The_cogwheel t1_j6pgk26 wrote

Agreed, whatever is going on here is gonna require a professional to probe out and sort. There's likely a bypass or some other weird splice going on, but where and what else is going on with the circuit? Only God knows till someone is able to probe out the whole run.


The_cogwheel t1_j6pfw71 wrote

To expand.

Voltage is a relative measurement - think of it as "what is the difference in electrical pressure between these two points".

If you measured two ends of the same wire, no matter what else is happening on that wire, voltage will read close to 0, unless the wire is extremely long (150 ft or longer). Most of the time when we say "oh that's a hot. It's 120v" we're using a reference that is always constant - the ground. Like the literal ground beneath your feet (or the ground wire, which eventually goes into the actual earth outside your home). Because that measurement tells us how likely (and painful) it's gonna be to get a shock from it. More volts = more pressure = more likely and more pain.

When the switch closes (aka in the "on" position), it's the same as having one long chunk of wire rather than two chunk, when it's open (aka in the off position), it's separated agian. So when it's open there is a difference in electrical pressure - one side has 120v (referenced to ground) and the other side has 0v (agian, as referenced to ground) as they are now two separate wires, one with a connection to the panel, the other with a connection to the lights.


The_cogwheel t1_j4xxvdz wrote

Still, it's unlikely to be the culprit. A loose wire would been giving intermittent issues as it made and lost its connection till it finally came completely off.

It could be a dead switch (aka one that failed in the off position) though, I'll give you that. Depending on the age of the switch it might even be the issue.


The_cogwheel t1_j4xutgn wrote

>Check the GFCI outlets in the bathroom to see if any of them have been tripped. Sometimes those get daisy chained together, even though that's not the proper thing to do.

This in particular is common in homes built between the 60s and the 80s. They used to have a two prong outlet for a plug in electric razor, tied to the bathroom lights but otherwise provided no GFI or even basic grounding protection (they did have a transformer to step down the voltage, so it wasnt a complete death trap). Homeowners and landlords typically just swap the two prong for a GFI receptacle but change nothing else about the circuit, which can take out the lights when the GFI trips. If you have an unusually large cover plate around a bathroom GFI, this has happened in your home


The_cogwheel t1_ixz4roo wrote

Reply to comment by zealNW in Correct Drill Bit Help by ApocalypseLater93

You could also use a screwdriver (preferably a square or Roberson) to sit inside the anchor and tap the driver with the hammer. A little easier to knock it in if you're in a weird spot or lack hand eye coordination.


The_cogwheel t1_iseooyg wrote

If you absolutely, positively cannot afford off the shelf lithium system, at least consider going lead acid (aka car batteries). They require more maintenance than lithium (you have to top up the water in them) and more ventilation (they produce hydrogen gas while charging) but carry less risk of catastrophic fire if mishandled.

It's still risky, and something that I still don't fully advise doing, but if you're gonna be bullheaded about it, then at least pick the option with less chances of burning your home to the ground.

As a bonus, you can later upgrade to lithium cells, so you can still get your system up and running soon, and upgrade to lithium whenever funds permit.


The_cogwheel t1_isendst wrote

As an in field electrician, I also echo the advice to buy a pre-built pack. Batteries can be little mini grenades, especially when you overcharge them or overheat them. Go ahead, Google "battery explosion" and have a feast of firey goodness.

Bigger battery, means bigger fire. And at 300+ cells... thats a lot of battery.

This most definitely not in the realm of "an internet search, a soldering iron and some gumption". The whole install sounds closer to "get at least three quotes from a local electrician or solar installer" territory.