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2017 Forester XT Touring
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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2 of these outdoor lights at my new home and one of them doesn't work. I used my electricity sniffer and confirmed that the wires are hot so I thought it was the ceramic bulb holder so I went out and bought another. That one didn't work so I exchanged it, hoping it was just broken but the new one doesn't work either.

Here is the wiring from the house to the wires that go to the ceramic holder:


Here is where those wires connect with the ceramic holder:


Here is the ceramic holder just cause:


Now I do have a volt meter that I have used for my car but I don't know much about these and not sure if it can help me in this case.


Perhaps the wires are not the correct gauge or something??? Any input would be greatly appreciated because I'm stumped.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Super Moderator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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Turn on the light. Place your meter on the 200VAC setting & touch the probes to the wires you connected to the ceramic holder (socket). Caution, the wires on the ceramic holder will be hot (live). If you don't get a 110-125V reading, your problem is somewhere else. :smile:

Let me know what your test results are & we can go to the next step. :wink:

Bobby...
 

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2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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Corrosion or paint inside the wirenuts?

Your voltmeter appears to have AC scales just to the right of OFF, though the markings are awfully faint.
 

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2015 VW Golf R (AWD!) DSG (Automated Manual)
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I'm not an electrician (but have played around with wiring a lot)...

Should the light socket read "250V"? Most lights are 120V. EDIT: you've got BBB on the case, he can set us all straight!
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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^^ That just means it's rated up to 250V, but would be fine on 120V. :smile:

Bobby...
 

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2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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I have done electrical work and not impressed with the tidyness of the set up.

If it were my house I would try and pull another 6" of wire through and do it all over again. Mars connectors aren't perfect. Try another connection.
 

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Der, yeah, then check with the voltmeter like they said. Are all the lights motion activated or anything? I've got two motion activated in line and they work funny together, sometimes one won't work depending on which one trips first.
 

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2007 2.5X 5mt
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Is the neutral wire intact?
Broken neutral will give you the following readings when checking for voltage...
L1(hot) to ground - 120v
Neutral to L1 - 0v
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You guys are awesome for responding - just another reason I love this forum :) Here we go...

Corrosion inside ceramic holder: No, this is the new one so it is pristine

Corrosion or paint inside the wirenuts: No. The paint that you see on the wires is not on the exposed wires inside the nuts - they and the connected wires are clean

Tidiness of the setup: It is what it is for now... I'd just like to get it working at this point :)

Is the neutral wire intact: Not quite sure what intact vs not-intact would be... Both wires coming from the house look fine and the 6in of wire that runs from them to the ceramic holder are fine. I took them out and re-ran them the other day.

And lastly, I put the volt meter on the "200" that is under the V--- logo (which was 2 clicks to the left). I touched the wires that I connected to the two screws under ceramic piece and... nada. A few times I got some 0.X numbers but basically didn't see anything. So I think I have it on the wrong meter since the electric sniffer said the wires are hot. Am I doing it wrong?
 

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2008 Forester XT Limited
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good qeustion.. are they motion/light sensor lights?
Those can be funny. The ceramic socket should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They are not motion sensors. There is a light switch inside the house which I turned on for the volt reading
 

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Has a light worked there before? If not, you may have lost your neutral.
You could wire that ceramic socket backwards and it will still work. So if you are getting a hot and no light, you may not have a neutral. You may wanna wire it up to the light does work and make sure the socket isn't manufactured bad, could happen, i guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The light has not worked since I moved in, which was a few months ago.

As I described, am I using the volt meter correctly?

I think tomorrow when it's light out I will unwire the extension wires from the wires coming from the house and test the volt meter on those. If someone can point out if I am choosing the correct setting on the meter that'd be great (the 200 that is 2-left of off).
 

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And lastly, I put the volt meter on the "200" that is under the V--- logo (which was 2 clicks to the left). I touched the wires that I connected to the two screws under ceramic piece and... nada. A few times I got some 0.X numbers but basically didn't see anything. So I think I have it on the wrong meter since the electric sniffer said the wires are hot. Am I doing it wrong?
I think your using the DC(direct current) settings on the meter instead the AC ~(alternating current) settings. They are to the right of off on your meter as BBB said before.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Okay, that's my bad. I must have missed it reading the rest of the posts.

I turned the meter to the 200 that's at the 1-o'clock position and stuck it in an outlet to make sure it's working and it did read a 119.8 or so. So I went back out and put it on the wires under the ceramic piece and nothing.

I'm going to take it a part tomorrow and test the wires that are coming out of the house
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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They are not motion sensors. There is a light switch inside the house which I turned on for the volt reading
Just turn on the light switch as you normally would. That would put power to the light, thru the socket.

The light has not worked since I moved in, which was a few months ago.

As I described, am I using the volt meter correctly?

I think tomorrow when it's light out I will unwire the extension wires from the wires coming from the house and test the volt meter on those. If someone can point out if I am choosing the correct setting on the meter that'd be great (the 200 that is 2-left of off).
On your meter, left of off is the DC volts... like the battery in your Forester. You don't want to use that for AC volts. It's kind of hard to see, but it looks like to the right of the off, is the AC volts. Looks like 500 & 200. It's very light, so I can't be completely sure that's what I see.

To make sure you know what to expect, do this first. Set the meter to 200V AC & plug the probes into a working outlet. Push the meter probe into the 2 verticle slits & not the ground or round hole. You should read 120/125V AC. Now you know what to expect (read/see) when you trouble shoot the light socket. If the wiring is wired per code, the white wire is neutral, the same potential as the ground wire & the black wire is the hot (live).

You stated this light hasn't worked since you moved in. It's possible the actual problem is somewhere other than where you're looking. Still, it's a good place to start. :wink:

Bobby...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
2.5x_sleeper: The two readings to the right of off are 300 and 200 (in light gray) and they're under a "V~" that's also in light gray. I put it at 200 and stuck it in the outlet and did get a 119.8/120 reading. Went outside and got nothing on the two wires that are under the screws.

As stated above I will try the actual wires coming out of the house (opposed to the ones I tried tonight that are under the ceramic piece) to see if they get any sort of reading.

~Eric
 

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You guys are awesome for responding - just another reason I love this forum :) Here we go...

Is the neutral wire intact: Not quite sure what intact vs not-intact would be... Both wires coming from the house look fine and the 6in of wire that runs from them to the ceramic holder are fine. I took them out and re-ran them the other day.
I mean intact as there is continuity all the way back to you fuse/breaker box. You could check it by disconnecting the neutral and attaching the ground so see if the light comes on, but I wouldn't recommend that. You really to to confirm 110v-120v at L1(hot). But check it against ground. If your neutral wire is broken somewhere and you and check voltage at L1 and neutral your meter will read 0v because there is not potential voltage. If you check against ground and you still read 0v then your not getting 110-120v at L1. If that happends got all the way back to the light switch itself. With the switch open (off) check voltage at L1 before the switch and to ground. That will confirm if you have line voltage.
 

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2.5x_sleeper: The two readings to the right of off are 300 and 200 (in light gray) and they're under a "V~" that's also in light gray. I put it at 200 and stuck it in the outlet and did get a 119.8/120 reading. Went outside and got nothing on the two wires that are under the screws.

As stated above I will try the actual wires coming out of the house (opposed to the ones I tried tonight that are under the ceramic piece) to see if they get any sort of reading.

~Eric
Looks like you're good to go with the meter! :wink:

Yes, the next step would be to remove the wirenuts (with the power off!) & test it there, once you turn the power back on. Make sure you check from either wire to ground to verify your neutral (white) wire is good. I say both, since you never know if it was wired wrong. :icon_eek:

If you need to continue the trouble shooting, the next step is the switch.

I know you started trouble shooting at the light socket, so that's where I started. Did you make sure the circuit breaker feeding the light is on & not tripped? :confused:

Bobby...
 
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