Grounded out 4 way switch

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  #1  
Old 10-25-07, 08:39 PM
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Grounded out 4 way switch

We were adding a second set of lights to one of the switches in the outlet box (right switch) while pulling the wire through the box, i accidentally grounded out the middle switch. This middle switch controls a set of potlights which dont work now. Its not the breaker, there is still power (120) but it wont even light up a directly wired bulb. if you switch the 4 way the power literally dissapears.
We tried replacing the switch but it didnt help either. Any suggestions as to what i might have done to it would be greatly appreciated. sorry for the incoherent babble
 
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  #2  
Old 10-26-07, 03:53 AM
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I do not understand your terminology. Are you saying that you created a short to ground? That implies you were working live, which I hope is not the case, as that is extremely dangerous, and you should never be working live.

If you did crteate a short then you likely caused a weak connection on the circuit to fail. Check for power all along the path and repair and opened connections.
 
  #3  
Old 10-26-07, 07:46 AM
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If you read 120 volts but cannot illuminate a bulb, then you do not have power. You have voltage, but you do not have power.

What's the difference, you ask? Power requires a complete circuit. Voltage does not. It is the neutral wire that completes the circuit. You have an open neutral. It is a common topic of this forum, and has been discussed at length. You might try searching. If you can't find what you need, come back and we can help you go through it.
 
  #4  
Old 10-28-07, 08:51 PM
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basically the switch beside where i was working was live, i grounded it to the box with the pliers (unintentionally) once we fished the new wire through we checked the breaker panel but none were tripped. We replaced the switch that i gounded to the box thinking i had fried it but still no lights.
 
  #5  
Old 10-29-07, 04:24 AM
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You should not have been working in a live box.

You either tripped a GFCI, tripped a breaker, or caused a weak connection on the circuit to open.
 
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