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tester lights dim out


John Dirks Jr
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I was testing receptacles in a bedroom.

First of all, every receptacle in the room had the top half controlled by the wall switch as you come in the room. Normally, I only find one of the rooms receptacles wired to the switch.

Second, the overhead fixture was a light/fan combo. The fan portion was also connected to the same wall switch that controlled the receptacles.

I understand how screwy all that is but here is the part I don't understand. When I turned the switch off, the lights on my tester would not always go right out. Every other time or so they would dim down before flickering out. The two lit lights on the tester were not always in sync in the action either. One would be slightly ahead of the other in this action.

What was causing my tester lights to act funny?

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I was testing receptacles in a bedroom.

First of all, every receptacle in the room had the top half controlled by the wall switch as you come in the room. Normally, I only find one of the rooms receptacles wired to the switch.

Second, the overhead fixture was a light/fan combo. The fan portion was also connected to the same wall switch that controlled the receptacles.

I understand how screwy all that is but here is the part I don't understand. When I turned the switch off, the lights on my tester would not always go right out. Every other time or so they would dim down before flickering out. The two lit lights on the tester were not always in sync in the action either. One would be slightly ahead of the other in this action.

What was causing my tester lights to act funny?

My best guess is that the fan was acting like a small generator. As it wound down, it's output slowly diminished.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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