Caused A Short At Dimmer Switch - Now Lights Won't Turn On - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 10-18-2011, 11:30 AM   #1
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Caused a short at dimmer switch - now lights won't turn on

I'm finishing my basement and previously wired a 3-way switch that has been working fine. I went back to the switch to look at the wiring as a reference for another circuit I'm running and accidentally touched one of the poles with my screwdriver, and POW! - nice big spark. --yes, I know I should have turned off the power-- .

The 15amp circuit starts with a 3-way dimmer, then runs to a 3-way non-dimmer, then to 6 can-lights (running 60 watt bulbs).

To try and locate the problem, I've already done the following..

1) Checked the circuit breaker/panel. The CB didn't trip, but I re-set it for good measure anyway.

2) Checked both switches for power, and BOTH have current running to them, and current IS alternating between poles based on the position of the on/off switches. Obviously the circuit breaker/panel aren't the problem. This would also lead me to believe that the first switch (which I shorted with the screwdriver) is still functioning, and there doesn't seem to be a problem with the second switch.

3) I haven't yet checked to see if current is making it to the first can light (it was really late), but I did open the fixtures gang box and the wiring appears intact - I'm using plug nuts which obviously don't disconnect easily.

4) I plugged the bulb from the first can-light in the run to another fixture to test it and it's working fine.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.


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Old 10-18-2011, 12:08 PM   #2
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I would suspect you fried the dimmer switch.


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Old 10-18-2011, 12:23 PM   #3
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I am thinking the same thing get new dimmer.

The dimmer is allready toasted.

The dimmer can NOT handle the shortcircuit they will get damaged real quick.

The answer will be based on NEC ( National Electrical code ) or CEC ( Cananda Electrical code ) or ECF ( Electrique Code France )
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
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I was thinking the same thing. Shorting a circuit on the load side of a dimmer switch will fry it every time
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:27 PM   #5
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Sounds like we are all agree, fried dimmer.
"The problem isn't that Hillary Clinton lies. We all know she lies. The problem is that her supporters don't seem to care"
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