A few days ago, my kitchen light was flashing (flickering) off and on occasionally. So I turned it off. Apparently, not before it messed up the circuit though.

This happened previously, about a month ago, and changing out the light switch worked. This time, since the light was flashing, I decided to go ahead and replace the light fixture itself as well as the light switch. The house (and fixture) is 27+ years old.

When hubby took the old light off (hanging), he found two sets of wires (2 black, 2 white, 2 ground). He proceeded to use the ones he thought he was supposed to (and capped, separately, the extra white and the extra black), and I replaced the light switch, then we flipped back on the power, and turned the light switch on, with no success. So then he wired all the black together (two black from the ceiling, and the black from the light fixture), the same with the white wires, and wrapped the two ground together. Light still didn't work. Thinking that perhaps he had blown the switch again, I bought another one.

After reading around your forums, and realizing it might be wired wrong, I decided to do what your reply suggested and test all the wires from the light fixture and see which were the real 'hot' ones. I used my voltmeter, but NONE of the wires made it read 000 (not doing them singly, and not doing them separately). (Yes, I turned the breaker back on so I could check.) Then I tried the light switch, again, 000 on the voltmeter. Then there are 2 (3-prong) outlets on the circuit, (as well as the central AC), and also got 000 every time. What could be the problem?

The breaker itself is showing 120-124 on each pole, and if you test both poles at once it shows 245-247. Help! The ONLY things on this circuit is the central AC, two outlets (in the dining room) and the light fixture and it's only switch in the kitchen. I have a voltmeter, stick tester, and outlet tester. None of them show or beep or do anything when I test anything on this circuit.

There is no basement or crawl space to this house, it is a ranch style house sitting on a concrete slab foundation. All the wires are run up to a small attic. The fixture I got to replace the hanging one was an LED type (that sits flush against the ceiling).

  • You have receptacles and lighting outlets on the central A/C circuit!?
    – Tester101
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 19:18
  • When you are testing for voltage, where are you placing the probes? Voltage is the electrical potential difference between two points, what two points are you using? You're going to want to figure out how the fixture was previously wired, as it's important that it's wired the same as it was. Is the A/C working?
    – Tester101
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 19:22

1 Answer 1


If there's no current to the fixture or switch, then the fault is upstream. The fact that it was flickering indicates a failing connection, possibly arcing somewhere, which can be a fire hazard. You should check all the junctions on this circuit from the switch back to the breaker until you locate one with a good hot, neutral, and ground connection. And then somewhere between that junction and the next failing junction is your issue. It may be a bad connection that can be repaired at the end, or it may be a bad line and you'll need to rerun that segment of the circuit.

Over the internet, we have no way to be more specific. It entirely depends on how the home is wired and where the fault is located, which we don't have enough information to determine.

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