Three fluorescent lights in my garage just stopped working. So here's the set-up: 2 switches, 3 fluorescent lights. Switch 1 has hot wire, travelers go to switch 2, switch 2 feeds all three lights. I am getting current to switch 1. I have changed out both switches, double and triple checked the way they are wired. I even put in a single pole at switch 1, and nutted the wires at switch 2 (tried each traveler pair) still no light. Checked all three lights to make sure connections in fixtures had not worked loose. Everything okay. What am I missing?

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    Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Have you tried checking voltages in the different configurations to see where it might be getting cut off? (Beware of phantom voltages...) And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Jul 18 '19 at 23:30

I'd have to go with the ballast of the first light (that switch 1 runs to) has died and needs replacement. However, tube-fluorescents have terrible socket connections and I've seen earthquakes, rumbling trucks, direct impacts and power surges kick them askew.

If you have tubes, then start with number 1 in just giving the bulbs a little twist to see if they pop on...yours may work in pairs-only, so you get one to flicker and then twist the other to get them both solid.

If so, then just do the same to the other 2 fixtures. If not, then a new ballast should remedy the situation.

  • Thanks for the reply. So going on your suggestion about ballast, I tried to isolate the fixture that was the problem. Started with fixture 1: connected fixture 1 only to incoming hot and neutral and it did not come on, so I thought I isolated the problem. Just to make sure, disconnected fixture 1 but left the other incoming and outgoing hots and neutrals connected assuming that the other fixtures would light up since I thought I took the bad one out of the circuit. They did not light up either. Now what? – Duke Jul 20 '19 at 20:18
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    Well that puts us back to square 1. I see you said you -tried- to find the 1st fixture...you really need to be sure on that. But first, let's exhaust the switch and circuit idea. Attach a circuit tester (cheapy 2-leg with LED is fine) or a Utility Light Socket or an outlet with a lamp plugged in to the 1st light's supply to discover or rule out a problem with any switch, concealed wiring or circuit breaker. Those, are very-very unlikely to ever just cut out without symptoms. Then, we can have a complete view of the situation and get back to the lights, if need be. – Iggy Jul 21 '19 at 1:08

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