How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Kevin Your Own Question
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3671
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
Kevin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Do I have to pay for advice here? Just today, Yes, Do you

Customer Question

Do I have to pay for advice here?
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?
Customer: Just today
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: Yes
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: Do you want to know what the problem is?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) Yes this is a pay service. Your deposit is the fee.

2) What is your electrical question? Please provide details?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I took down the Christmas tree today and went to replace the dining room light that normally hangs where the tree had to go up. I made all my connections and when pushing the wires back up into the box, I accidentally touched two wires and got a spark and now have no dining room light. I made sure all my connections were proper and pushed everything back up into the box just so I could finish things up. Could I have blown the wall switch?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Where do I see my answer?
Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

Thanks for the replies.

1) Did you re-splice the wires exactly the way they were before?

2) Did you reset the circuit breaker from OFF to ON?

3) Do you have either a 2 wire lead AC voltage tester (a contact type) or a multimeter to confirm voltages?

I won't have an answer until the troubleshooting process has been completed.

Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

1) Does the circuit contain a GFCI receptacle which may have tripped?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I respliced the wires. I reset the breaker. I don't have a voltage tester. The light worked fine when I first wired things back up...with the exception that the dimmer at the wall switch didn't work. I thought I had all the wires covered back up properly and when pushing them back up into the box... well, obviously they weren't and two of them touched. Now, the light fixture doesn't work at all.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
No to the GFCI question. It's a dining room light that is powered by a wall switch with a dimmer.
Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

Thanks for the replies.

1) Is the dimmer switch a single pole type and does it contain 2 wires?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The wires on the light itself aren't color coded... I've never had a problem putting it up before... One to the black from the ceiling box and one to the white and connect the grounds together.
Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

OK, it is possible that the electrical arcing may have damaged the dimmer switch.

Kill power to the circuit breaker. Then de-install the dimmer switch and splice the 2 wires from the dimmer together. If the light works and the breaker does not trip, then the dimmer switch is fried and will need to be replaced.

Reply back and let me know how it goes.


Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Take the dimmer itself out of the wall and splice the wires attached to the dimmer together? Then wire them to the "wall" wires?
Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

1) If the dimmer is a single pole type, it will contain 2 wires that are spliced to 2 separate house wires. Remove the dimmer and splice the 2 house wires together where they were joined at the dimmer.

If the light works, then the dimmer is the problem. If the light does not work, then possibly a mis-wired splice at the ceiling box.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
If I'm splicing those two house wires together isn't that joining a black and a white wire together?
Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

If the dimmer was spliced to a white wire, the white is being used as the hot wire and the black is being used as the switched loop wire that extends to the light. White is allowed to be used as a hot wire if it has been re-labeled with black electrical tape and is part of a cable system such as Romex cable.

Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

1) This is why a multimeter should always be readily available whenever performing electrical work. the meter can easily confirm if the white wire is a hot wire.

Expert:  Kevin replied 8 months ago.

Hope this helps………If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.