

The other thing is that we waited too long to connect the problem to the electrician (we did not move in right away)and they are not coming back out without charging unfortunately.

Is there a way to tell if the chandelier itself is the problem? I guess I could go out and buy another but I really like this one b/c it goes with the house. I found out that the other room off the kitchen is not K&T, could it be the light switch? because the other outlets work in that room and the light itself was replaced with a porcelain fixture. Thanks again guys the help.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: What could the problem be?

You can buy non-contact testers (they are not completely reliable but do help), neon testers, or multi-meters for testing voltage. It should be pointed out however that one should have some familiarity with using these items or you could get seriously hurt or even killed.

It could be as simple as a bad light switch.

Another problem I have run into with K&T wiring is small fuse boxes stashed in different parts of the house. I found one on the basement ceiling and another in an upstairs closet besides the main fuse box all in one house. To be honest I'm surprised that the electrician didn't demand the the wiring be updated when the new service was put in.
Jack

Gray Watson
Re: What could the problem be?

This might be so obvious that you already checked but could the bulbs be burnt out?

xyxoxy
Re: What could the problem be?

If they upgraded your panel I would have to wonder if they reconnected all of the wires into the panel.
Can you/have you checked in or near the panel for any unaccounted for wires? It could be pushed up into the rafters, behind other wiring, or even wire nutted off (hopefully) inside the panel.

If you find something not connected I would first carefully test it to be sure it is not hot... and then test it for continuity to the non-functioning fixtures.

BJN
Re: What could the problem be?

I checked all of the square metal boxes and wires running in the basement. I found three that would not set off the Sperry tester. And all are spiral armored cable coming from the other side running toward the upstairs in those exact places where the lights will not work (and outlets). A basement area light will not come on as well plus a couple of outlets on the same wiring. The rest of the wires running through the other sides of the boxes are white and some yellow tested just fine.

So it has to be the armored cable right? Is this something I could do myself? Thanks everyone, for your help.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: What could the problem be?

You'll need to follow the armored cable (called BX) back to the source, it may have not been wired into the breaker box, or if a new feed wire was run it may just be a bad connection.
Jack

FXR_UPR
Re: What could the problem be?

Using the non-contact tester,put close by the light switch to see if there is power,if there is then with switch on put tester near where the lightbulb is screwed in,if no power,then there is no connection,a wire tracer would be good in trying to find out where the presumed power source for that section of the home is,if it leads back to the new box then the electrician did not do his job,he should have made sure that all outlets and switches &/or lights were functional

JLMCDANIEL
Re: What could the problem be?
FXR_UPR wrote:

Using the non-contact tester,put close by the light switch to see if there is power,if there is then with switch on put tester near where the lightbulb is screwed in,if no power,then there is no connection,a wire tracer would be good in trying to find out where the presumed power source for that section of the home is,if it leads back to the new box then the electrician did not do his job,he should have made sure that all outlets and switches &/or lights were functional

I'm not a big fan of non contact testers because you can get a false power indication due to feed back on the common and it does nothing to indicate an open common.
Jack

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