Electrical Wiring in the Home/Chandelier Not Working


QUESTION: Dear My Sponaugle,

I inquired about this a few days ago.  Since then I've learned a couple things:  my wires are all hot (fine), and the dimmer switch is new.  So the problem must be the chandelier itself.  I plan on purchasing a new one.  What could've cause the old one to stop working?  Do chandeliers have life spans?  Did it short?  Could my previous dimmer switch which was partially broken have cause a problem with the chandelier itself?  
I'm curious because I don't want possible faulty wiring or what have you ruin the new chandelier.


ANSWER: Even new dimmers can fail.  If it is wired wrong, or wired with the power not turned off it can fail. Sometimes they fail even if you install it right. I would buy a cheap wall switch and get the light working. Once the light works, then replace the switch with a new dimmer.

Chandeliers do no usually fail. Before you replace it, I would get a cheap socket and get that to work first. Bad dimmers do not cause a chandelier to fail.

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

QUESTION: Appreciate all your help Bob.  I don't know much about electricity so you've been a big help!  Ok so I bought a voltmeter and can tell you that the wires out of the ceiling most definitely are live/hot.  And the switch at the wall appears to be working, because when I turn it off then check for power in the ceiling the voltmeter picks up nothing.  So at this point I"m left to believe the chandelier may have failed.  Does that seem logical to assume??

Before you spend a lot of money on a new chandelier, I would buy a socket and use a traditional 60 or 100 watt bulb.  It is possible to get a reading on a volt meter, or on a low wattage bulb caused by feedback. (If the white wire has come loose somewhere).  It is possible that a chandelier quit working.  But they can usually be repaired if you like it.  If it has multiple sockets, there should be a place in the center where all the sockets are connected, and a wire could have come loose.  You can also temporarily put a plug on the wire and plug it in to see if it works.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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