20a circuit breaker tripping.

Old 03-28-14, 12:22 PM
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20a circuit breaker tripping.

I had a beaker that kept tripping on me. I replaced the breaker, still tripping. I started trying to figure out what was tripping the so started disconnecting things to see what was tripping it. Found that by disconnecting the light switch the breaker would no longer trip. Got a new light switch, replaced it, and went to turn the breaker on and blamo...tripped again. Came back in and disconnected the light switch completely, went to turn the breaker back on and blamo, tripped again. I am lost at this point. Its a brand new breaker, a brand new light switch and now im back to square one. Can anyone help?
Old 03-28-14, 12:50 PM
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What does the circuit serve? Did you see a ground or neutral touching a hot?
Old 03-28-14, 01:51 PM
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It sounds like you have a direct short to ground in the switch box. I would kill the power, pull the switch, and look for the residue of an arc flash, then correct that.
Old 03-28-14, 02:42 PM
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Did you install the original switch (and the wiring to it) that caused the tripping or did the switch work before and just recently started tripping the breaker?

You may have installed wiring incorrectly. When you install a wall switch for a light that was originally pull chained, you leave the original white (neutral) connected as-is to the light only. You connect the new switch cable black alone to the light hot terminal. Also at the light box you connect the other wire of the switch cable (if only one other) to the power lead that used to go to the pull chain switch. Both leads of the pull chain should be left unconnected if the pull chain switch is not removed completely.

If you used 3 wire cable going to the switch to satisfy the newest (2011) National Electric Code you leave the white wire unconnected down at the switch box.
Old 03-28-14, 04:50 PM
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It could also be whatever the switch is controlling. Disconnect any light that the switch controls and try it again. When you disconnected the switch the last time a wire might have been touching something it shouldn't have, which tripped the breaker.

Came back in
Is this to a garage?
Old 03-28-14, 05:39 PM
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Could be like one client of mine. Could not understand why his breaker in the kitchen (older house) was tripping. Refrigerator, microwave, window A/C unit , dehumidifier, and small appliances on one circuit.

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