Breaker trips when light switch is turned on

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  #1  
Old 10-25-10, 12:19 PM
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Breaker trips when light switch is turned on

I live in a 3 bedroom townhouse. The two bedroom are connected or side by side and thus operating off the same breaker. Recently whenever I would turn the light on in either of the rooms the light will go out and the breaker will trip. Tried replacing the breaker in the fuse box but that didnt work. What's next?
 
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Old 10-25-10, 12:44 PM
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Has any work been done like hanging a picture where a nail could have hit a cable?

Was any electrical work done on this circuit like changing a switch or receptacle?

I am going to assume that this used to work properly?
 
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Old 10-25-10, 12:58 PM
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no pictures were hung, no electrical work has been done, and it was working properly. It just stopped working a couple of months ago.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 01:11 PM
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start at the switch box and double check the conenctions there I have a feeling something is shorting out where it supposed not to be there.

How good are you on electrical skill and what kind of tools you have on hand so we can help you with basic troubleshooting.

Merci.
Marc
 
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Old 10-25-10, 01:28 PM
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Very basic home home skills but I can follow directions very well. I also have basic tools no electrical tools.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 01:37 PM
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All good advice so far. Following the instructions others have given what I would do is turn off the beaker., pull out both switches as far as the wires allow and be sure the wires are not touching. With the breaker still off turn both switches on. Now turn the breaker on. Does the breaker stay on or immediately trip?

Safety note it is always best practice to stand to one side of the breaker box and look away when turning the breaker back on.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 01:58 PM
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I pulled both switches out as far as the wires allow, did not disconnect and of the wires, (only one wire is connected to the lower screw, the other two are included in the switch. Turned both switches on and went down and turned the breaker on. The breaker immediately tripped.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 02:30 PM
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Next you are going to need to open the lights and look for shorts.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 03:21 PM
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How do you open the lights and look for shorts?
 
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Old 10-25-10, 04:43 PM
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A surface mounted fixture normally has a glass globe that will need to be removed. This will allow access to two screws that extend down from the junction box into a keyhole shaped hole on the fixture. Loosen the screws slightly and twist the fixture and pull gently downward.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 05:03 PM
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Globe is removed and the screws are now loosened.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by lwilsonjr View Post
Globe is removed and the screws are now loosened.
With the breaker off twist and pull. Check the wires inside for evidence of shorts. You might try it with it hanging down to see if the breaker trips. You mentioned two lights. You may need to check both lights.
 
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Old 10-25-10, 08:26 PM
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Also make sure you grab a good flashlight as well so you can inspect the conductors closely to see any nicks or damage there if there is a damage part let us know we will tell you the correct way to do the repairs.

{ related to this question is the attic is above that room ??}

Merci.
Marc
 
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