I have 4 recessed LED lights above my fireplace mantle that have been working intermittently (ie. they work for a few days, and then won't come on for months). This issue also affects the wall socket above the fireplace and an LED light in the pantry on an opposite interior wall. The recessed LEDs are on a dimmer switch which I typically keep turned on at night for low lighting for our dogs. I also keep it turned on when these lights/wall socket aren't working in hopes they'll eventually turn back on. Recently, after these lights/wall socket haven't worked for what seems like 6 months, they randomly came on, the wall socket worked, and the LED fixture in the pantry worked. Is there some kind of troubleshooting I can do to fix this? Replacing lights seems ineffective and this feels like a wiring issue or something.

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    Are all the lights & outlets on one circuit breaker? Are they original to the house or were they added more recently? Were they installed by an electrician or by an "electrician" (either you or a previous owner)? Are the LEDs listed as being dimmable? Is the dimmer listed as being compatible with LEDs?
    – FreeMan
    Sep 9, 2021 at 16:20
  • I'll have to test whether they're on the same circuit breaker; they are newly added as the house was remodeled prior to purchasing; they were more than likely installed by an actual electrician but I'm skeptical sometimes with the area I'm in; the LEDs are listed as dimmable and the dimmer is listed as being compatible with LEDs. The lights worked the first year we were in the home, then all of a sudden, they just didn't. Sep 10, 2021 at 14:34

1 Answer 1


The last time something like this happened to me -- a suddenly dead outlet -- I went to each outlet or wiring point on that circuit, which were all in the same room, and gave it a good sharp rap with the fleshy part of my fist. One of those raps restored the power to the dead outlet; the vibration re-connected a loose connection behind that outlet. I expected to find that a previous owner or his electrician had used the unreliable backstab connectors on the outlet, but it was merely a badly done wire nut that had come loose. I made a proper connection, pull-testing each wire on my new connection and re-tightening and pull-testing all wire nuts in the box. That fixed it.

  • I appreciate the ideas, I'll try these steps today and see if they make a difference (especially seeing if there's any loose connections). Sep 10, 2021 at 14:35

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