Short in switch

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  #1  
Old 12-29-05, 06:45 AM
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Short in switch

I have a switch that functions properly (turn on- power at fixture and turns off). There are another switch and outlet in the same box. When I use a testing device (two wire with light) just touching one wire of the testing wire to the screw of the switch causes a big short and blackenis the switch. I put and it does the same thing. I have not acutally installed the fixture yet. I know the switch works because I test it at where the fixture should be. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-29-05, 06:56 AM
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I suspect that you will need to take a little while to clarify your post, and in particular to proof read. You are not writing complete sentences, which makes your writing difficult to understand.

When I use a testing device (two wire with light) just touching one wire of the testing wire to the screw of the switch causes a big short and blackenis the switch.
Do you mean that you touched a single probe to one screw, and got some sort of spark that made a black mess? What was the other probe of the tester touching? Anything at all?

Was the switch that you were testing inside a metal outlet box? Is there any chance that the probe touched both the switch terminal and the box at the same time?

I put and it does the same thing.
You put what? Where? Did you try a new switch, or a new tester, or something else entirely? What happened this second time?

I have not acutally installed the fixture yet. I know the switch works because I test it at where the fixture should be.
How did you test the switch in this case?

Please describe in detail the testing device. What sort of condition are the wires and probes in?

-Jon
 
  #3  
Old 12-29-05, 10:14 AM
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Yes. I touched the screw on the switch with a single probe and got a big spark (short). I installed another switch and it did the same thing. I am going to have a professional look at it tomorrow.

Thanks for the reply.
 
  #4  
Old 12-29-05, 10:42 AM
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The next question is then: what was the _other_ probe of the tester touching?

A 'short circuit' requires that the circuit be completed. This means that your tester needs to somehow touch _two_ points. To further diagnose this, you need to figure out what the two touch points were.

Good luck with the electrician. Be sure to ask questions and learn what happened.

-Jon
 
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