no power to circuit, breaker not flipped

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  #1  
Old 09-15-13, 09:37 PM
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no power to circuit, breaker not flipped

I flipped the breaker while I was switching out a broken switch for a new one. When I flipped the breaker back, I had no power to the entire circuit. I tried flipping it a couple times, putting the old switch back on, and crying. None of which helped.

I flipped the breaker off for now for fear of a fire or something, but don't know what to do next. There aren't any big power suckers plugged in, so pretty sure it's not that. Help!
 
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Old 09-15-13, 09:54 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

No crying now

When you replaced the switch.... were there only two insulated wires connected to it or more ?
 
  #3  
Old 09-16-13, 04:54 AM
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There were three wires. I connected them to the same places on the new switch.
 
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Old 09-16-13, 06:37 AM
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What color wires? What color screws. Was there only one cable with two wires (+G) in the switch box with a black and white wire on the switch (+G)? If so the problem can't be in the switch box. Did you open the light junction box?


Tech Info:
There were three wires. I connected them to the same places on the new switch.
Not related to your problem but just for future information position of screws will vary with manufacturer so wires on any switch except a SPST switch such as you have are connected according to purpose of the terminal (screw) on the switch.

Edit: Below Nash has suggested it may be a three way switch. Above was written on the assumption it was SPST switch not a 3-way. If 3-way I must repeat: "position of screws will vary with manufacturer so wires on any switch except a SPST switch [...] are connected according to purpose of the terminal (screw) on the switch.".
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-16-13 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 09-16-13, 07:04 AM
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There were three wires. I connected them to the same places on the new switch.
If there are three insulated wires connected to the broken switch then it was a 3-way switch, most likely. Replacing a 3-way switch requires having a new 3-way switch and moving each connected wire to the same functional location on the new switch (a 3-way switch has one common terminal and two traveler terminals).

Did your switch have three insulated wires connected to it, or two insulated wires and one bare ground wire? If it had three insulated wires connected to it, does one of the wires have green insulation?

Have you made sure to turn the breaker all the way off before turning it on?

If you did, try this: with the breaker off, remove all of the wires from the new switch. Separate them and put a small wire nut on each insulated wire. Turn the breaker back on to see if it will stay on and power up the other loads on that circuit.

[SUP]Note 1: Ray types faster than I do.
Note 2: ECHO, Echo, echo...[/SUP]

Mod Note: See edit to post above. Echo, Echo, Echo
 
  #6  
Old 09-16-13, 06:52 PM
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Thank you for all the help! I ended up having a electrically inclined friend take a look. Turns out, we had to connect the ground wire and the hot wire so that the switch would go on, and send power to the next room.
 
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Old 09-16-13, 07:08 PM
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Thank you for all the help! I ended up having a electrically inclined friend take a look. Turns out, we had to connect the ground wire and the hot wire so that the switch would go on, and send power to the next room.
Sounds like you did something dangerous and unsafe. The connections should be removed immediately. I don't know what is going on but it reads likes the neutral is being used to carry current. That is unsafe and wrong.
 
  #8  
Old 09-16-13, 09:27 PM
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I ended up having a electrically inclined friend take a look. Turns out, we had to connect the ground wire and the hot wire so that the switch would go on, and send power to the next room.
Based on what you've said here, one or more of three things is true:
  • Your friend doesn't know anything at all about electrical systems;
  • You misunderstood what was done, or aren't describing it accurately; or
  • Neither of you cares whether your house burns down or not.
As Ray said,
Originally Posted by ray2047
Sounds like you did something dangerous and unsafe. The connections should be removed immediately.
Once you've done that, buy and read a copy of Wiring Simplified. It's inexpensive, authoritative, accurate and readable. It sound as though, if you read through the relevant sections once or twice, you'll know more about proper wiring methods than your friend ever has.

Good luck. Be safe. Remember that the National Electrical Code is one section of the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) code.

Let us know what you wind up doing to correct it, please.
 
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