Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 11/13/2017

Two kitchen light switches don't work and one of the two fluorescent light fixtures do not either.

In my kitchen are two fluorescent lights. One of them I replaced all of the blubs and still no light. The light switch near this one has probably come off the screws holding it on because it is recessed some. The other one closest to the back door stopped coming on Friday evening. Plus I would have to flip the switch several times for it to even come on. .

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

2 Answers


If the switch is moving in the box you may have broken a wire or had one come loose - and if this is a three-way switch (two switches on opposite sides of the room controlling one set of lights), a broken wire at one box can cause both switches to fail to operate. I would be sure to not operate the switches until fixed (tape over) because if there is a loose wire operating the switch (expecially if loose in the box) could cause a short circuit - dangerous for you and possible fire hazard.

The other possibility is the loose switch is just loose but has nothing to do irth the failure - and the other switch is through-wired (wired through the switch) and the switch itself is failing, which could cause the entire circuit to fail to work because the connections inside that switch are not making reliable contact. Again, could arc or overheat so do not use, and leave in OFF position until fixed - repair cost about same in either case, and almost certainly a simple fix of reconnecting a wire and remounting the switch, and/or possibly replacing a faulty switch.

Your normal Search the List category for this would of course be Electrical - or most Handymen could handle it if you have one you trust and already know can handle light electrical issues. Repair cost likely about $15 or less materials (up to $40-50 if a dimmer switch which would be rare with flourescents) and minimum service call charge of about $75-150 typically, depending on local labor rates. (Very rarely up to twice that in a few very high cost urban areas).

Answered 2 years ago by LCD


If these two lights are independently controlled by only one of the switches each, then both switches have problems - either loose/broken wires or a defective switch, or maybe one of each.

IF the two switches both operate both light fixtures as one (like is typical with recessed "trougher" ceiling flourescents in kitchen dropped ceilings), then while a bad switch could be the cause depending on wiring method (likely the one that had to be operated several times to work), if one of the two lights is non-functional but the other does work then likely a wire nut or wire-to-switch screw connection has popped loose and is not making contact on one of two leads to the ligths - so one works, the other does not.

Still same price guesstimate and admonition to not use the switches tillthey are fixed, because even if the light works if the wiring is loose and barely making contact it can short out or overheat, causing a safety issue to the person touching the switch (switch or box could become "live") and to the house (fire risk).

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy