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-   -   Breaker Tripping, help troubleshoot (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/breaker-tripping-help-troubleshoot-195054/)

stradt03 01-29-2014 08:11 AM

Breaker Tripping, help troubleshoot
 
So I have a breaker that keeps tripping. I recently replaced all of my traditional switches with the rockers. Everything worked fine for over a week then I came downstairs last night and the kitchen light wouldn't turn on.

I checked the breaker and it was tripped, I tried to flip it (off to on) and it immediately buzzed and tripped again. I replaced the breaker to see if it might be a bad beaker but the new one does the same thing. I've also looked at all the switches to make sure the ground wire isn't making contact with the hot/neutral screws, all looks good.

What is my next step for troubleshooting this? I'd like to do as much as possible before I call in the professional.

gregzoll 01-29-2014 08:13 AM

It is tripping, because you hooked up either an outlet or switch incorrectly, which is causing a short or over voltage condition, which the later would be two hot legs tied together. Start going back and looking at all of the switches and outlets. Most likely you have a outlet that has an always on side, and switched side, that you forgot to break the tang off on the Black wire side, between the screws.

The rule is that if it worked before someone worked on it, but it does not work now, that is where you start.

oh'mike 01-29-2014 08:15 AM

Do you have all of the new work pulled out of the boxes so you can inspect?

Are the boxes metal and grounded?

Sounds like a dead short---have you looked at all the wire nuts in the boxes? Loose nut---loose wire?

PoleCat 01-29-2014 08:21 AM

Since you replaced only switches the problem is likely to be either one of your connections came loose or a wire was compromised during the installation.

stradt03 01-29-2014 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PoleCat (Post 1298443)
Since you replaced only switches the problem is likely to be either one of your connections came loose or a wire was compromised during the installation.

I'm leaning towards the wire being compromised. When I removed the original switches there was a portion of the insulation that was "scraped" away about 3" from the exposed end of the wire. I've narrowed the issue down to the same box in which I found the missing insulation.

Is wrapping the portion of exposed copper on the wire with electrical tape a safe and sufficient repair?

Jim Port 01-29-2014 08:54 AM

I would use heat shrink tubing over the bad spot.

stradt03 01-29-2014 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Port (Post 1298456)
I would use heat shrink tubing over the bad spot.

I just so happen to have some of that! :thumbsup:

Yoyizit 01-30-2014 04:59 PM

If you can get a 100w/100 ohm resistor or rheostat from a surplus place or Hamfest for a few dollars
and substitute this for the turned off breaker
the voltage across the resistor will tell you how serious the downstream short current is without causing wiring damage.

PM me for the particulars.

Jim Port 01-30-2014 05:08 PM

Quote:

If you can get a 100w/100 ohm resistor or rheostat from a surplus place or Hamfest for a few dollars
and substitute this for the turned off breaker
the voltage across the resistor will tell you how serious the downstream short current is without causing wiring damage.

PM me for the particulars.
The OP already found the compromised insulation. There is no need to find out how serious the problem was. It was tripping the breaker and needed to be fixed.

stradt03 01-30-2014 05:50 PM

Thanks for all the help guys, the insulation was compromised in two spots withing the box. The box is a 4 gang with A LOT of wire in it. Looks like the builder just got a little aggressive when they shoved all the wires back in.

All is well....let there be light!


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