Can't Find Breaker


Old 04-24-12, 09:07 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Can't Find Breaker

The ceiling lights in my kitchen are not on any of the circuits in my circuit breaker box. The light switch work fine, but I can't find which circuit breaker services them. When I turn off the main power, the lights turn off. When I turn off each of the breakers, the lights never turn off. I even REMOVED each of the breakers one at a time to try to isolate the circuit, thinking that maybe the circuit breaker was bad, but to no avail. How can a circuit be "full time hot"? By the way, I looked at the panel, and don't see anything amiss. All of the black wires coming into the box seem to be connected through one of the circuit breakers. I don't see anything that looks like a wire is on the hot side of a circuit breaker.
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Old 04-24-12, 09:15 PM
SeaOn's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 351
Turn off the main, and all breakers again and check back with us.
Old 04-24-12, 09:22 PM
ray2047's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,065
It could be a subpanel but if you are sure there is no subpanel it could be two branch circuits accidentally cross connected.In that case two breakers would have to be off to kill the light. To test shut off each 15 and 20 amp beaker one at a time. Do not turn them back on after you turn them off. Keep turning off breakers till the light goes out. Mark that breaker and leave it off. Now turn on the previously turned off breakers till the light goes on. Mark that breaker. Now you need to identify every load on those to breakers and start looking for cross connections.
Old 04-24-12, 09:32 PM
SeaOn's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 351
Do not turn them back on after you turn them off.
Exactly!!!!!!!!!! I would turn off everything first (as ray said, do not turn them back on—check to see if the light when out), just to make sure something fishy hasn’t been done, then move forward as ray directed. Note: I’ve seen a house where the next door neighbor had is house hooked to his neighbors..LOL!! Never know. Also, if the main lugs are tapped to feed another non-service rated panel the light will stay on. I’ve seen main lugs tapped to serve electrical equipment—no protection provided.
Seems ray has moved ahead of me with the correct steps!!

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