A mystery in house wiring

eddieguy

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To start off with lights are now functioning as they should. However within the last 2 weeks i swaped 2 motion lights out with each other and that may be where the problem started.

My moms front porch light would not work on the dusk to dawn setting so it would be on all the time so i decided to swap it out with the one on her shed that would work on dusk to dawn setting. I had put a bright working motion light back there already so it wasnt really needed.

So everything is working as should until mom tells me a few days later that one of the lights in her bathroom rarely wants to come on when she flips the switch. Well ever since i flipped the breaker on and off for that circuit it works every time.

Its not on the same circuit as the light fixture i replaced. I really have to believe that it's more than coincidence that ever since I turned the power off and back on to that circuit which has turned the light on every single time.

I know you guys are mechanics and not electricians I just thought somebody might have an idea as to why this would be what would have been about turning the power off and back on Flipping at circuit breaker off and back on they would have it working every single time now.
 

Mobile Dan

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Did you operate the breaker for the bathroom light when you were doing the motion job?

Did you test any other lamps on the bathroom circuit before you flipped the breaker for the bathroom circuit?

If there is a loose connection at the back of a switch or circuit breaker, operating the switch or breaker forcefully may restore the connection (temporarily).
 

billr

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Is this breaker panel made by "Zinsco"? Have you taken the front cover off the panel and visually checked condition of the bus-bars, and tightness of screws that secure wiring? Are any of the wires aluminum?
 

eddieguy

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Did you operate the breaker for the bathroom light when you were doing the motion job?

Did you test any other lamps on the bathroom circuit before you flipped the breaker for the bathroom circuit?

If there is a loose connection at the back of a switch or circuit breaker, operating the switch or breaker forcefully may restore the connection (temporarily).
When i put up the motion light i shut off main breaker in the house to kill all power in the house. There is still power to the shed and there is a breaker panel outside for that as well as a breaker to cut off power before it gets to panel inside of house. Every thing else on that bathroom circuit was working before i flipped breaker on and off as far as i recall
 

eddieguy

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Is this breaker panel made by "Zinsco"? Have you taken the front cover off the panel and visually checked condition of the bus-bars, and tightness of screws that secure wiring? Are any of the wires aluminum?
I guess panel is made by general electric. Atleast i seen a diagram inside that said that on it. Im going to check for tightness of screws like you said. I did notice whoever wired the light on the shed did you use some aluminum wiring. Not the cables themselves but wire nutted some to the cable for the motion light.

I know some of the work that was done could not be up to code in the shed. For instance theres no plastic box ( junction box) or whatever the proper terminology for the motion light. They got some kinda tape or adhesive material holding the cable to inside of shed and a little bit of aluminum wire wire nutted to that cable protruding to the outside of the shed for the light fixture.

I also noticed that they have a cable that I can see underneath the shed that isn't going through any kind of conduit which I know can't be up to code how any of this could relate to the issue that was in the bathroom with the light I don't know but after seeing some of the things that were done it has to make me wonder what else was done weird. I think that cable that was under the shed or still is wired up some outdoor lights but they're still technically we're supposed to have run that through some type of conduit I'm sure
 

eddieguy

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I guess panel is made by general electric. Atleast i seen a diagram inside that said that on it. Im going to check for tightness of screws like you said. I did notice whoever wired the light on the shed did you use some aluminum wiring. Not the cables themselves but wire nutted some to the cable for the motion light.

I know some of the work that was done could not be up to code in the shed. For instance theres no plastic box ( junction box) or whatever the proper terminology for the motion light. They got some kinda tape or adhesive material holding the cable to inside of shed and a little bit of aluminum wire wire nutted to that cable protruding to the outside of the shed for the light fixture.

I also noticed that they have a cable that I can see underneath the shed that isn't going through any kind of conduit which I know can't be up to code how any of this could relate to the issue that was in the bathroom with the light I don't know but after seeing some of the things that were done it has to make me wonder what else was done weird. I think that cable that was under the shed or still is wired up some outdoor lights but they're still technically we're supposed to have run that through some type of conduit I'm sure
Not to keep rambling on about the shed but I am trying to right what was ever wrong as far as codes are concerned I'm sure those codes are in place for safety reasons. There are walls up in the shed so I cannot easily see what's going on
 

billr

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Is the electrical service to the house 240V? Are the mains fused? If they are fused, you should be able to remove one of the main fuses and verify if all the problem lights/circuits are on the same main; that would be good to know.

Also, check the voltage from neutral to a good ground. That should be virtually zero volts. If the neutral gets "iffy" all kinds of weird problems can happen. Look for blackening at the connection of any aluminum wiring, and I would expect that the mains are aluminum.

There should be a messy film of anti-oxidant grease on any aluminum connections.

Check the bus-bars in the breaker panel, those will be either copper (maybe tin-plated) or aluminum. If they are not obviously copper (pinkish color), then look for the blackening where the breakers plug in.

Pictures of some/all of this stuff may help.
 
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