Possible short in a wire


Old 08-10-05, 02:31 PM
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Possible short in a wire

Basically I replaced a switch to an outdoor light on my porch and when I flipped the new switch on it tripped the breaker. I tried putting the old one back in and when I turned it on it tripped the breaker. I took the lamp out of the ceiling and left the wires up there not touching to make sure that was not the problem. The breaker is connected to another light and the garage and they work fine if I do not have the switch installed. It is old wiring I believe it is called knob and tube, there are only two wires, each wire has a layer of black rubber and cloth, both wires are in a steel tube. House was built in 1924. What if anything can I do before calling an electrician/handy man.
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Old 08-10-05, 03:18 PM
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Were your just replacing the switch and doing nothing else? Why were you replacing the switch? Was it defective? You didn't do anything at all at the fixture it controlled?

Your symptoms are very common for a project where the fixture was also replaced. But you didn't say that you replaced the fixture.
Old 08-10-05, 03:23 PM
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Connect a lamp socket to the 2 wires at the ceiling fixure ( power Off!!!) and a 2nd lamp socket to the 2 wires at the switch. Thread lamps of equal wattage ( 60/60 or 75/75 ) into the sockets.

If both lamps burn dim, it indicates the circuit is working. If the lamp across the switch is bright, this indicates there is 120 volts across the 2 wires, and the switch completes a short-circuit in the "On" position.

Obviously, K & T wiring will compound the solution to the problem.

Good Luck & Enjoy the Experience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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