Wires "jump" in conduit then breaker trips?

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Old 05-15-10, 09:05 PM
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Wires "jump" in conduit then breaker trips?

I have added a new 15amp circuit in my basement for 7 recessed lights (operated off 2 single pl switches..4 lights on 1 and 3 on the other). I go to turn on switch 1 and everything is good. I turn on switch 2 (both are in same box) and it sounds like the wires surge or "jump" in the conduit and then the breaker trips. It is only on the second switch?
Is there any way I can check for a short off this second switch to lights or should I just pull the wire and replace with new?
Thanks in advance
Allen
 
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Old 05-15-10, 09:16 PM
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You can test them with an ohm meter. Better if you can borrow one a megger.
 
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Old 05-15-10, 09:20 PM
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sounds like a dead short, Hot to ground. It maybe at the switch I would check the connections on it though im sure they are sharing power from one to the other. It is more than likely the switch leg on that switch got skinned and its dead shorting in the conduit( would explain the noise you hear and I have hear a few times to many..) If you have a meter you can ring out the wires (ohm them out) to check for and breaks in the wire.
Hope this helps.
Good luck
 
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Old 05-15-10, 10:18 PM
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I know you mention new conduits however when you put the conduits together did you ream out { sharp edge from cutting } before you get the conduit together if that the case you will have to pull all the conductors out and take it apart and check all conduits for any sharp edges but before you do that just do the basic troubleshooting I mention below.

Check the switch box first or receptale and double check the connection espcally with switch loop that is most common cuprit for a perfect bolted fault. { direct short circuit }

Check the conductors for any nicks or something should not be in the place at all.


Oui { yes } the conductors will jump a bit with hevey overload or shortcircuit inside the conduit one commercal place I dealt with it they have conductors jumped inside the conduit every time elevator start up to slove that cuprit I put in softstart that slow down a bit but pull out the exsting conductor and bump up one size larger to twart it a little.

Is your basement is finshed or unfinshed rooms ? due with finshed rooms you must have AFCI on that circuit but with unfinished room you can use the GFCI the codes are very clear on that only if you are on 2005 or later codes but the 2005 only cover the bedrooms while the 2008 cover everything but not on the GFCI at all { Kitchen or Bathroom or unfinshed basement or garage }

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-16-10, 08:19 AM
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Thanks for the advice

Thanks all who responded to my original post

I pulled the wired from switch #2 and no apparent cuts or abrasions. I wired the switch (this time out of conduit) and i got the same thing....wires "jump" and breaker trips.

However, now I know that the wires are "jumping" in the power "in" conduit. Could there be a short somewhere in this leg? The odd thing is that I am splitting the the power in between the 2 switch legs but only one seems to be tripping the circuit.

I will wait before pulling wires as this leg is a little longer that switch #2 leg and go back and dble check connections on 4 lights on switch #2

Thanks again
 
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Old 05-16-10, 10:04 AM
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what about a problem in one of the light fixtures/boxes?
 
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Old 05-16-10, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by newtofta View Post
what about a problem in one of the light fixtures/boxes?
Good call. Needs to be checked.
 
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Old 05-16-10, 10:52 AM
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I agree with the short assessment. You will hear wires dance in a pipe on a short or if they are carrying a heavy motor load on start up.
 
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Old 05-16-10, 06:02 PM
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Yep it was a fixture

I checked fixture wiring and then a buddy suggested isolating each fixture by only turning one on at a time with bulb/load.
All was good until fixture #3 - must have had a bad unit all along
Thanks again for all your help
 
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Old 05-16-10, 08:27 PM
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Glad you got it. Thanks for letting us know.
 
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Old 05-16-10, 08:38 PM
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just for info.I am a Ford tech .
several times have seen the head lamp bulb fillament support wire fail/break-& lay across the grounding lug wire/cause a some what hard to diagnose 'short to ground' problem
 
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