breaker tripping

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Old 11-06-08, 03:15 PM
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breaker tripping

while having mykitchen remodeled I ran 7 new circuits....They all worked great for three week...Today the lighting circuit tripped and when ireset it I got a spard at the panel...I replaced the breaker twice...and still get a spark and the breaker instantly trips...what is next in troubleshooting....Thanks
 
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Old 11-06-08, 03:20 PM
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Are there only lights on that circuit breaker?
 
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Old 11-06-08, 03:30 PM
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no .....there are 3 recpt on the circuit....with nothing plugged into them...Thanks
 
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Old 11-06-08, 03:36 PM
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So there are lights and receptacles on that circuit?
 
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Old 11-06-08, 04:19 PM
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Fastened anything to the wall lately? Maybe hung some pictures?
 
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Old 11-06-08, 05:25 PM
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yes lights and recp...no....no nails inthe walls ......I used nail plates ...Thanks
 
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Old 11-06-08, 05:53 PM
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Touch them fixtures in those 3 weeks, in any way at all? Like screw in a new bulb?

In this one rental where a licensed electrician put in new lights, one shorted out months later. I took down the fixture and found he ran a mounting screw right up into one of the light wires packed above it. Funny it took so long to short out.
 
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Old 11-06-08, 05:55 PM
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If you can pick up a small volt ohm meter it would make this real easy. I don't like using the breaker to test for shorts.
Bud
 
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Old 11-06-08, 08:00 PM
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As pointed out, you have a short. (A real short, not the short where nothing works ) You will have to start removing devices and light fixtures and see if you can clear it. If not, then you may have some damage cable from a screw or nail from somewhere. Even though you used nail plates one might have made it through. As mentioned above, get your self a meter. Just reseting the breaker over and over is not a good test.

Say...is this an Arc fault breaker?
 
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Old 11-08-08, 08:40 AM
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No it is a regular 20amp breaker...I have isolated to 2 three way switch's that control 3 lights......Is checking for continuity the only way to find a short in the walls...Thanks
 
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Old 11-08-08, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ThomasB View Post
No it is a regular 20amp breaker...I have isolated to 2 three way switch's that control 3 lights......Is checking for continuity the only way to find a short in the walls...Thanks
Do you mean continuity between hot and ground/neutral? Still wouldn't tell you exactly where the problem is without expensive test equipment. Even if you find it fixing is problematic. I'd suggest to save time just abandon the wire and rerun unless there is a difficult accessibility problem.
 
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Old 11-08-08, 10:38 AM
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If I read you correctly, you have narrowed it down to "2 three way switch's that control 3 lights". There should be just one power wire supplying those switches and lights. Identify the power coming in and isolate it and see if the breaker trips.

If it trips, then problem is between the isolated wire and the panel, however that gets back. If it doesn't trip, then the problem is with the switches and 3 lights.

Caution!!! you are dealing with a short that may or may not be in a box. And it can suddenly disappear and that would not mean the problem is gone. In fact it would mean you have a bigger problem as you can no longer trouble shoot because there are no symptoms to look for. I'm being a little blunt, but don't take offense, just trying to make this short. the meter does help you look at things without taking everything apart, but if you have indeed isolated the fault to those two switches and 3 lights, then you are making progress.

Locate the power wire, disconnect the black and tape or wire nut it and test. Then tell us what you found.

If I'm on the wrong track, sorry and disregard.
Bud
 
 

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