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light fixture with three sockets on it. Stopped working

Not sure if it’s bad edicate to write on this post but when I went to post a new message I couldn’t figure out what “device” to pick.

I have a light fixture with three sockets on it. Stopped working but I can tell voltage is still going to it. When I put a volt meter with the black wire to the side and the red wire to the center where the back of the bulb hits, two of them report about 119.5 volts. The third returns 0L. If I move the red wire off the pad a bit lower it shows an acceptable voltage but right on the pad where the back of the bulb hits it does that. Any ideas? Does that one socket just need replacing?

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1 Answer

Hi @jriker1

Post an image of the fixture so it can be seen.

Here's how to do this on ifixit. Adding images to an existing question.

Have you checked the wiring to the light switch from the light fitting?

If you’re getting 120V on the wire back from the light switch but not on the socket then there may be a open circuit connection in the socket terminal

Usually power, active and neutral and earth is supplied to the light fitting and is then multipled to other light fittings, but the power to light the bulbs comes via the light switch. Only the active (red) is switched however. The neutral (black) is always connected to the bulbs.

Here’s an image that show how it is wired. Brown = Red and Blue = Black as the new standard is Brown for active, Blue for neutral and Green/Yellow for earth

Block Image

(click on image to enlarge for better viewing)

If you are getting power from the light switch and the neutral is connected OK to the bulbs then there is a problem in the socket. Remove the fuse or trip the circuit breaker for the lights, and then disconnect the wires (remember which ones go where) from the terminals and test the socket connections for continuity with an Ohmmeter.

Alternatively with the power still totally disconnected, if it is an Edison screw socket and they are spring tensioned type tab connectors prise them up a bit as they may not be exerting enough tension on the bulb connectors when the bulb is screwed in.

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