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# Half of the pot lights in a room are not working

• Last Updated:
• Apr 27th, 2021 8:48 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 21, 2012
138 posts
Toronto

## Half of the pot lights in a room are not working

Hello,

Recently, 3 of 6 pot lights in my room have stopped working. I checked all bulbs and they are fine.

The attached pictures show situation the arrangement and the type of lights I have.

What could be the problem?

Thanks

15 replies
Jul 2, 2001
4663 posts
GTA
RaOne1 wrote:
What could be the problem?
Either the wiring is loose on one of them affecting the rest or 3 of the led drivers died.
.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 11, 2006
9438 posts
Mississauga
OP do you have a voltage tester to test if the wire is hot or if there's no power when on.
Oct 14, 2010
1438 posts
Barrie ON
Based on your image, I suspect the lights are connected as in this diagram, and the circuit is broken leaving #2, or arriving at #1.

Use a non contact voltage tester (NCVT) to determine if voltage is arriving at #1. If voltage is present, then the problem is at #1. If the voltage is not present at #1, then voltage should be present at #2, and the problem is there.

Newbie
Feb 4, 2017
49 posts
Rick007 wrote: Based on your image, I suspect the lights are connected as in this diagram, and the circuit is broken leaving #2, or arriving at #1.

Use a non contact voltage tester (NCVT) to determine if voltage is arriving at #1. If voltage is present, then the problem is at #1. If the voltage is not present at #1, then voltage should be present at #2, and the problem is there.

What he said.
Member
Feb 9, 2011
260 posts
Mississauga
Must be a Mattamy build? Tell me I'm right lol.
Jun 26, 2019
1265 posts
My guess is a loose neutral.
Rick007 wrote: Use a non contact voltage tester (NCVT) to determine if voltage is arriving at #1. If voltage is present, then the problem is at #1. If the voltage is not present at #1, then voltage should be present at #2, and the problem is there.
You could have a live wire in every box, and it still might not be working due to a loose neutral.
Oct 14, 2010
1438 posts
Barrie ON
SubjectivelyObjective wrote: My guess is a loose neutral.
You could have a live wire in every box, and it still might not be working due to a loose neutral.
Excellent point, which I just verified with my own NCVT. I had thought that NCVT sensed the magnetic field which occurs around a conductor carrying current. My experiment determined that it can sense when a single, open ended, conductor is plugged into the hot side of a receptacle.

The loose or open connection will still be in the wiring of box #1 or #2. Since the OP is unlikely to already own a multimeter or a NCVT, he may be able to determine the problem simply by observing the wiring within these 2 boxes, or investing in an inexpensive multimeter would be recommended,
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 21, 2012
138 posts
Toronto
Rick007 wrote: Based on your image, I suspect the lights are connected as in this diagram, and the circuit is broken leaving #2, or arriving at #1.

Use a non contact voltage tester (NCVT) to determine if voltage is arriving at #1. If voltage is present, then the problem is at #1. If the voltage is not present at #1, then voltage should be present at #2, and the problem is there.

Thanks. You are right the problem seems to be between light #1 and 2. When I tried to pulling out the case of light #1, all bulbs lit. If I push the case back in, they turn off. So there is a loose connection behind that case.

Now the problem I am facing is that the pot is not coming out fully, so I am not able to see where the loose connection is. (case pictures are in the original post)

How can I fix the loose connection?
Jun 21, 2003
4602 posts
Stoney Creek, ON
RaOne1 wrote: Thanks. You are right the problem seems to be between light #1 and 2. When I tried to pulling out the case of light #1, all bulbs lit. If I push the case back in, they turn off. So there is a loose connection behind that case.

Now the problem I am facing is that the pot is not coming out fully, so I am not able to see where the loose connection is. (case pictures are in the original post)

How can I fix the loose connection?
You just need to determine which screws or clips to remove to drop the can out. It may be a pain, especially with the paint all over the edges “gluing” it in but it can be done. It has to be removal as it is a requirement that you can access the wiring. I would run a knife around the edge of the can to break the paint seal otherwise you run the risk of pulling down the can and tearing a strip of the ceiling with it.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 11, 2006
9438 posts
Mississauga
ChicoQuente wrote: You just need to determine which screws or clips to remove to drop the can out. It may be a pain, especially with the paint all over the edges “gluing” it in but it can be done. It has to be removal as it is a requirement that you can access the wiring. I would run a knife around the edge of the can to break the paint seal otherwise you run the risk of pulling down the can and tearing a strip of the ceiling with it.
I'm guessing it's the two larger black pieces that are inside the housing.

If I'm to guess, the way these would have been mounted is you push the housing up, and you push the two black pieces to the side, which would cause a spring/clip to protrude out of the housing and securing it against the ceiling drywall.

So to dismount is probably pulling the black pieces back in. It would be a lever so the top of the black piece would pull in and down, bringing the spring/clip back in and allowing the housing to be pulled down.

OP, important to make sure you switch the light to off, and I would advise to turn the fuse at the main panel off as well, just as a precaution since you're getting into behind the scenes wiring.

EDIT: oops did not mean to quote you @ChicoQuente . You obviously know your electrical stuff

Meant to quote @RaOne1 . Too lazy to fix the whole post haha.
Jun 21, 2003
4602 posts
Stoney Creek, ON
kenchau wrote: OP, important to make sure you switch the light to off, and I would advise to turn the fuse at the main panel off as well, just as a precaution since you're getting into behind the scenes wiring.
This is especially important if the wire is a loose neutral. If you take a zap from that while it's live you get the load current through you which is much more dangerous.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 21, 2012
138 posts
Toronto
ChicoQuente wrote: You just need to determine which screws or clips to remove to drop the can out. It may be a pain, especially with the paint all over the edges “gluing” it in but it can be done. It has to be removal as it is a requirement that you can access the wiring. I would run a knife around the edge of the can to break the paint seal otherwise you run the risk of pulling down the can and tearing a strip of the ceiling with it.
I finally got it out. This is how it looks. The metal box at the top had three joint twisters. One of them had a wire coming out. When I fixed that, the whole system is working. Thank you.

Having said that I am not sure why there were three twisters, it appeas that there were four wires involved. I am interested in understanding the wiring diagram of this system.

Thanks
Last edited by RaOne1 on Apr 27th, 2021 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jun 21, 2003
4602 posts
Stoney Creek, ON
RaOne1 wrote: I finally got it out. This is how it looks. The metal box at the top had three joint twisters. One of them had a wire coming out. When I fixed that, the whole system is working. Thank you.

Having said that I am not sure why there were three twisters, it appeas that there were four wires involved. I am interested in understanding the wiring diagram of this system.

Thanks
Pot light.jpg
1 wire nut or “wire twister” (that’s a new one I’ve never heard before) is for the hot wires, 1 for neutral wires and 1 for ground wires. It’s a basic circuit. 1 cable in from the previous light and 1 out to the next light. Each cable has a hot wire, neutral wire and ground wire. All the hots are connected together (2 cables + fixture), all neutrals together and all grounds together.

EDIT: typo.
Last edited by ChicoQuente on Apr 27th, 2021 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Oct 14, 2010
1438 posts
Barrie ON
RaOne1 wrote: I am interested in understanding the wiring diagram of this system.