Troubleshooting a Chandelier: Lights Not Working

chandelier hanging from a white ceiling
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
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What You'll Need
Voltage tester
Light bulb
What You'll Need
Voltage tester
Light bulb

There may be many reasons why your chandelier lights are not working properly. In most cases, the reason why some or all lights in your chandelier are not working is related to electrical power. Apart from this, the chandelier may be difficult to reach in order to clean it or replace an old light bulb.

Today you can find extension poles that were originally created to help you reach such things more easily, however, if the chandelier is either too high or in the center of a room, then the extension will probably be useless.

In several cities in the United States, you can hire some scaffolding to reach such chandeliers to check any lights which are not working.

If you want to solve this problem personally, first of all, you need to know some basic information about electricity. Always remember to use extreme caution when working with any form of electricity.

Check the Circuit Breaker

The easiest way to check chandelier lights is by inspecting its circuit breaker at the main panel. The circuit breaker is the device that controls the power to the chandelier. See whether it is tripped, or turned on or off.

Check the Filament of The Light Bulb

two types of light bulbs

If you find that the circuit breaker is on, then go check the chandeliers and find which lights are not working. Turn the light bulb counter-clockwise to take it off.

At this point, you should examine the bulb’s filament to see if it is broken. If you see that the problem is caused by a broken filament, discard the old light bulb and replace it with a new one.

Test the Chandelier Socket

If the new light bulb still does not work, try checking the socket that holds the light bulb in the chandelier. In order to test the chandelier socket, you need a voltage tester.

Put one probe into the socket touching the center of the socket, then allow contact between the second probe and a metal screw-in part of the socket. The tester should light if the problem has been solved but if it doesn't, proceed to step 4.

Check the Wires of the Chandelier

Take off the chandelier from its place and check the black and white wires. Use the voltage tester touching one probe on the black wire and the other probe on the neutral white wire. If you see that the tester is on, then you need to replace the socket.

Test the Switch Box

light switch

If the tester does not turn on, then you should check the switch that you use to turn the chandelier lights on and off. Take off the cover and inspect the wires carefully to see that they are attached to the terminal screws on the switch.

Check also that the copper wires are not loose. After turning on the switch, place one of the meter's probes on the switch's silver-colored terminal and the other probe touching the white neutral wire coming from the breaker.

If the switch is good, the tester should light up or show a voltage reading. If it doesn't, switch the probe from the silver terminal to the brass or dark-colored terminal and if the meter lights up or show a reading, the switch is the culprit and needs replacement.

By following these few steps, you will more likely than not, solve your chandelier lights problem. If you are still having problems locating the cause it is advisable to refer to a professional electrician.

Chandelier Lights Not Working FAQ

What would cause a light fixture to stop working?

If your light fixture is not working and the light bulbs are not burned out, you probably have a wiring problem. There could be a short, loose wire, or damaged wire that is causing the light to not receive power.

Why is my light not working but has power?

If you have a light that is not working, check the bulbs first. Make sure the bulbs are working and if the light still is not, there are a few more things you can do.

Unplug the lamp or turn off the breaker, after first checking to make sure the breaker has not tripped and that's why the light isn't working. Next, clean the terminals and clean the area where the bulbs meet the fixture.

Sometimes, simple dirt and grime can accumulate and cause lightbulbs to receive no power.

Loose wires around the sockets or in the fixture can also keep the bulbs from working properly.

How do I know if my light fixture or wire is bad?

There are some warning signs that can indicate whether or not your light fixture has gone bad, rather than the wiring leading to the light fixture. A humming or buzzing sound is a strong indicator that something is wrong with the fixture.

You may also notice a burning smell or the fixture may put out excess heat. You may even see scorch or burn marks on the bulbs.

Why is my light circuit not working but not tripped?

Circuit breakers and electrical circuits can fail without tripping, meaning the little lever has flipped from the on to the off position. This happens when something has gone wrong with the wiring in or around the circuit breaker, something that only an electrician should repair.

How do I know if my light fixture or switch is broken?

Faulty light fixtures often show signs of damage when there is a problem. You may see sparks, particularly when the switch is turned off or on.

You might always hear noise from the switch, or it might even be warm to the touch.