Question about wiring mistakes

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  #1  
Old 09-24-08, 10:14 PM
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Question about wiring mistakes

So I made a bad decision and let someone who was unqualified work on my new home. They installed some wiring incorrectly that my father discovered before it became a problem. However, I am wondering what exactly would have happend if we had not caught this.

According to my dad this person had hot wires going into both sides of the wall switches and had two hot wires available for where we are planning on installing ceiling fixtures.

This has since been corrected and everything seems to be working correctly. But....what would have happened?....

Thanks!

Liz
 
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Old 09-24-08, 11:51 PM
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According to my dad this person had hot wires going into both sides of the wall switches
That actually is correct. One is line and one is load. or are you saying hot wires from two different breakers. You need to explain more fully.
and had two hot wires available for where we are planning on installing ceiling fixtures.
Two hot wires are commonly used in case a fan is installed. Are you saying there was no neutral? Please give us all the wires and how they were connected.
 
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Old 09-25-08, 12:15 AM
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I am not sure that I am able to answer your questions. I didn't fix it. I am just repeating what my dad told me. He told me that there is supposed to be a loop for the power to a light and that there were two 'hot' wires going into every switch this person had installed, ie there was one going into each end of the switch. He also said that there were 220 volts available at the locations where the lights were to be put in and that he thought that something would have blown. This person also ran two separate sets of wires from the switch to the light fixtures.

Also, since I am new to this kind of stuff and am not that interested in finding out on my own. What happens if two 'hot' wires touch each other?

Thanks!

Liz
 
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Old 09-25-08, 05:36 AM
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Sounds like your Dad may expect a 'switch loop' to be used at each switch instead of bringing power into the switch and then a switched power out. Either can be used, whatever suits the situation.

As far as the 2 cables from the switch to the fixture it sounds like someone did this instead of a 3 wire cable. The 3 wire cable allows for 2 seperately switched hots to be run to the fixture along with the neutral.. This would have saved some wire and space in the fixture boxes.
 
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Old 09-25-08, 09:11 AM
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Generally what happens when there's a short in the circuit wiring is that the circuit breaker will trip which disconnects power from the problem circuit.
 
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Old 09-25-08, 09:42 AM
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While what your dad did was OK it sounds like he isn't familiar enough with the multiple ways wiring can be run to understand the way the first person did it was correct. May be best not to let either of them work on the wiring again. What your Dad doesn't know could be a problem with future projects.

Two hots as stated will short out but only if from opposite poles of the power. If from the same breaker or even just the same pole (bus bar) you will have zero volts.

Suggest you get a book on home wiring such as sold at Home Depot or Lowes or Amazon.
 
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