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wall outlet on separate breaker from wall switch in same room?

wall outlet on separate breaker from wall switch in same room?

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  #1  
Old 06-15-06, 09:39 PM
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wall outlet on separate breaker from wall switch in same room?

I got zapped pretty good while installing a motion sensor light in a bedroom. I turned off the light switch and breaker marked bedroom lighting. There's a digital clock in the same room that went off when I turned off the breaker so I thought I was good to go. Wrong! What a zap I got when I tried to hookup the sensor.

Is this common? The breaker box was installed and marked by a licensed electrician.
 

Last edited by Stumped1; 06-15-06 at 09:40 PM. Reason: mistake in title bar
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  #2  
Old 06-16-06, 02:54 AM
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You never know. Always assume a circuit is live when you work on it. Even if your tester says it's dead don't trust it. You haven't given enough details but sometimes a box may be used for making connections for multiple circuits. This is true especially for ceiling boxes.

You can also have a case where neutrals from two circuits are (wrongly) tied together. Both circuits may remain hot unless both breakers are thrown.

If you read another thread here titled "Tip" you will remember it is a good idea to get checked out by a doctor after a shock because of possible internal damage. Did you do that?
 
  #3  
Old 06-16-06, 04:26 AM
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Unfortunately the panels in most houses and apartments are poorly labeled, if labeled at all. Clearly some of this is the result of lazy electricians and others who install and/or modify panels, but the rest of the blame goes to the panel manufacturers. They just do not provide enough space on the charts for proper circuit identification.

As for you trusting the labels, that's your fault. You made a classic mistake. You should have, within a short time of moving in, completely identified exactly what breaker controls each and every receptacle, light, and electrical device in your home. Everybody needs to do this for every dwelling they move in to. Never trust the chart, even if you believe it to be accurate.

Sounds like you need to spend time on a Saturday or a Sunday identifying your circuits. Your goal is to know exactly what breaker to turn off for any particular junction box or appliance in your house, and for you to have a COMPLETE listing of what is on every breaker.

As for multiple circuits feeding a particular room, it is common. This is especially true of older houses where circuits are added or expanded sometimes years after the house was originally built. With circuits being added and remodels being done you can't always keep rooms confined to a single circuit, or keep two (or more) circuits from passing through a single box.
 
  #4  
Old 06-16-06, 08:23 AM
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This is an older home, the breaker was upgraded from on old breaker with the glass fuses 2 years ago.

I am going to do as you both have suggested. Make a doctor appointment and spend a day correctly identifying the breakers.

I think what I'll do is leave the lights on and plug a radio into the outlets as I test, this should tell me if they are on the same circuit.

Another question, this being an older home there were only two wires in the switch box, I connected the two wires and tied off the green ground with a wire nut, is this ok?
 
  #5  
Old 06-16-06, 09:04 AM
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Connect the green ground wire to the metal box.
 
  #6  
Old 06-16-06, 09:15 AM
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Got it. Thanks again.
 
  #7  
Old 06-21-06, 05:42 AM
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