debugging new circuits

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  #1  
Old 08-05-02, 10:08 AM
J
Jezpo
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debugging new circuits

My electrical inspector gave me a gold star on my new addition for my rough wiring, partly because I was fastidious, labelled, and used plenty of nail plates. Nice older guy, patient with the do it yourselfer type (me)

I just finished bringing up the following circuits on the new 100 subpanel my real electrician installed: (main panel went to 220)

#1) 20 - basement outlets - checks aok
#2) 20 - electrical heat - checks aok
#3) 15 - a 3 way switch, a 1 way switch, 5 outlets. Outlets test aok, circuit comes up with 3 way switch lights on, switch in down position. I throw the switch, circuit breaker pops. Same thing with the 1 way switch.
#4) 15 - a 1 way switch with 5 outlets. Outlests test aok, when I throw the 1 way switch, circuit breaker pops.

All wire is NM12 2 except for NM12 3 in 3 way switch. Tests consist of checking ground and power with a plug-in tester or two probe contact tester.

I'm wondering if I uniformly reversed light switch wiring, and would appreciate a debug method rather than my usual trial and error.

Thanks!

PS - I added the new circuit breakers in the subpanel myself even though I have more confidence in my carpentry than electrical skills.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-05-02, 10:29 AM
M
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You're going to have to supply more details, since there are two common ways of hooking up single pole switches and many ways of hooking up 3-way switches. For a start, describe (1) every cable which enters each switch box - where it comes from/goes to, how it is connected to the switch and (2) every cable in the box which the switch controls (you don't say if you are controlling outlets or lights).
 
  #3  
Old 08-05-02, 10:57 AM
J
Jezpo
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More than fair - will do, after I confirm the branches and connection order.

All switches control lights, not outlets in this setup.

Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 08-05-02, 11:06 AM
J
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Normally, when a breaker trips when you turn a switch on, it's because you miswired a switch loop. When you have a switch loop (i.e., just one cable coming into the switch box), connecting all wires by color at the controlled light or receptacle is wrong.
 
  #5  
Old 08-05-02, 12:03 PM
J
Jezpo
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John, I think you are about to witness some serious learning on my part:

"connecting all wires by color at the controlled light or receptacle is wrong."

What would be correct? - I have NM12 2 to the switch, from the switch to light fixture 1 and on to light fixture 2.

Light fixture 1 does night light when the switch is in off position, but light fixture 2 does.... and the circuit pops when I turn it 'on'.

Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 08-05-02, 12:10 PM
J
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I'll wait for the rest of your story before commenting further. Otherwise, we'll just play an endless guessing game. Just tell us everywhere you routed cables on this circuit, starting at the breaker panel, and all the connections you made. Don't be general -- be very specific. I realize that this may be a lot of information, but there are a lot of possibilities for error.
 
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