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Old 11-05-2011, 02:53 PM   #1
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circuit breaker is in reverse

Not being an electrician I may not be using the correct terminology. My question is: In trying to fix a lightbulb switch problem I went to the circuit breaker box and tested each breaker. The way I tested it is with my tester place one wire on the breaker wire and the other on a neutral place within the box. All worked fine except one. That is to say, it appeared not to work until I switched the actual breaker to off. And then my tester light turned on. Obviously this can't be normal, is it? Like most other breaker switches in the box there is only one wire going from inside the wall to the switch box.
Any suggestions as to what I should do about this, if it is not normal?
Thank you


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Old 11-05-2011, 03:04 PM   #2
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To reset a breaker you must turn it all the way off, and then back on again. Turn the breaker all the way off, then turn it back on again. Test from the wire exiting the breaker to the neutral bus bar located in the panel. There should never be any power on a breaker wire that is turned off. Never.


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Old 11-05-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
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In circuit breaker panels with two rows of circuit breakers, "ON" for the row on the left will be one direction. "ON" for the row on the right will be the other direction.

If you look closely, there might be a 1 and 0 (on and off), or it may say ON and OFF. Or 1/ON and 0/OFF.
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:18 AM   #4
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It will be little easier if you tell us what brand name breaker it is some very old one or non standard it will show differnt format vs. of modern one.

I will suggest to take a closer look at one breaker which you test it and not in normal fashon so do as J.V. and Billy Bob mention both gave you a direct answer and for the breaker if malfunction it should Jamais ( Never ) have power on when the breaker handle is in off postion.

But once we know which brand name breaker then we can able give you the instruction on how to R&R { remove and replace } the breaker there is few differnt ways to do it depending on the model itself.

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 11-06-2011, 12:39 PM   #5
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Could be he is picking up the other side of a 220 appliance but is missing the breaker tie bar
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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reverse breaker problem

Thank you all with all your help. The problem is at my parent's home and it deals with the apartment they are renting above it. I have one day left to fix it, if the tenant shows up, then i'll try to see n do what u all suggest. Assuming I may not be able to (due to lack of time) I will have to take a look at it when I return in April--so for now, once again, thanks for all your help. You have been great and I truly appreciate your help and advice.


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