Losing Power When I Put a Light Bulb in a Socket

I have an electrical problem. I have power at my light switch and fixtures, but when I put a light bulb in the socket the power is no longer there. If I take the bulb out and power is back.

Kimeo from St. Paul, MN



June 24, 20060 found this helpful

Dear Kimeo

A voltage reading on a digital instrument does not necessarily mean that there is real power there. If you still read the same voltage when a load is connected, THEN you have proper connections.

Most likely you have either wires mixed up or a broken wire somewhere or a badly corroded connection. A totally corroded connection lets enough electricity flow through it to show on a digital meter, but not enough to light up a lightbulb.

Use an electrician's test light or a trouble light or a table lamp connected with insulated alligator jumpers to your meter leads. Start at the malfunctioning light and test every access point all the ay back to the breaker until you find a spot where the test light comes on and the voltage reads 110 or more Volts while the light is lit. The problem will be at that spot or immediately downstream from it.

Good Luck



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