Backfeed, or something else?

Old 12-02-20, 05:57 AM
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Backfeed, or something else?

I need to turn the breaker off for lights in my kitchen. I know from having a contractor work there about 16 months ago that one breaker controls the kitchen lights. However, I've turned off every breaker and the lights don't turn off. My contractor suggested that some of the other work that was done (lightswitch and outlet replacements mostly) may be causing a backfeed that keeps the breaker powered even when it's turned off. He suggested turning the controlling breaker off and then turning the other breakers off until the lights went out. So I did. But the controlling breaker in tandem with every other breaker never turned the lights off.

So I'm wondering if it is a backfeed at all. Any theories as to what is happening and what I may do to fix it? I neither want to waste electricity nor create a hazard in my house.
Old 12-02-20, 06:15 AM
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Turn off all of the breakers. If lights still on turn off the main breaker. If lights then go off you likely have a stuck breaker.
Old 12-02-20, 07:05 AM
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A rigorous set of tests, flipping breakers one at a time and seeing which receptacles and lights went dead or stayed alive, should not take much more than an hour and not consume more than a few cents worth of electricity.

You won't need to go that far.

Did you say you flipped off all the breakers down the sides of the panel and the kitchen light still did not go off? Do you have another breaker panel in the house (not that unusual)?
Old 12-02-20, 09:46 AM
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I agree, start with turning all the breakers off - then turn them on one at a time to see which one (or two) turns on the lights. If turning off all the breakers doesn't turn them off - you either have another breaker box as mentioned, or a much different issue.

It often happens in a box with a few light switches. The person doing the work assumes the hots are all the same and ties them together - not realizing that it's actually two separate circuits. That's where I would start with troubleshooting... well, after figuring out which breakers actually control them.

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