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-   -   front door lights not working (http://www.houserepairtalk.com/f9/front-door-lights-not-working-9335/)

DeanM 06-04-2010 09:57 AM

front door lights not working
 
HI

For the past 6 months, my front door lights have not been working. I checked the fuse box and everything is on. All I can think of us is 2 things: 1. The gas lamp post in front of my yard broke off the ground and is now laying flat on the lawn (I don't know if this happened before or after the front lights stopped working). 2. There is a GFI outlet right near the front door and the reset button will not stay in. So this is malfunctioning. Which one of these could be causing the problem and is there any way I can solve this on my own?? Thanks

Wuzzat? 06-04-2010 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeanM (Post 45366)
There is a GFI outlet right near the front door and the reset button will not stay in.

Maybe because there is actually leakage current to ground, but the default fix is to replace GFCI outlet.
A leakage current check requires a milliammeter and a low current fuse.

DeanM 06-04-2010 10:49 AM

Thanks so much for replying. So this has nothing to do with the gas lamp post? Should I replace the GFI first or do the leakage test?

Wuzzat? 06-04-2010 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeanM (Post 45369)
Thanks so much for replying. So this has nothing to do with the gas lamp post? Should I replace the GFI first or do the leakage test?

I'd do the leakage test.

If there's less than 5 mA leakage current in the ground lead but it's a 'false negative' indication there still may be leakage current returning by other pathways, but if it fails then for sure you have an insulation problem somewhere.

Whatever mA scale you use, you should use an external fuse of one half or one fourth of that value, but no less than 5 mA.
So on the 200 mA scale you should fuse at 100 mA or 50 mA.

kok328 06-04-2010 03:25 PM

Disconnect the wires from the LOAD terminals on the GFI and then see if it will reset.
If it does reset then you have current leakage which may or may not be the result of the gas lamp post. If it does not reset, replace the GFI. Everything doesn't have to be as complicated as it someone suggests. However, as you already may be aware, if the front door lights and/or the gas lamp post are not on the same circuit as the GFI, then you have a different problem(s). Let me know what you find and then the problem can be narrowed down from there.

DeanM 06-04-2010 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kok328 (Post 45382)
Disconnect the wires from the LOAD terminals on the GFI and then see if it will reset.
If it does reset then you have current leakage which may or may not be the result of the gas lamp post. If it does not reset, replace the GFI. Everything doesn't have to be as complicated as it someone suggests. However, as you already may be aware, if the front door lights and/or the gas lamp post are not on the same circuit as the GFI, then you have a different problem(s). Let me know what you find and then the problem can be narrowed down from there.

Thanks for replying guys. I just removed the outlet. It had no cover on the outlet either. (Maybe it shorted from the rain?) There are no wires going into the load. There are 3 wires. 1 ground, 1 black and 1 white and they are connected into ground, line, and line respectively. It did not reset in any way so I am going to buy a new GFI outlet. But before I do that, I must say that there is no power on the wires. I don't even know which breaker is for this one. I tested the outlet with a voltage tester and there is no power in it. So even if I replace the GFI outlet, is there a chance for my front door lights to work?

Also, will a gas lamp post have electricity? I was under the impression that it runs solely on gas. If it does use electricity, how do I check it? I bought the house recently and the gas lamp post never worked, so I don't know which is the switch for it. I just want to disconnect the electricity going into it and get over with it...

Wuzzat? 06-04-2010 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeanM (Post 45384)
I must say that there is no power on the wires.

Maybe that's why the GFCI doesn't reset.

The clues are leading you upstream.

kok328 06-05-2010 04:52 AM

I wouldn't replace the GFI just yet, they have to have power to reset them.
I guess it depends on the type of gas lamp post you have that will determine if you have electricity going to it. A standing pilot unit won't have electrical but, a ignitor type will. Take a look at the base of the pole and see if you find and wires going up the inside of the pole. You definetly have a short somewhere that is killing the outlet and possibly the door lights.

DeanM 06-05-2010 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kok328 (Post 45408)
I wouldn't replace the GFI just yet, they have to have power to reset them.
I guess it depends on the type of gas lamp post you have that will determine if you have electricity going to it. A standing pilot unit won't have electrical but, a ignitor type will. Take a look at the base of the pole and see if you find and wires going up the inside of the pole. You definetly have a short somewhere that is killing the outlet and possibly the door lights.


Ok there are two switches inside the house near the entrance door. I discovered that one is for the GFI outlet and the other is for the front door lights.. I turned on one of the switch and tested the wires behind the GFI outlet. There is power on the wires. So since there is electricity, I switched the GFI outlet with a new one and now it is resetting properly and the outlet is working. But still there is no power to the front door lights. Maybe the switch for the front door lights is burnt out? How do I test for this?

Anyhow, I checked the lamp post and it has a cylindrical shaped black wire running into it from underground. But I cannot find any gas line going into it. Furthermore, I found a similar wire going out of my main electric box outside and it is going underground. Could it be the wire for the lamp post? If so, how do I disconnect this? I do not intend to use an electric lamp post anymore. I am going to get a solar lamp post.

kok328 06-06-2010 10:12 AM

There are several ways to test the light switch. The most conclusive method would be to remove the wall plate and test for power from ground to each lug on the switch while the switch is turned on. If power exists on both lugs then the switch is working. From there you will have to test for power on the wires at the fixture itself.
re: gas lamp wiring, this could be the same wire but, you have to be absolutely sure before you attempt any work on it's removal. Find an exposed surface at the lamp where you can test for power, turn off the breaker leading out of the main electrical box and test for power at the lamp again. If you want to permanetly disconnect power to the lamp post, disconnect the wire from the breaker inside the electrical panel.


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