installing chandelier with 2-way switch

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  #1  
Old 01-21-03, 01:45 PM
ackyeo
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installing chandelier with 2-way switch

The ceiling outlet in my living room has 3 wires: 1 orange, 1 yellow and 1 white. I connect my chandelier to the yeloow and white wires and left the orange wire alone. When I flipped the circuit breaker switch back ON, it tripped. What am I doing wrong?
This ceiling outlet is controlled by 2 switches, one in the living room and the other in the dining room. It has a dedicated 15Amp circuit breaker in the electrical panel. The maximum wattage allowable is 280 watts for the chandelier, although I will only be using about 175 watts.
Thanks for your advice - Augustus
 
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Old 01-21-03, 02:48 PM
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Do you live in the Chicago area?

Are the three wires you listed a complete inventory of everything in the ceiling box -- no extra wires tucked into the back of the box?

How do you know the breaker is "dedicated"? It is unusual to dedicate a whole circuit to one light.

When you say "left the orange wire alone," did you cap it or otherwise take care to electrically isolate it? When you say "orange," do you mean orange-colored insulation, or is this a bare copper wire?
 
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Old 01-21-03, 04:10 PM
ackyeo
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Yes, I live in the Chicago area... Aurora. The three wires are a complete inventory: insulated orange-color, yellow-color and white wires. Each of these wires is capped. This ceiling fan outlet came with the house (new construction that I moved into this month).

As for the "dedicated" breaker... the other wall switches in the living room and entry way are not controlled by this breaker. However, the outlets in the living room probably are controlled by this breaker. For what it's worth, there are no other electrical applicances connected to the outlets in the living room.

Here's what I did... I spliced and connected one side of the chandelier wire to the white wire, then capped and taped them together with electrical tape. I then did the same with the other side of the chandelier wire and the yellow-colored wire. Next, I grounded the bare copper wire from the chandelier to the handing strap, using the green (GRND) screw that was already attached to the strap. Finally, I was left with the capped orange-colored insulated wire. I left that alone and tucked it out of the way into the back of the ceiling box.

When I switched the breaker back ON, it tripped.
 
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Old 01-21-03, 05:06 PM
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Your design is okay. I suspect you have a flawed implementation. Somehow you have an accidental short. Double check all your work and make sure nothing is touching that should not be, and no bare wire is exposed past each wire nut.

Either that or the chandelier is bad. Replace the chandelier with a simple $2 naked-bulb fixture as an experiment.

Does the breaker still trip if all the wall switches are off? (Actually with 3-way switches it isn't always obvious which way is "off", so try both switches down, and one-up/one-down -- one or the other should be "off".

By the way, you say two switches. Are these really three-way switches? Do the handles say "off" and "on" on them, or are they blank? Because you have two hot wires at the ceiling, it seems that this was prewired so that you could have one switch for the fan and one switch for the fan's light. Got any double-gang switch boxes in the room that could be for this?
 
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Old 01-21-03, 05:20 PM
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I would open the switch box and see what is in there. There could be a miswire at the switch. I think what you have is one wire for the light and one wire for the fan. Each one controlled by one of the switches. What you did is what sounds correct but you need to verify what is in the switch box.
 
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Old 01-22-03, 08:43 AM
ackyeo
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John & Joed - Thanks for your advice. I'll check tonight and let you know the results.

Regards - Augustus
 
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