Tripping AFCI Breaker

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  #1  
Old 03-25-16, 09:49 PM
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Tripping AFCI Breaker

I remodeled my bedroom to the studs and rewired the room. I have a can light on a 15 amp AFCI. There are also 4 plugins, one being a GFCI, with nothing plugged in. When I turned the breaker on, it tripped. I have tried different switches, unplugged the can light, unwired the plugins from the circuit and ran a new wire from the switch that controls the can light. I had only the can light on the circuit and the breaker tripped when I flipped the switch. I have gotten to the troubleshooting point of wiring the switch directly to the breaker but it still trips when the switch is flipped.

I am in Montana and am very comfortable with electrical work but very frustrated at this point.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 10:27 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

When dealing with arc fault breakers..... the neutral wire cannot touch ground. If you have a meter...... with the lighting circuit disconnected from the panel..... check from white to ground. There should be no continuity measured.

With newer NM-b cable the jacket and insulation is much thinner then in the past. A staple squishing the insulation can also cause an issue.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 07:04 AM
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Zero continuity measured with digital tester. The lighted switch is lit when breaker is turned on but breaker trips when switch is flipped. Switch is wired direct to the breaker.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 07:21 AM
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How is the switch wired direct to the breaker? Is it the lighted one?
 
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Old 03-26-16, 08:13 AM
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I have removed all switches and receptacles from the circuit. The switch is wired directly to the wire coming from the breaker, white to white, black to black, ground to ground, no light in the middle. I have wired two other AFCI breakers that are working fine on other circuits.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 08:17 AM
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Some lighted switches use ground for the light. If yours does.... that's a problem.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 08:21 AM
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Normally switches are not connected to the neutral wire. I suspect the lighted switch is your issue.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 08:23 AM
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I disconnected the ground with the same result.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 08:26 AM
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I have tried 3 different switches.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 09:33 AM
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I took the switch and a wire (new wire still coiled) over to the breaker box and wired it directly, bypassing the walls. I tried a lighted and a non-lighted switch and same result, trip. I removed a non AFCI 15 amp breaker from another circuit and wired it to light and non-lighted switch and both switches tripped the breaker.??????????

Breaker Box- Black to the breaker, white to the neutral bar and ground to the ground bar.
Switch- Black to screw, white to screw (both screws same color), ground to green screw.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 09:37 AM
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Switch- Black to screw, white to screw (both screws same color), ground to green screw.
Which creates a dead short and will cause any breaker to trip. That is not how a switch is wired. The whites are wire nutted together and the blacks only connected to the switch.

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  #12  
Old 03-26-16, 10:03 AM
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WOW! I sure feel like an idiot. Wiring 101. Why did this not click before. Problem solved. THANK YOU!
 
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Old 03-26-16, 10:16 AM
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All of us here have had our light bulb moments, maybe not that one but one for sure.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 11:22 AM
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I remodeled my bedroom to the studs and rewired the room. I have a can light on a 15 amp AFCI. There are also 4 plugins, one being a GFCI, with nothing plugged in.
Just curious, but why would you want a GFCI receptacle in a bedroom?
 
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Old 03-26-16, 12:21 PM
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Switch- Black to screw, white to screw (both screws same color), ground to green screw.
You are also referring to a 3 way switch (has 3 terminal screws and the ground screw) You should only need a single pole switch as shown in Ray's picture.
 
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Old 03-26-16, 12:50 PM
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This did not click until Ray2047 shared the pic. I wasn't thinking neutral=white. Thanks.
 
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