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Old 01-02-2011, 04:34 PM   #1
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Breaker keeps tripping


I have 4 lights in the basement connected to a 3 way switch......2 light switches controlling all 4 lights. I took the first light out so I can put it on another light switch and connected I connected the second light to the switch the same way the first light was connected. Everything was put back in place the way it was before, except we now have 3 lights instead of 4.
They had one power source connected to the lights, outlets, and a separate 3 way switch on the stairs. The black wire from the power source was conected to the black wire for the outlets, and they piggy tailed from both of the 3 way switches with a short piece of black wire. All the white wires are connected together and so are the ground wires.
When I put it all back together the breaker trips when i turn it on. A friend came over and tested the wires.....everything works fine except for the second switch that controls the 3 lights. When the black wire is connected to the power source it trips the breaker. That box wasn't touched so this is very strange. Did my switch go bad??? Any help is appreciated.

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Old 01-02-2011, 05:01 PM   #2
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Breaker keeps tripping


Messing with it, you created a short on the circuit, is why the breaker is tripping.

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Old 01-02-2011, 05:03 PM   #3
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Breaker keeps tripping


how do I fix it
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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Breaker keeps tripping


Pay an electrician to correct the wiring mistake to be safe, since you do not know at this time which change caused it.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:17 PM   #5
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Breaker keeps tripping


Two way switchs are wired differently than normal switchs,
So it is very easy to make a mistake if you dont realise that
it is a two way set up rather than a normal switch arrangement.
Its even more complicated if theres 3 switchs,
as then it involves an intermediate switch.
With out a diagram showing all wires and colors
it is difficult.
Suggest you get an experienced electricain,
especially if its a 3 way switching arrangement.

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Originally Posted by Mrs. Turbo View Post
I have 4 lights in the basement connected to a 3 way switch......2 light switches controlling all 4 lights. I took the first light out so I can put it on another light switch and connected I connected the second light to the switch the same way the first light was connected. Everything was put back in place the way it was before, except we now have 3 lights instead of 4.
They had one power source connected to the lights, outlets, and a separate 3 way switch on the stairs. The black wire from the power source was conected to the black wire for the outlets, and they piggy tailed from both of the 3 way switches with a short piece of black wire. All the white wires are connected together and so are the ground wires.
When I put it all back together the breaker trips when i turn it on. A friend came over and tested the wires.....everything works fine except for the second switch that controls the 3 lights. When the black wire is connected to the power source it trips the breaker. That box wasn't touched so this is very strange. Did my switch go bad??? Any help is appreciated.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:56 PM   #6
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Breaker keeps tripping


I didn't take apart the 3 way switch to remove the light....they are all the same as they were before. The first light was wired directly to the black power source, same as the two 3 way light switches in the first box and the outlets. I did double check the light box that I rewired and the ground wire was out of the plastic cap and laying on the black wires. Could this have shorted my 3 way light switch on the other side of the basement....(the one that was not touched). It is the only thing I can think of that has changed. We did test all the lights and outlets by doing a direct connect to the black power source and they all worked except for the 2nd 3 way light switch on the other side of the basement. It trips the breaker.
We did wire the 3 basement lights to the hall switch so they all work now, but we do want them back on their own switch.
We wired a full bedroom in the basement and the barn 2 years ago and didn't have these problems....they work great. I guess it is less complicated when working with new wires instead of opening a box that someone else put together.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:04 PM   #7
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Breaker keeps tripping


If you have a ground wire touching a hot wire then yes that will cause a short
Usually when that wire (if a traveller) becomes hot...IE when it is turned on

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