Replacement Light Short

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Old 02-04-09, 04:22 PM
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Replacement Light Short

Hello. I'm new to this forum, and I am a bit of a novice to electrical work, too, so please be kind. My brother replaced a light fixture in his house, and the wiring on the new fixture was poorly marked. He wasn't sure which of the three wires was the ground, so he decided to take a guess. He randomly picked two wires and must have hooked the fixture's ground to either the hot or the neutral. The breaker tripped, and now the light doesn't work. I hooked up the new light fixture somewhere else, and it works fine. I also hooked up a working light fixture to the outlet box, and it didn't work. So, it seems like there is an open somewhere, but every other light or outlet on the same circuit works fine. What do I do?
 
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Old 02-04-09, 05:12 PM
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Were you wiring this to a ceiling box or to a receptacle plug? Are there more than one set of cables coming into the box where he tried to hook it up. There are several ways of playing Russian Roulette. He just found one of them.
 
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Old 02-04-09, 06:11 PM
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A ceiling box. There is one set of wires coming into the box, a black, a white, and a ground.
 
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Old 02-04-09, 06:17 PM
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If you could check for voltage from hot to ground, and hot to neutral it would help to isolate the problem.

The arc may have opened a splice prior to the ceiling box.
 
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Old 02-06-09, 11:11 AM
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OK, sorry it took a day and a half to get this done...
I set my multimeter to 200 under the ACV section, hooked the black "COM" wire on the multimeter to the black house wire and the red "V/Ohm/A/Temp" wire on the multimeter to the white house wire. It gave me a reading of 00.0. I think I did that right, and I think that means the box is getting no voltage, right?
 
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Old 02-06-09, 11:18 AM
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Check your voltmeter at an outlet (sometimes hard to get contact) or where you know there is power to make sure its working. Also....check black to ground and white to ground...just for complete info for the Pro's. Just because its supposed to be wired one way..doesn't mean it is
 
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Old 02-06-09, 11:29 AM
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I checked black to ground and white to ground and got a 0 reading on both. Also, I checked black to white on a working ceiling box on the same circuit and got 112.
 
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Old 02-06-09, 11:51 AM
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Flip the breaker all the way off then on and try again. If no change open the switch box (breaker off). Move any back stab connections to the screws and replace any wire nuts.

At this point if still not working I would, with the main breaker off, remove the breaker box cover, turn the main breaker back on and carefully measure the voltage between the breaker screw and the neutral bar. However if you aren't sure about working in a live box I wouldn't recommend it.

Since there is only one cable (two wires ) at the ceiling if there are also only two wire at the switch there may be a Jbox somewhere you need to find.
 
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Old 02-06-09, 02:17 PM
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Replacement Light Short

Hello Amature

If you put up this new light in a bathroom
check to see if a GFCI outlet is not tripped.
The GFCI could be in some other place in the house
or garage.

Hope this helps...Let us know how you made out..

Have A Nice Day
Linesman
 
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Old 02-06-09, 03:38 PM
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I replaced the switch and IT WORKS!
Thanks for the help.
 
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