Breaker problem

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  #1  
Old 01-27-16, 12:48 PM
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Breaker problem

Two set of switches connects to the same set of lights. When either switch is turned on it makes a buzzing noise and trips the breaker. I pulled off the switches and found no wires touching, no exposed wires, no grounds touching screws. Other lights and switches connected to this breaker work fine. When I put each switch (faulty ones) in the on position and turn the breaker on, they do not trip the breaker but the lights also don't turn on. These are can lights if that makes a difference. Could it be the fixtures? What is the next step? Nothing is plugged in and I did not put anything on the walls (screws, nails, etc.). These switches control 3 can lights.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-27-16, 12:58 PM
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I assume they used to work?

Turn off the breaker, pull the switches out and give us a picture of each switch.

Do you have a multimeter?

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html
 
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Old 01-27-16, 01:00 PM
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They worked until 2 days ago. Been working for two years since I bought the home. Yes I have a multimeter. I'll try to take some pics right now.
 
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Old 01-27-16, 01:07 PM
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Not sure if this worked. Trying to do it from ipad
 
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Old 01-27-16, 01:10 PM
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I can do it from a different angle if need be.
 
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Old 01-27-16, 01:23 PM
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Attachment 62155

I can do it from a different angle if need be.
 
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Old 01-27-16, 01:52 PM
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Breaker problem

Two set of switches connects to the same set of lights. When either switch is turned on it makes a buzzing noise and trips the breaker. I pulled off the switches and found no wires touching, no exposed wires, no grounds touching screws. Other lights and switches connected to this breaker work fine. When I put each switch (faulty ones) in the on position and turn the breaker on, they do not trip the breaker but the lights also don't turn on. These are can lights if that makes a difference. Could it be the fixtures? What is the next step? Nothing is plugged in and I did not put anything on the walls (screws, nails, etc.). These switches control 3 can lights.Name:  image.jpg
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Size:  29.6 KB
 
  #8  
Old 01-27-16, 02:22 PM
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Did this work before and now does not work? Has there been any recent change?
 
  #9  
Old 01-27-16, 02:34 PM
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Worked for 2 years since I bought the house. Just stopped working two days ago.
 
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Old 01-27-16, 02:34 PM
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I have merged your two threads. Please only one thread per problem.
 
  #11  
Old 01-27-16, 02:37 PM
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My apologies. I realized I posted it in the wrong thread. Newb here
 
  #12  
Old 01-27-16, 03:06 PM
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Those look like 4-way switches....are there other switches that control the same lights?
 
  #13  
Old 01-27-16, 03:09 PM
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Actually there is one other switch that controls only two of those three can lights but not a forth. It's weird.
 
  #14  
Old 01-27-16, 03:44 PM
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Is that a bare wire connected to a dark screw?
 
  #15  
Old 01-27-16, 06:52 PM
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No. There is a black wire and a red wire. Both connected to dark screws. I haven't moved any wires around since it worked a few days ago.
 
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Old 01-27-16, 07:04 PM
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But is one of the wires to each switch bare (meaning no insulation)? I missed that before.

If one of the wires is bare, then those are 3 way switches, which makes more sense. But it doesn't make any sense that you have two switches that control all three lights and another switch that controls two of the same lights.

Can you explain exactly how all combinations of the three switch positions worked before?

And I'd start by moving those backstabbed connection to the side terminals, and screwing all the screws in tight.

You said you examined all the wiring in the switch boxes, but how about at the lights? Do you have access via attic or whatever to the back end of the fixtures? If not, there are a couple of screws you can remove inside the cans that will let you remove the "can" part of the cans and access the wiring box so you can look for problems there. You take the screws out and then you can lift the can and move it to the side so you can access the junction box.
 
  #17  
Old 01-27-16, 07:57 PM
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I haven't closely followed this thread but first step in troubleshooting would be to move all wires to their corresponding screws as suggested by CT. (, CT.) Backstabs are notorious for bad connection and a bad connection can buzz. Test after doing that.

When I put each switch (faulty ones) in the on position and turn the breaker on, they do not trip the breaker
A 3-way does not have an "on" position. What do you mean by that.
 
  #18  
Old 01-28-16, 03:07 PM
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i moved the back stabbed connections on all switches today and it started working again. Thanks guys! Very appreciative.
 
  #19  
Old 01-28-16, 05:27 PM
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Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
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