smoking switch


Old 03-18-05, 09:24 PM
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smoking switch

I replaced an old three-way switch with a new one. When I tried the switch a couple of times, it tripped the circuit each time. I thought some wires might have been loose or touching the box, so did some adjusting and tried again. This time the switch sparked considerably and started smoking. Now neither switch turns on the light. Did I totally blow the wiring? Is it ok to turn that circuit back on? I live in an old house (1906) and I'm paranoid about the old wiring starting a house fire. I would appreciate any advice you can give. I am very much a beginning working with electricity.

Thank you!
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Old 03-18-05, 10:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Well, it's pretty clear that you made a pretty serious mistake. If you're lucky, your permanent damage was limited to the switch itself. If you want us to try to spot your mistake, tell us all the cables, all the wires in each cable, and how everything is currently connected in the switch box. Don't turn the circuit back on yet--you might burn your house down. You should also seriously consider calling in some knowledgeable help. It seems that this project is not going well.

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