Two breaker cables one light fixture?


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Old 04-08-22, 04:34 PM
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Two breaker cables one light fixture?

So I have a light in my basement that has two bulbs. We had to unscrew one bulb because it would not turn off when we flipped the switch. I decided to fix it. After I removed the switches I noticed there are 2 breaker cables from separate breakers wired together and only connected to one of the two switches. I eventually learned that each of the bulbs were operating on its own separate breaker. The ground wires from both cables were cut short and one copper wire was connected to the metal box and the light switch.

So, what the heck? Why are there 2 switches but only one is connected? Can I get a double pole switch and just hook both cables up through that and use one switch? I'm guessing a single pole switch won't work for both lights? I'm normally pretty good at this stuff, but this house is throwing me for a loop?



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Old 04-08-22, 04:40 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I noticed there are 2 breaker cables from separate breakers wired together
If you are sure that two circuit breakers are tied together.... they must be separated.
You cannot ever connect two breakers together.
You must run the light on one circuit breaker with one switch.

Not sure who did that wiring but there are supposed to be clamps to hold the cables in the box.
Cutting the ground wires off was also wrong as the box and the devices need to be grounded.
 
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Old 04-08-22, 05:23 PM
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Thank you, at least I got that far. First thing I did was separate the breaker cables, at least in the light switch box, idk what is going on above the light itself yet.... and yes I am sure they are different breakers, I have to turn off two different breakers before electrical current stops in both cables.
so, what do I do now? Would a double pole switch work? Or do I just connect one breaker cable to a single pole light switch and put screw nuts on the ends of the other and leave it be? How the heck to I fix this?
 
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Old 04-08-22, 05:30 PM
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I would cap off the white and black from one of the circuits and just use the other one.
 
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Old 04-09-22, 11:32 AM
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UPDATE: so, I read the two cables one fixture post, and began thinking this might be my issue. So, I did further investigation. If you look at the pictures below, you will see #1 & #2. These are the separate breaker cables one breaker in the switch box and the other in the fixture box. In both the switch and the fixture box there is one dead cable, regardless of if either breaker is on or off. Is this still a switch loop if there are two breakers being used. I suppose that might be the definition?


 
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Old 04-09-22, 11:47 AM
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Ok... starting to make more sense now. You have one circuit at the switch box and one at the light.
Cap the circuit off at the switchbox. There was probably a switch and receptacle there at one time.

Identify the live cable at the light.
Connect the live black wire to the switch white wire.
Connect the black wire coming back from the switch to your light.
White from the live cable to the light white wire.
This is what you are working with...............

You should tape the white wire a different color so that it's not confused as a neutral in the future. I like to use red or blue as a standout color. You can use a marker, tape or nail polish even.
 
 

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