breaker buzzing then popping.


Old 10-03-11, 07:19 AM
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breaker buzzing then popping.

we just recently left for 4 days only to come back and have our hall lights not work. when i went to reset the breaker it loudly buzzed then tripped. it did this repeatedly until i gave up.

There are 3 possibilities im thinking.
1) the outside light attached to the breaker was left on and it shorted out. we NEVER use the light so its possible it could be bad and we just never knew and leaving it on just finished it off.
2) the upstairs 3 way switch i swapped out is faulty. I know i hooked it up correctly BUT i did have to tug the wires a bit to get it connected to the new switch. maybe i frayed something and it is arcing. the switched has worked for over a month or so fine and i know we didnt leave that on.
3) we just have a bad breaker switch.

any tips? I have changed breakers before. i was thinking of just (shutting the main) and changing a breaker of the same amperage from the box into that ones slot and seeing if I have a problem.


Last edited by tevil; 10-03-11 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 10-03-11, 08:33 AM
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Disconnect the wire from the breaker and see if you can reset it.
Old 10-03-11, 05:36 PM
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A breaker that holds for a second or two, buzzes, then trips is usually an indication of an overload or a short that is not a ‘dead short’. A ‘dead short’ would trip the breaker instantly.

As Ray said, disconnect the wire from the breaker and see if the breaker resets. If it does, turn it off, disconnect the outside light and cap the wires, hook up the wire to the breaker again and try it.

Also, evaluate how comfortable you are with what you said you did with the 3-way switch cable. You don’t want those wires damaged either.
Old 10-05-11, 08:55 AM
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thanks guys
Actually i did end up going home after posting the thread (during my lunch) and then decided to simply be sure the outside light switch was off. When i turned it off and then reset the breaker its fine. So yes apparently our outer light shorted out.

for now since we dont use it and the house is still being worked on i just taped over teh switch until we are ready to change the light.

thanks again

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