No power to overhead lights

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maxdad118

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So I’m a DIY guy obviously but not a certified electrician, the preschool my wife and I purchased almost 2 years ago has two overhead incandescent light fixtures that suddenly stopped working. My father-in-law replaced the bulbs which didn’t fix the problem. He suggested an electrician. I ended up Checking for power at the wire nuts and found none? There is power at the light switch however. My question is do switches go bad often? Not sure how old this switch is but for a buck or 2 I can swap it out. The breaker is functioning fine because there is another switch on the same circuit that works. Am I on the right track?
 

Sparky617

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maxdad118

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Unfortunately I didn’t have it with me at the time, I was there for something else. I will check that out and pick up a switch anyway, can’t hurt to have one I guess? Thanks. Typically the Black is hot and white is common, right?
 

Sparky617

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Unfortunately I didn’t have it with me at the time, I was there for something else. I will check that out and pick up a switch anyway, can’t hurt to have one I guess? Thanks. Typically the Black is hot and white is common, right?
Yes, typically. Does the power come into the switch box and then go to the light? If there is only one pair of wires in the box it is just a switch leg and there won't be a common/neutral.

Switch Leg - power to the light -- https://www.hearth.com/talk/attachments/power-in-to-light-switch-leg-to-switch-gif.98922/

Power to the switch -- http://www.ask-the-electrician.com/Pics_Diagrams/singlepoleswitchdiagram1.JPG
 

kok328

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check for a blown inline fuse between the line power in the fixure and the ballast.
 

maxdad118

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well I swapped out the switch and now have power at the wire nuts at the fixture but still no light? Not sure of the condition of the bulbs but there was continuity between the pins so I think my ballast might be bad? I didnt notice any in line fuses? I work in the field for a utility company so I’m not there right now and time is scarce so I will try new bulbs but I do have a new fixture I bought worst case scenario I will swap that out
 

Snoonyb

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In post #1 you said the fixtures are incandescent, which do not require a ballast.

Florescent fixtures do require a ballast, and does follow what you are describing. Florescent lamps generally began to blacken at the ends as they age.

The least expensive repair is to re-lamp the fixture, the next is the ballast, however, as often as not a fixture, as time goes by, will be less than the ballast.

The existing fixtures lamps will fit in the new fixtures tombstones, so you can test them that way.

Also, if the lamps of either fixture are T-12, you can interchange them, in pairs, with T-8 lamps, while T-5 lamps require a smaller tombstone.
 

kok328

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In post #1 you said the fixtures are incandescent, which do not require a ballast.

Florescent fixtures do require a ballast, and does follow what you are describing. Florescent lamps generally began to blacken at the ends as they age.

The least expensive repair is to re-lamp the fixture, the next is the ballast, however, as often as not a fixture, as time goes by, will be less than the ballast.

The existing fixtures lamps will fit in the new fixtures tombstones, so you can test them that way.

Also, if the lamps of either fixture are T-12, you can interchange them, in pairs, with T-8 lamps, while T-5 lamps require a smaller tombstone.
While the pin spread between T12 & T8 are the same, you can not put T8's in a T12 fixture and vice versa; with lasting results.
 

maxdad118

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Good to know, I didn’t realize I said incandescent, I meant fluorescents
 

Snoonyb

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While the pin spread between T12 & T8 are the same, you can not put T8's in a T12 fixture and vice versa; with lasting results.
I've not found this to be true, because of the numerous factors affecting lamp longevity.
 

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