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Old 09-03-2010, 01:25 AM   #1
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Adding A Light To A Circuit


Hi,
I have managed to re-wired my entire basement, and I am an electronics tech, so I am familiar with electricity. My issue is:

I have managed to reconfigured what was originally installed in my basement. I have source power coming into the last bedroom (everything else in my basement works perfect....all lights and electrical outlets). When i connect the outlets in the bedroom to the source everything works fine. However when I pig-tale from the source (in the bedroom) to add in the light for the room i run into an issue.

As long as the light is in the "On" position it runs perfect. However as soon as I switch it to the off position, I hear a surge and then the breaker trips.

Any help with this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Jason Coady
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:17 AM   #2
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Adding A Light To A Circuit


Need details on how you wired the switch.

Is this related to the OP about adding a receptacle to a 3 way switch?
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:27 AM   #3
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Adding A Light To A Circuit


My guess is that you will have to give a bit more detail. Questions that jump out at me are:

a. what devices (switches, outlets, fixtures) do you have on this circuit?

b. how do you know the switch is in the "on" position?

c. how is your switch wired?

Did you run a wire (2 conductor, plus ground) from an outlet to the switch, then a wire from the switch to the light? Are you sure you have polarities correct? White is neutral, black is hot? At the switch box, the switch should have two black wires attached. Whites should be tied together. All grounds should be tied together. Is this how you have it?
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:28 AM   #4
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Adding A Light To A Circuit


So hopefully what I am going to explain helps give a visual of how the circuit is laid out.

There is 14/2 coming into the top of the box which is my source.
There is 14/2 going out from the bottom of the box to the outlet curcuit.
There is 14/3 coming out of the top going to the light. This is not a 3 way light, however for some reason whomever wired the basement originally used 14/3 to go to all the lights from the switches. They used the black and red as hot wires. The black connects to the light, and the hot red continues to the next component of the circuit (instead of using pig-tales i guess). The red wire from this was previously continued on to one last outlet.

Hopefully this helps a little.

Cheers,
Jason
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:53 AM   #5
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Adding A Light To A Circuit


This is the typical result of a mis-wired switch loop. The switch is wired in parallel to the light instead of in series. You are actually turning ON the switch when the breaker trips.

Please describe the wiring connections for this light.
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:22 PM   #6
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Adding A Light To A Circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by Coady View Post
So hopefully what I am going to explain helps give a visual of how the circuit is laid out.

There is 14/2 coming into the top of the box which is my source.
There is 14/2 going out from the bottom of the box to the outlet curcuit.
There is 14/3 coming out of the top going to the light. This is not a 3 way light, however for some reason whomever wired the basement originally used 14/3 to go to all the lights from the switches. They used the black and red as hot wires. The black connects to the light, and the hot red continues to the next component of the circuit (instead of using pig-tales i guess). The red wire from this was previously continued on to one last outlet.

Cheers,
Jason

first of all, outlets (receptacles) should be wired with 12 ga wire on a 20 amp circuit breaker. since you are rewiring, now is the time to correct. use the incoming 14/2 for your light(s) and ignore the red wire in the 14/3 jacket going to the light fixture.
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:35 PM   #7
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Adding A Light To A Circuit


Quote:
Originally Posted by TimPa View Post
first of all, outlets (receptacles) should be wired with 12 ga wire on a 20 amp circuit breaker. since you are rewiring, now is the time to correct..
There is no requirement to only use 20 amp circuits for receptacles, nor is this incorrect. This is a design issue. Using the 20 amp allows greater flexibility and capacity tho.
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:43 PM   #8
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Adding A Light To A Circuit


Sounds like the power is coming in the light box down the red and back on the black. The red most likely feeds the other receptacles. from the switch box. Disconnect all the wires at the switch only and see which has power. Touch it to the black wire going to the light. If the light turns on then the problem is in the wiring of the switch box. If it sparks and trips the breaker, the mis wiring is in the light box
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