Help with Outside Garage Lighting

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by Afrowookie, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. Mar 13, 2017 #201

    Afrowookie

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    Yes I did see your post. The only thing I can see are two junction boxes and that gray wiring from the house panel 60 amp to I'm guessing out of the house and to the garage. There are some more wires going in that direction but I'm not sure where it goes. I can look into it further to see if they are going out of the house.
     
  2. Mar 13, 2017 #202

    nealtw

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    two junction boxes?
     
  3. Mar 13, 2017 #203

    slownsteady

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    We're 200 posts into this problem and no closer to an answer, so I think it's time to trim away all the fat and get down to basics.
    First, the chart of all the breaker assignments looks great, but if it was done by the previous owner, it may be outdated - not completely wrong, but things may have been changed.
    Did you get any kind of meter or other tool to do circuit detection? It can be as simple as a "dummy light" (two probes and a LED light bulb) which will show you what's hot and what's not.
    Have you opened junction boxes and checked to see if any wire nuts are loose? Don't trust just a visual check, sometimes a wire will appear to be inside the nut but it may not be twisted into the connection.
    Start testing anyplace, but keep it logical so you won't have to repeat tests. If all the connections are good in a particular box, go downstream and check the next connection. If you find a dead connection, go upstream and try to find the last good connection in the circuit.
    If a bad connection tracks back all the way to the breakers, you may want to call an electrician.
     
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  4. Mar 13, 2017 #204

    nealtw

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    What's your hurry:) We just haven't found the box with that wire yet.
    The tag says parking instead of garage, if that means anything.
     
  5. Mar 13, 2017 #205

    slownsteady

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    It ain't gonna get fixed just by looking at it. At some point you gotta get your hands dirty.
     
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  6. Mar 13, 2017 #206

    nealtw

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    What would you fix? I would suggest that the OP has got dirty hands while dealing with fear.

    Some where we have live wires going somewhere that has not been found.
    We have lights in garage with out power.

    Either the OP finds that wire or a pro does, the difference is time and money.
     
  7. Mar 13, 2017 #207

    bud16415

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    The trouble is with 21 pages and over 200 posts fresh eyes are not going to start at the beginning and wade thru all the ideas tossed out.

    Things known at this point I assume is that this location at one time controlled some lights on the garage. There was a timer and the idea was to replace the timer with a switch. There is a source of power entering this box and wires running out that no one knows where they go, but the assumption is they go to the lights on the garage. We do know what breaker in the main panel shuts off the power to the live wires and I gather we know what that breaker is labeled as.

    You can ether start ripping open walls and following wires around or you can get a device and see if you can track the wires inside the wall. OR you can apply some deductive logic and by process of elimination figure out what isn’t involved and then what is left is involved.

    What you can’t do is jump from idea to idea and not run down one before you start on the next.
     
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  8. Mar 13, 2017 #208

    Snoonyb

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    See post #131, and be done with it.
     
  9. Mar 13, 2017 #209

    Afrowookie

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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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Mar 13, 2017 #210

    bud16415

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    One trick I use to look in places I can’t get my head is a selfie stick and my phone.
     
  11. Mar 13, 2017 #211

    bud16415

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    That’s 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.
     
  12. Mar 13, 2017 #212

    bud16415

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    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 doesn’t work could be related or could be a whole separate problem you need to view it both ways.
     
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  13. Mar 13, 2017 #213

    nealtw

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    Did you check those junction boxes to see if one of them is controlled with the breaker in question?
     
  14. Mar 13, 2017 #214

    Snoonyb

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    There are remotes for that.
     
  15. Mar 13, 2017 #215

    Afrowookie

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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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  16. Mar 14, 2017 #216

    bud16415

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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.
     
  17. Mar 14, 2017 #217

    Snoonyb

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  18. Mar 15, 2017 #218

    Afrowookie

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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.
     
  19. Mar 15, 2017 #219

    Snoonyb

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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.
     
  20. Mar 20, 2017 #220

    Afrowookie

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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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