How to Test Lighting Circuits

Written by kellyb
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If the lighting circuit in your house is not working properly and you cannot find an electrician to sort it out for you immediately, you can test it yourself. All you need is a few readily available tools to check the electric circuit. While it's fairly easy to fix the circuit by yourself, children should not be allowed to do it without adult supervision.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Neon tester

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  1. 1

    Wear rubber slippers and makes sure to stand on a wooden floor. Wood and rubber are poor electric conductors and will prevent you from being electrocuted as you test the light circuit. There should also be no water near you.

  2. 2

    Switch off the main electric source of the circuit from the main panel. Switch off all electricity and not only the specific switches you are working on. You should confirm that in no cases electricity reaches you while you are working on the circuit.

  3. 3

    Hold only the insulated part of the probes of the neon tester and under no circumstances should you touch the open metal ends. While holding the insulated end, touch the metal end of the black probe of the tester to the grounded conductor.

  4. 4

    Put the metallic end of the red probe on the terminal red or black wire, which is also termed as the live wire. If the circuit is passing electricity, the neon tester will start glowing. If the circuit is not passing electricity, the tester will not glow.

Tips and warnings

  • Repeat the entire process at least twice to ensure there were no flaws. Use the voltmeter in the same process to ensure the circuit is working perfectly.
  • Never touch the wires with bare hands or metallic tools without insulation. If they are passing electricity you may get a shock.
  • Make sure you do not have wet hands while checking the circuit.

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