replacing outside porch lights

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Old 01-07-07, 03:17 AM
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replacing outside porch lights

I am replacing my 6 outside lights. The first 5 went just fine. When I got to the 6th, it kept tripping the fuse. The two lights over my front porch are the problem. One has one black, one white and one ground. The other has 2 blacks twisted together, two whites twisted together. and a ground. I did the one with two each and it worked fine. When i did the second, it keeps tripping the fuse box. I unhooked all the wires to both lights. It still tripped the fuse. I turned the light switch off and it doesnt trip it. I cut it back on and it trips it again. Did I mess the switch up? Is it possible the wires on the one werer backwards and i should have put white to black and vice versa? I am lost. Please help!!!
 
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Old 01-07-07, 05:40 AM
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Retrace your steps. Somewhere you have a hot wire shorted to a ground wire, a grounded item (like a metal box), or to the neutral wire.
 
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Old 01-07-07, 07:48 AM
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I unhooked all wires and when I turn off light switch the fuse does not trip. When I cut on light switch, it trips the fuse. Even when I have the wires disconnected from the lights!!! Does the light swicth have a reset button or did I blow the light switch?? Thanks
 
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Old 01-07-07, 07:57 AM
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It reads like, in either light number 5 or 6 you have a short from hot to ground or hot to neutral. Look for crumbling insulation or nicks in the wire.
 
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Old 01-07-07, 08:04 AM
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after I did the first porch light, I cut on fuse box and it worked. I did the exact same thing to the second porch light and it tripped the fuse. I unhooked both lights and it still trips fuse. I cut offlight switch inside house and the fuse doesnt trip. i cut the ligght switch back on and it trips the fuse. Could i have messed up the actual switch since it now tripps the fuse without either light hooked up? Is there a reset button on switch? Did I blow the light switch and need a new one?

Someone told me they piggy backed the second light to the first light and maybe they did the wires opposite, so I should have done black to white and white to black. Is that possible?

Would abadlight switch cause the fuse to blow?

Thanks and sorry if I am repeating myself
 
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Old 01-07-07, 08:13 AM
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Could that circuit be overloaded with the new lights? The new lights maybe overloading the circuit itself.

What type breaker are these lights on? 15, 20?

How many total receptacles/lights does this one breaker control?

What is plugged in to any of theses outlets.


Just a thought. I would definetly look at your wire setup again, to make sure not hot wires are touching your ground/neutral.
 
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Old 01-07-07, 08:16 AM
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why would it keep tripping the fuse when there are no lights connected?
 
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Old 01-07-07, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by tdw64 View Post
why would it keep tripping the fuse when there are no lights connected?

If the insulation is deterioated up inside the light box, then the wires could still be shorting out. there could be a problem in the switch box, but it is not likley.

switching the white and black wire would make it unsafe to change a bulb, but it would not cause the fuse to blow, or breaker to trip.

edit to add: did you need to install any romex connectors? it is easy to overtighten them.
 
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Old 01-07-07, 09:00 AM
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No romex connectors. I simple took old light off and connected the new light with wire nuts. I am still lost on why the light switch on the wall in the house would cause the fuse to trip when turned on and not trip when turned off when there are no lights connected outside. Could my switch have blown or gone bad or something like that?
 
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Old 01-07-07, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by tdw64 View Post
No romex connectors. I simple took old light off and connected the new light with wire nuts. I am still lost on why the light switch on the wall in the house would cause the fuse to trip when turned on and not trip when turned off when there are no lights connected outside. Could my switch have blown or gone bad or something like that?
The switch stops the flow of current in the HOT wire. When the switch is off there is no current going to any of the lights.

So lets say, for example you have a short up in one of the light fixtures. While the switch is off you cannot detect the problem, because there is no current flow. When you turn the switch on, the current now flows up to the lights, and in your case through the short circuit, instead of the bulb.

If the insulation of the wires is bad the the current can flow wire to wire instead of being forced to travel through the appliance that you intend. This is one example of a short circuit. The wires do not need to actually touch. They can be just sooooooo close, but not touching.

I highly reccomend that a DIYer of your experience get a good book on residential wiring and read it before doing any work on his/her own. It will do a much better job of explaining all of these basic concepts than I can.
 
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Old 01-07-07, 09:35 AM
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To isolate if the switch is the problem, could you remove the switch and wire nut the wires together, so when you turn breaker on, the lights would always be hot?

If the breaker trips then, you have a wiring problem?
 
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Old 01-07-07, 09:39 AM
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Thank you. The light switch is obviously good. I must have a problem in the second light. After i connected the first light, it worked fine. Only after I disconnnected the second and reconnected the new light did it trip the fuse. I have someone coming over later, but was just hoping to find the problem myself. I didnt do anything different on the second that i did for the first.

thanks again and sorry for repeating myuself!!
 
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Old 01-07-07, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tdw64 View Post
I didnt do anything different on the second that i did for the first.

This is why I am leaning toward the faulty insulation theroy. Sorry for repeating my self
 
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Old 01-07-07, 10:33 AM
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Check the actual light you're installing?

Have you made sure that the light fixture itself is not the problem? could be screwed up, and you're assuming that it's ok. Just a thought.
 
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