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Electrical Problem!!


jbnmini
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I was working on a client's dollhouse (the Alexandria aka "The Purple Monster House") and am stumped as to what happened....

1. I replaced a loose and bent junction splice.

2. a bedroom lamp wasn't working...apparently there was a short in a small section of tapewire run-not sure why.. I installed a plug on another wall, which worked.

3. In the same bedroom, the ceiling light would only stay on if you nudged it. I repositioned it and it worked fine.

4. The hall light fixture was doing the same thing-only worked if you pressed on it. I tightened the bulb and fiddled with it a bit and it was working fine.

At this point ALL the lights were on and happy.

5. THEN I installed hinges on the tower. About 1/2 hour or so later, when I had finally managed to get the dang hinges on, we turned on the electric and.......nothing. Well, two rooms worked, but none of the others!

I am completely stumped! If the junction splice shorted- none of the lights would work. If I somehow shorted out the wiring in the tower room, only this half of the house would be affected (at least that is my theory, considering the wiring layout).

any thoughts? Suggestions??

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Could the hinges have come into contact with a run of tapewire? Did you paint or glue anything that might have slightly warped a wall or floor? It's my understanding that changes in dimensional stability (like paper expanding/contracting with temperature/humidity changes can affect tapewire.

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Took my Light Fixtures from Hell back to my dollhouse guy today. He confirmed that two sconces were beyond repair. I will keep them for parts. He was nice enough to install the little plug casings into all the ceilings for me for only $20, which I thought was a bargain. The sconces on the back walls of the house will have to be wired to the back of the house, so I will have to drill holes and then replace wallpaper.

I SO feel your pain!

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It sounds to me like a problem with contact. Even the slight movement of the house as you installed the hinges could have been enough to cause a separation along the tape wire path.

How are the lights attached to the tape wire? How did you handle the places where the tape wire had to change direction/turn a corner -- folded or brads? Are the connection points soldered?

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Thanks for the sympathy everyone - much appreciated! :console:

Kathie- those were my thoughts exactly- but there was absolutely no contact of the hinge screws to the tapewire.

Tapewire was installed using the continuous run method (folded corners). I suppose the banging could have loosened the fixture connections....but almost ALL of them??? Guess I could go thru and make sure all the grommets are in tight...but it just baffles me that two of the rooms work, but nothing else does! I've been studying the wiring lay-out pics I took to hopefully figure out a place to start looking....

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I didn't figure the hinges would be anywhere near the tap wire.

Are the grommets soldered? If not, they can work loose and even minor jiggling of the house can cause it. And yes, all of them, as unlikely as it seems.

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No- none of my connections are soldered. I haven't mastered that skill yet! Hmmm....will tapping down all the grommets fix the problem you think? I don't even want to THINK about having to remove wallpaper to fix this! argh!

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Really, soldering isn't all that difficult and it assures the connections will not wiggle loose. Tapping the grommets may fix the problem temporarily, but the fact that the problem exists probably means the grommets don't have a strong contact with the tape. Tapping them may make the problem worse if it enlarges the holes.

You may have to think about removing wallpaper. What's worse: repapering or having to wear a wig after you've pulled your hair out? :hmm:

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Do you have a nice dark corner where you can stash the house while you work on something else? Sometimes walking away for a few months lets you bring a new attitude to a project when you take it up again.

I panicked when I got to the electrification phase of my first house. I put it aside and worked with an experienced miniaturist for a few months on a charity dollhouse. When I got back to my own house, the electricity seemed to jump into place all by itself. (Not really, but I like hyperbole ... and I really did accomplish the electrification with no insurmountable glitches.)

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