Electrical Wiring in the Home/My garage light


QUESTION: It's me again -- with the garage light problem.  I just told you that tonight the light wouldn't come on, so I went to the basement and found that circuit breaker tripped so I turned it to the left and the light came on.  Well, it didn't stay on long.  It's out now and again, the circuit breaker is tripped. Funny, the light stayed on all night last night and went out this morning at dawn.  But not tonight.

ANSWER: YEA  something is going wrong with that fixture        that is the most likely problem  for now we can do without the clamp on meter  but get that fixture isolated and off if you can  so we an bench test it,      I will walk you through that    but a good visual might show the problem  but we do not want this overload constantly tripping    it means there is more than the wire can stand in amps   for a short time, so it could get to be a bad issue  first take out bulb that will stop current     if you can unwire that will stop the switch from opening at the fixture    I think that pop is going to show up as a carbon tracked short or wire   dark or darkened in the fixture     but it is happening to0 often now    I dont like that  

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the help, Will.  If I have the whole fixture replaced will that do?  I mean is that the problem or do you think I have something
bigger like a problem with the electricity to the garage?  I don't have
a panel in the garage, it's in the basement only.  Thanks again.


90% plus it is the light   just from the intermittent activity  but the ONLY WAY to know is to isolate the fixture which is not a big deal normally.

Most often there are two screws or nuts on studs that let you remove fixture,  then take black off black  white off white   put existing twist nuts on the POWER LEADS one on each   and leave the fixture wires dangle or push up in box,  

Turn breaker back on,    if it trips with no fixture wired up    get an electrician asap   but I doubt it is in the wiring,    it COULD be  I have seen nails that were driven through the middle of Romex and been there for YEARS    then all of a sudden the nail over time as the wire looses some integrity will conduct  and boom off goes the breaker,   

Right now the breaker is seeing the problem    so while it needs to be corrected no reason to panic      the breaker is protecting the wire which is what they do,    

but I think you sound really smart and you should be able to isolate the fixture then we prove it is either the fixture or wire,  but again 90% it is the fixture,  just how it acts,  

Now these day and night auto lights should be ran through a regular wall switch   the reason,  turning the power off for 30 seconds might put it in auto mode,   turning power off for 1 minute might turn it on all the time,    they all have different ways of being controlled but most all are by how long the power is off,       so a wall switch is convenient,     dont gotta have one unless local code says so   it can be direct wired to a breaker,   by national code,     

But no reason to pay someone if you can get the fixture off or cover or however it is built,  

then do as above   now it is an open circuit,   if the breaker trips with no fixture    that has to be dealt with by an electrician    he will have to find the problem in the wire, but most likely it is the fixture from all your descriptions, and again  no need to panic   just keep the breaker in the OFF position until either you or someone isolates the fixture   you can use my personal email  just put in subject   garage light breaker trip allexperts or something like that so I know it is you,   and much easier to chat back and forth     but I get a ton   so I need to pick yours out of them  first    BUt as long as your breaker is finding a problem and tripping you should be safe    but  we just need to resolve this as soon as we can.  LEAVE BREAKER IN OFF POSITION FOR NOW,  
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Will Babbitt


Electrical issues of all types, wiring, control, appliances, components, specialty in Electric MOTOR or APPARATUS trouble shooting, electric motors, electrical problems, single phase, three phase, DC, capacitors, elevator MG-Sets, modifications, reverse engineering, VFD Drives, single to three phase convertors. Repair of most any electrical/mechanical/electronic apparatus, OEM, AC, DC, Industrial Applications, Three phase, single phase failure mode, determining the root cause of the equipment failure BEFORE failure repeats, Antique appliances, electric motors, fans, ceiling fans, base mount fans, poor equipment performance, Modifications, habitual failures, vibration, redesign, obsolete issues, collectible items restored, rewinding. Owner of EMR Repair Inc www.emrrepair.com More information on electric motors, under Engineering/Motors Ask about any electrical or mechanical problems in the home, office, or even at your work. B2B or business to business CONSULTING I can do but it would be a much more complex issue, that would require a significant amount of time. repair@mearservice.com from there we can discuss and begin work on about anything. Industrial electric motors, controls, troubleshooting, vibration, alignment, any type of industrial or commercial electric/electrcical equipment For the home owner, renter, apartment if you have odd things going on, describe to me, photos are normally very helpful, appliances, heating and air conditioning issues, light switches, installation, DIY PROJECTS FOR THOSE NOT EDUCATED IN ELECTRICAL, we can do some things, but for safety and sanity reasons, I may refer you to a local electrician, and help you find one, help you with pricing and even speak directly with anyone you hire if you have issues,


Over thirty years with a major repair and sales company, VP of Operations, and former owner of my own specialty repair shops, MEAR Services local to Kansas City Missouri EMR Repair Inc., located in Kansas City Missouri, 2014 sold both businesses to JCI Industries, Lee's Summit Missouri wbabbitt@jciind.com Evaluation and repair of electrical/mechanical apparatus. Electrical and mechanical repairs, trouble shooting including, vibration and balance issues. About.com provides this service, and the huge costs to provide help on about any subject. They provide the servers, the people to vet the experts, costs that would be the same as operating a good sized business, They should be appreciated for what they do, the huge costs and the great help they provide for free, Electric motor questions, can be answered here but there is a dedicated category that has other experts to help and add to a solution. Other common questions, are noises in the walls, breakers tripping, devices not starting or shutting down for no apparent reason, smoke alarms buzzing, thermostat change outs, or sizing wire or needing information for a new project, but anything can be resolved, anything, with enough effort and patience, DIY, with electrical is possible, but in most cases the use of a simple ohm meter or volt meter is needed, they can be purchased at any hardware store for a few bucks. If you have smoke, or smell smoke, don't be writing me, call 911 the Fire Department has no problem looking for smoke smells, better then spraying water on a blazing fire. DO NOT GET CAUGHT INVESTIGATING AND TRAPPED IN A BASEMENT LOOKING FOR A BLOWER FAILING< As to the tip jar, it is up to you, it is appreciated, every expert spends out of pocket that I know, we spend on IP time, computer wear, printing documents, books, and of course our time, but if we prevent a $400 service call, we did well,

Former IBEW, EASA, IEEE, UL, ..............


10 plus years, various Technical Schools, followed by Industrial College Credit and non Credit Courses, electronics courses, experience in most any electrical apparatus, electric motors and generators, AC OR DC, fractional to above 5000HP, other electrical apparatus, slip rings, sleeve [plain] bearings, lubrication, identification-no data plate, control components, service and sales. I have continued night schools for decades, the list is extensive. I have been in the business of repairing most anything with wires or mechanical parts for decades, I have some helpful hints and directions you won't have to dig up. Or hopefully not have to pay a huge service call invoice to find.

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