Electrical Wiring in the Home/Lights don't work

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Question
Hi Bob. Thanks in advance for volunteering. My house was constructed in 2007. We are original owners. Two days ago we noticed that we have two light switches that don't work on the first floor of our house. One leads up the steps and controls 3 lights. The other is near the door that leads to the garage. This one only controls one light. I checked all GFCI outlets that I could find on the first floor and they seem OK. I flipped all the fuses off and on one by one by the lights still don't work. I also flipped the main power off and on. I pulled both wall plates off and I don't see any loose connections.  The wires are all inserted into the back, not wrapped around the screws. Do you know what the problem could be? I should tell you that a couple of days before this I had to fix a loose connection in an outlet in the kitchen that was causing 3 other outlets next to it not to work but they are still working fine.

Thanks,
Paul

Answer
Paul,

I'm not a fan of wiring devices by sticking "stabing" the wire into the back of the device as opposed to using the screws. Its the "fast and loose" way of doing it but it is legal and contractors obviously use it to save money on labor. The problem is the end user YOU gets stuck when these potentially weak connections go bad. This could be your problem.

Check your breakers again by turning each one "firmly off" then "firmly on" to be sure its not a breaker issue. I don't think its the breaker because there is so little thats not working. It seems more like a connection issue.

Bob  
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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PASCACK VALLEY ELECTRIC Bob Mossman

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Licensed Master Electrician (32 years) 6165B Contractor in Closter New Jersey with 40 years total experience in Residential - Commercial - Industrial work. Emergency Service - General trouble shooting and repair work - ONAN & GENERAC generator installation - Paddle fans - Kitchen & Bath exhaust fans - AC lines - Smoke detectors - Telephone lines - Cable TV lines - Computer network cabling - Exterior lighting - Recessed lighting - Security lighting - (200 - 150 - 100 amp service up grades) - Electric Heat - New circuits - New appliance hook ups - and more ! FREE ESTIMATES 201-358-1552 Fully Insured

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Licensed contractor in Closter New Jersey.

Education/Credentials
"The Frank Williams School of Electrical Construction". My dear old boss is 100 ! and still going God Bless him. I started working for "Tenafly Electric" right out of high school at 19. He was tough but I learned more working for him in 8 and half years than most guys. We did mostly industrial work while doing some commercial and residential so I was fortunate to be exposed to all 3 areas of electrical construction. The guys I worked with were all good guys and I stay in touch with some of them still. Most of us went into our own buisness's which says something about the caliber of the guys I worked with. We had some interesting clients : Wella Corp. of shampoo fame, Farah Fawcett etc, I didn't buy shampoo for 10 years. It was a great place to work. Pan Am the former airline just before they went under, another great place to work, nice clean environment. C&C Metals, the largest button manufacturer in the US at that time, a not so clean environment but a very interesting place to work, lots of machine's cranking out buttons of all kinds but you had to be on your toes, it was a potentially dangerous place to be . All kinds of action going on around you.

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