We are installing a light fixture in my kitchen, it's an old fixture that was my grandmothers. When we hooked everything up at first the light worked and everything else on that circuit also worked (bathroom, laundry room, and stove light and vent). We just loosely connected everything at first to make sure it worked, and it did. But after we tightened everything down, pushed all the wires back in the box, and buttoned everything up the light doesn't work now. So we opened everything back up again but there is nothing noticeably wrong with it. No exposed wires and all the wire nuts are on tight. We hooked the meter up to each wire (there were 4 white and 4 black) and there is no power coming through on any of them. We checked to make sure the circuit didn't trip, which it didn't. We connected it to the same wires the original fixture was attached to, and like i said everything worked when it was loosely attached. Any ideas what could be the issue? thanks in advance for the help

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    Can you provide us with photos of the inside of the box the fixture was hooked up to? Commented Jul 14, 2018 at 22:42
  • You tested the light but I think you losing the power or the negatives at the switch, are there- single ,or 2 light switches for the light?
    – user96186
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


A wire can break at the nut and become disconnected - you have 4 wires - so I am wondering the wire nut size if it is too small.

Did the fixture have stranded wires or was it solid ?

I am guessing your wires are not connected anymore whether a wire broke or one slipped down to the insulation of another.

You stated you have 4 whites and 4 blacks - wire nuts for fixtures typically will support 3 wires of proper gauge and it is a stretch to get 4 wires into them - with out up-sizing the wire nut.

Disconnect the wire nuts, intertwine the wires and reinstall the wire nuts..

Don't over think this - it worked once already (did the lights all burn out at once - probably not. When you pushed the wires into the box (8 wires cramped up there ), then it did not work. - Your wire nuts probably need an up-size.

  • Don't know where you came up with a wire nut can usually only 3 wires, it depends on the wire size(s) and number of wires and the size of the nut for example t&r from 3m a minimum of 2#18 wires or a max of 5 #12, 6#14 wires are allowed so it totally depends on the combination of wire size and nut size. With that said I would believe the hot or neutral did pull loose.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 25, 2019 at 14:47
  • @EdBeal read first and the fourth sentence again .Your 'typical fixture' NOT your 'typical wire nut' will have a max of 4 wires nutted together anything more then get a new electrician to draw up a better wiring scheme. The op does not state connection, in pairs of 2 or 4B x 4W (I'am assuming 4x4). The old fixture from Grandma probably used a larger wire like a #12 instead of today's #14 , #16 stranded. So his original wire nut is probably too small and a wire is not twisted with the other pairs well enough to be properly retained by the nut.
    – Ken
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 13:25

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