DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Help with Outside Garage Lighting


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Old 03-13-2017, 12:30 PM  
bud16415
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Originally Posted by Snoonyb View Post
See post #131, and be done with it.
Thatís a great suggestion and of course would work if you wanted motion and darkness to trigger the lights. It seems the OP would like to stay old school and turn it on and off from in the house. I installed lights that work just like that along my walkway and front of the garage so I can see why he might want them under control from the house.


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Old 03-13-2017, 12:41 PM  
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Lets be clear, I appreciate all the help, I am learning a lot by somewhat getting my hands dirty removing switches and what not and I am trying to save money by avoiding getting a wire tracer, by Sperry around 50 bucks.

The original problem is I had a light switch in the house that didn't work labelled parking light, and "external" garage at the front of the garage. There are no other lights that can light up the driveway other than these lights. Hence parking lights is the only thing that makes sense.

With the help I received on this site and getting my hands dirty, I have also found out a receptacle in the garage that also didn't work. Is it related, I don't know.

I believe there are two round junction boxes near the breaker panel in the basement. I opened them up and did discover that one of them contained a red wire but appeared to be the same size as all the other wires, smaller gauge and it's outer seemed to be blue/black and not green. It was hard to tell because kinda dark in that area even with cell phone flashlight.

Also it was hard to tell which wires were going out of the house since a bunch of them ran upwards and over the foundation, plus I couldn't get any further to see beyond the insulation.
Like I said all these boxes that might be something or might not need to be identified. All you have to do is find what breaker controls the power to the switch box in question by testing for voltage and turning breakers on and off till you lose voltage. Now take the wire nuts off in the question boxes and see at least if they are on that breaker or have voltage or never have voltage. Rule them in or out. Start at point A and work to point B. if you can see where the wires leave the house and you know where they enter the garage then you Have two more places to look for voltage.

Rule things in or out of the problem. And in doing so the path of the wires will become apparent. Then you look for where you have power and where you should and then you have a clue where your open wire is.

Having an outlet in the garage that also doesnít work could be related or could be a whole separate problem you need to view it both ways.


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Old 03-13-2017, 12:44 PM  
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Lets be clear, I appreciate all the help, I am learning a lot by somewhat getting my hands dirty removing switches and what not and I am trying to save money by avoiding getting a wire tracer, by Sperry around 50 bucks.

The original problem is I had a light switch in the house that didn't work labelled parking light, and "external" garage at the front of the garage. There are no other lights that can light up the driveway other than these lights. Hence parking lights is the only thing that makes sense.

With the help I received on this site and getting my hands dirty, I have also found out a receptacle in the garage that also didn't work. Is it related, I don't know.

I believe there are two round junction boxes near the breaker panel in the basement. I opened them up and did discover that one of them contained a red wire but appeared to be the same size as all the other wires, smaller gauge and it's outer seemed to be blue/black and not green. It was hard to tell because kinda dark in that area even with cell phone flashlight.

Also it was hard to tell which wires were going out of the house since a bunch of them ran upwards and over the foundation, plus I couldn't get any further to see beyond the insulation.

Here are some pics of what I can see.
Did you check those junction boxes to see if one of them is controlled with the breaker in question?
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Old 03-13-2017, 02:09 PM  
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Thatís a great suggestion and of course would work if you wanted motion and darkness to trigger the lights. It seems the OP would like to stay old school and turn it on and off from in the house. I installed lights that work just like that along my walkway and front of the garage so I can see why he might want them under control from the house.
There are remotes for that.
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:12 PM  
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No I haven't checked those junction boxes for that yet. But I will.

I already know that the 15 amp breaker turns off power to the switch marked parking lights. I just don't know where to go from there.

I have very limited knowledge in electrical that's why I am asking for help. If I knew what I was doing I wouldn't be here.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:59 AM  
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Asking for help is a good thing. The boxes you suspect that are or could be connected to the area where you have power at the switches should be checked to see if they are part of that circuit. If so they will have power to them when the switch is on and not when it is off and also will be controlled by the breaker you have identified as running that circuit. Rule them in or out and we can move ahead from there.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:31 AM  
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Yes, there is a logical, boring, mundane and systematic process of elimination, instead of jumping from pillar to post.

This tracer was recommended in another thred by Joe D, and apparently "tones" thru drywall; http://www.flukenetworks.com/content...53hhoCYCLw_wcB
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:10 PM  
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If I have to go this root of getting one of these tracers, is the Fluke mentioned above better than the Sperry one I mentioned before.

http://www.sperryinstruments.com/en/et64220

I can get this one for around $50-60 locally at Canadian Tire. But if the Fluke one is better than I am willing to pay the extra money just so I can figure this out.

If I can't find the problem the old fashioned way.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:57 PM  
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The Sperry is an adjustable intensity and the Fluke is not. I suspect that both, although the fluke does not offer the disclaimer regarding BX, conduit and metal encl., the Sperry does, those restrictions may exist.

They are both good brands.

Since you have primarily romex that may not be a concern.

The Fluke is available from HD for $60-$70.

There is a lot of elimination that can be accomplished with your proximity tester, however there is a process involved, and may also require a VOM for specifics.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:49 PM  
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So, I checked the junction box with the red wiring I found in my basement close to the breaker panel for power with the breaker off and it still had power, so it's not on the same circuit.

Regarding the Wire Tracer I think I am just going to break down and buy the Sperry Wire Tracer/Tracker. It's only $39.99 at CT. I think I will try my luck with that.


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