Why don't my lights turn on?

I am trying to figure out whether I need to spend money to bring an electrician out.  A couple of light fixtures in my house do not turn on.  I have tried flipping every breaker switch, and have also replaced the light bulbs with working ones from other rooms, and the lights still won't turn on.  What could the possible causes be?  We did have a power outage yesterday due to a thunderstorm, but we have weather-related outages all the time, with no lasting issues such as this.

6 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    you need a multimeter for testing the fixtures and circuits ... apply one, or hire a handyman to do this for you -- and thus isolate where the problem actually is

  • elhigh
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You need to test the fixtures themselves to see if the sockets are indeed powered when the switch is on.  Once you've determined that, further investigations will suggest themselves.

  • A
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You may have had a power surge that cooked a breaker while it appears ok. You can buy an electrical tester at a hardware store, you turn it on and run the end close to the wiring or into an outlet and it will beep if there is power to it. 

       I would have an electrician come and check it out.   

  • Droopy
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    You might have a leg out.  Theres 2 legs that come into house.  Both 120V  If your missing a leg you can have the issues your having.  Have you noticed your stove, drier,Heatpump nit working properly?  those run off of 240.  It pulls power from both legs.  So right now they'd only be getting 120v So they wouldn't be operating properly.   If thats the case you don't need a electrician you need to call your power company. either your transformer is bad or the storm loosened one of the connections. 

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  • 1 month ago

    You can buy a very cheap tester for about $10. I use one whenever I do electrical work. It is plastic and has a battery inside. Whenever you out the plastic tip near a live wire or a switch or receptacle, it makes a beeping sound if there is power. If you turn on the light switches and check the light fittings, switches etc, for what is live and what it not, you can find out where the break is. 

    It sounds as if you have one circuit that is not working, so I would look for a break somewhere along the wires for that one. If it is a bathroom, look for the breaker in the wall receptacle that has a push button to reset it.  

  • Edwena
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    OK. Check everything and see what is out.  If multiple lights are out, it is probably the circuit that has the problem.  That problem would be the circuit breaker in the box.  Go flip it a few times and see if it will switch back on.  If the circuits are still off, measure the voltage coming out of the breaker and see if there is any. If there isn't, you need to replace the breaker.  Shut off all of the power and take out the breaker.  Take the breaker to Lowes and get an exact replacement. There are many different styles of breakers at Lowes, but only one style for your box.  The others won't fit.   Buy the right breaker, bring it home, wire it in and turn things back on. Hopefully, the lights work.  At least determine that the breaker is bad or what is wrong before you call the electrician and tell him what you think is the problem.

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