Taping up exposed wires - safe?

Old 05-20-12, 07:26 PM
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Taping up exposed wires - safe?

Hello All,

I am hoping you can help me with an issue I am having... This evening I came in to my room and the instant I turned the lights on I heard the circuit breaker trip... turned the light switch off, flipped the breaker and tried again, same thing happened... repeated once more and saw a spark inside the lightswitch, followed by some smoke and a burning smell.

Took apart the lightswitch the the point that I felt comfortable and noticed there seems to be some singe marks on the Neutral wire, which are obviously not a good sign, but I do not want to go any further until my landlord sends an electrician.

My issue is that my outlets and lights are on the same circuit. I can live without ceiling lights until an electrician comes but would like to use my outlets if I can. I am wondering if I can do either of these: keep the light switch in an off position and turn my breaker back on. Or, can I take the switch out entirely and cover the exposed wires with tape and continue using my outlets?

Are either of those safe and/or advisable options? Or, should I just suck it up and let an electrician deal with it (tomorrow being a public holiday and probably not able to get one here for another day) (I'm sure this is what my landlord would like me to do)

Old 05-20-12, 07:47 PM
Justin Smith's Avatar
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Leave the wiring alone, it's not your property, and is illegal to change unless you're an electrician.
Old 05-20-12, 08:07 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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If the breaker only trips when you turn on the switch, then keep it off (I would put a piece of tape so as not to touch it by accident) and turn the breaker on. If it stays on, then your good for now. Let an electrician fix it since your renting. If it still trips, then keep the breaker off.
Old 05-21-12, 07:51 AM
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Get the landlord out right now (this is a fire hazard, that should get him moving) and leave the breaker off until this is fixed.

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