Breaker keeps trippnig..HEP!! :?{

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  #1  
Old 10-14-02, 10:43 AM
rawfish
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Question Breaker keeps trippnig..HEP!! :?{

Hi ,

I have attempted to install a new light fixture and now when ever I flip the power switch it trips the breaker.

It was all working fine prior to the new fixture but now I have this problem. (I was replacing the old fixture cause it was uuuuuugggggglllllly).

The switch itself and the fixture are both good as I installed them in another room to verify that they were good/bad. I have tried another fixture and switch and the same problem.. a tripped switch. This is and older home with two black wires for power.

Can anyone offer any help or suggestions?
Thanks in advance!

Roy
 
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  #2  
Old 10-14-02, 11:17 AM
Sparksone42
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You say that you have the old type of wiring which uses two black wires. The only things that I can think of to look for are:

1. You have the wires reversed at the fixture, meaning that you have the neutral tied to the hot conductor on the fixture and the hot from the circuit tied to the neutral on the fixture.

2. If this is the old type of romex with the outer covering of cloth, it's possible that some of the insulation has come off either in the switch box or at the fixture box and you are experiencing a short.

Question: Does the breaker trip as soon as you turn the light on?
If is does then you need to to carefully examine all of the conductors that you have worked on and see if there is anywhere that the conductors could be shorted together or shorted to another conductor.

It would also be helpful if you have a voltage tester to remove the wires from the fixture and use a tester to identify the hot and neutral conductors in the fixture box. If you don't have a tester, try this. Take the conductors loose from the fixture and cap them off with wire nuts. Turn the switch on and see if the breaker trips. If it trips then a short is the most likely culprit. If it doesn't trip then I would say that you have the conductors reversed at the fixture.
 
  #3  
Old 10-14-02, 11:38 AM
MTgets
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my immediate guess is that you ran the fixture mounting screws up into the wires in the box and they are shorting out.

Take the fixture down (with power off) and look into the box for signs off sparks, black marks, cut wires, exposed copper......
and correct the problem.
My neighbor just did this yesterday, it is a common problem with new fixtures. Could be a small box, to many wires, or like I said the mounting screws are shorting out.
 
  #4  
Old 10-14-02, 12:27 PM
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Turn the wall switch off and then turn the breaker on. Now are both of the following true:

(1) With the wall switch still off, the light is on.

(2) When you turn the wall switch on, the breaker trips and the light goes off.

If both are true, then the answer is easy. Let us know.
 
  #5  
Old 10-14-02, 12:37 PM
rawfish
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Both Are true. :?0

Hi there,

Both Are true. :?0

Roy

Turn the wall switch off and then turn the breaker on. Now are both of the following true:

(1) With the wall switch still off, the light is on.

(2) When you turn the wall switch on, the breaker trips and the light goes off.

If both are true, then the answer is easy. Let us know.


__________________
Please post back and let us know how your project comes out. Thanks!
 

Last edited by rawfish; 10-14-02 at 05:22 PM.
  #6  
Old 10-14-02, 07:50 PM
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What you did is follow the manufacturer's instructions for your new light. Unfortunately, the idiot manufacturers never seem to consider that you might be looking at a switch loop, and there are a lot of switch loops out there.

Manufacturer's instructions always say to connect black to black and white to white. But when you have a switch loop, these instructions are WRONG!

You would have been okay anyway if you had merely disconnected only the minimum number of connections necessary to remove the old fixture. But you also disconnected a connection in the back of the box that wasn't connected to the light. You should not have done this.

Here's how to fix it. (1) Go to Home Depot and spend $15-20 on a voltage "tick" tester. (2) Shut off the breaker. (3) Disconnect and remove the new light. I believe you will see four insulated conductors there. If this is not right, stop now and post back. I also understood you to say that all wires are black. So all four of these wires are black, right? If not, stop now.

(4) Separate all four wires so that none are touching anything. (5) Turn the breaker back on. (6) Use your tick tester to find which one of the four wires is hot. This is the power hot. (7) Hopefully, you can identify which of the other wires is "paired" with this wire (comes in through the same hole in the box). If you cannot, post back. This other wire is the power neutral. (8) Shut off the breaker. (9) Connect the power hot to one of the other two black wires (not the power neutral) with a wire nut. Neither of these two wires will connect to your new light, so tuck this connection into the back of the box. (10) Connect the power neutral to the white wire(s) of the new light. (11) Connect the remaining wire to the black wire(s) of the new light. (12) Connect any grounding wires, if any. (13) Turn on the breaker and enjoy a job well done.
 

Last edited by John Nelson; 10-14-02 at 08:11 PM.
  #7  
Old 10-14-02, 08:53 PM
rawfish
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Question A bit confused...

In the ceiling I have a black +white then the other 2 wires up there are black. (the power ) are both black. This is an older home.

Here is an image for you to look at if you wouldn't mind?? :?)

Thanks

Roy
 
  #8  
Old 10-14-02, 09:05 PM
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The black pair seems to be the power cable (if you are correct). But you still need to buy the tick tester to figure out which of the two black wires in that pair is the hot and which is the neutral.

The black/white pair is likely the switch loop. But it would still be good to test these wires with the tick tester to be sure. If this is indeed the switch loop, then you will see exactly one black wire and one white wire attached to the switch. You should look at the switch and report back.

In step (9) of my prior post, you will connect the power hot to the white wire of the black/white pair. In step (11), you will connect the black of the black/white pair to the black wire(s) from the light.

Are you still confused? If so, which step(s) of my instructions confuses you?

(You may have read my prior post while I was editing it. In my first reply before editing, I forgot that you had said that the power wires were both black.)
 
  #9  
Old 10-14-02, 09:17 PM
rawfish
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Smile Thanks very much for all teh help!

I will run to home depot in the morning and grab one of the Tic testers.

Can you recommend an inexpensive one?

Again all this help is very much appreciated.

You see, we just put this house up for sale and folks are coming buy to have a look see and, well, I sure don't want them to fick a switch and have it not function as it is supposed to.

I will post results Tuesday morning.

Thanks

Roy
 
  #10  
Old 10-14-02, 09:21 PM
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Greenlee makes both a $15 one and a $20 one. Either will do.
 
  #11  
Old 10-15-02, 07:10 AM
rawfish
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Smile FIXED!!

Thanks to everyone here for all their help and suggestions.

John,

I followed your instructions to the letter and was able to have this fixed in 2 minutes after figuring out the hot from neutral, MANY THANKS.

If their should be anything I could help you with please feel free to contact me.

Roy Finch- Consultant
@Home Mobile P.C. Repair
www.mobilepcrepair.com
We come to you with solutions TODAY!
 
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