I wonder if any one can give me some advice. We have been having problems with our bathroom and hallway lights. If hall way light is on and you then turn on bathroom light to go in bathroom. Bathroom light turns on but after a minute or so bathroom light turns off.

If I go out side bathroom and try switching off and on bathroom light nothing happens. If I turn off hallway light then try switching bathroom light on, bathroom light will turn on again fine. But then hallway light won't turn on. If I turn off bathroom light hallway light still won't turn on. But if leave for a while both lights will turn on.

It also happens the other way round too. So If I have bathroom light on and turn hallway light on after a while hallway light turns off if I turn off bathroom light I can some times get hallway light to turn back on

What could be the problem. I don't think it's the bulbs. The bulb in both lights are fairly new and have tested both in different lights and they work fine.

Could it be the switch. Both the bathroom and hallway lights are on same switch, or could one of the lights be shorting the other or is it more likely a wiring problem. Any advice before I call out a electrician.

Bathroom light is like a square box on ceiling and hallway light is a normal pendant light hanging from ceiling with a energy efficient bulb in it.

Any advice much appreciated Thanks in advance

  • Do you mean there is one switch that controls both the hall and the bathroom lights. Or do you mean that there are two separate switches in one box with one switch controlling the hall light and the other controlling the bathroom light? Jun 25, 2019 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


If I had this problem the first thing I would do is to check to see if the switches in this application are wired with back stab connections. This type of connection can become unreliable and intermittent. They can be sensitive to vibrations, temperature and even current flow through the wires. Here is what back stab connections look like:

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Picture Source

If you have connections like that you should take steps to replace the switches with new ones that have the wires properly installed under the screw terminals like this:

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Picture Source

Several things to note:

  1. There are some types of switches that have screw tightened clamp terminals for the wires. With these the wires enter from the back and then the screw is tightened to secure the wire. These are fine to use as well.
  2. The switches shown in the pictures do not show ground wires connected. Your new switches will most likely also have a green screw for a safety ground connection and you should also provide for this.
  3. When working with the switches and open electrical boxes make sure to turn off the circuit breaker that feeds power to this lighting circuit.
  4. Double check any wires for power present with a non-contact electrical tester to make sure that wiring is deenergized before touching or working with connections.
  5. If you feel at all uncomfortable with doing DIY electrical work then do make an appointment with a professional electrician to come do the work for you.

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