Need to check for short in outside lighting


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Old 07-21-14, 06:03 PM
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Need to check for short in outside lighting

Today they finished installing our new Photo-Voltaic system. Now we are just waiting for the electric company to come out and install the bi-directional meter.

When the contractor's electrician was leaving he said - oh by the way you have a short somewhere along that wall. The outside wall runs about 70 feet or so and has tophat light fixtures every 10 feet or so. We don't ever use the lighting, the lights do work but they are off, no breakers are thrown. There has been a TON of rain lately.

We have another electrician who is excellent but we live in the boonies and when we ask him to come out I try and have lots for him to do when he gets here. I have a yellow digital meter which I have used once.

Anybody willing to teach a man to fish ?
 
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Old 07-21-14, 06:39 PM
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If the lights don't trip the breaker you don't have a short. Do the lights work without tripping a breaker?
 
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Old 07-21-14, 06:47 PM
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Do you have aluminum or steel siding on the house? My point is, without some explanation from the contractor's electrician you have no clue where to start. If you have either aluminum or steel siding the electrician may have felt a shock or detected voltage on the siding. It is possible to energize metallic siding and not trip a breaker.
 

Last edited by CasualJoe; 07-21-14 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 07-22-14, 04:51 AM
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The lights work without throwing any breaker (just tried). Some of them seem to light more slowly than others - but that may just be the bulbs.

We have a chain linked fence on top of the wall, topped with a strand of razor wire. The wall/fence are covered with bougainvillea. The contractor's electrician laid new conduit on the top of the stone wall (at the base of the chain linked fence). He said he felt a shock at one point.
 
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Old 07-22-14, 06:35 AM
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He said he felt a shock at one point
That is not a short. Yes, a problem but not a short. Use a multimeter to check between the fence and bare metal on one or more lights. Be careful not to touch the light or the fence when testing.
 
 

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