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Old 10-16-2011, 06:55 PM   #1
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


I'm trying to trace a very frustrating problem. Does it seem normal that a circuit breaker would only trip when a switch is wired in?
I'm wiring a shower light in a bathroom. There is just the line and load connected to a single pole switch. I got everything hooked up and turned on the breaker and it tripped. I tried connecting the line and load directly and the light stays on without tripping the breaker.
I've tried two different switches. The circuit isn't overloaded. There's not a water issue because the shower isn't hooked up yet.
There has to be short somewhere, but why wouldn't it trip anytime the circuit is completed?
Thanks


Last edited by Upstater; 10-16-2011 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


Take a picture of this---If the light works when the wires are nutted together but blows when a switch is installed then we simply don't have all the facts.

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Old 10-16-2011, 07:12 PM   #3
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


I can post pics tomorrow. I'm not living there currently.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:17 PM   #4
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


Good---I'm sure the answer will come with the picture----Mike---
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:25 PM   #5
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


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I'm wiring a shower light in a bathroom. There is just the line and load connected to a single pole switch.
Where is the power fed, to the switch box or to the fan box?
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:43 PM   #6
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


This is just a little 50watt in shower can light.
The fan is on a completely separate circuit.
The power comes in at the switch.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:43 PM   #7
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


Dead short, due to improper wiring the circuit.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:20 PM   #8
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


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Originally Posted by Upstater View Post
This is just a little 50watt in shower can light.
The fan is on a completely separate circuit.
The power comes in at the switch.
It doesn't matter that it is a 50 watt light, the circuit is either 15 or 20 amps.
So, you have power coming into the switch box on a black and white wire. This black wire is connected to the switch. You have a cable going from the switch box to the light that also has a black and white wire. This black is connected to the other screw on the switch and the two white wires are wire nutted together.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:43 PM   #9
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


Quote:
Originally Posted by Upstater View Post
There is just the line and load connected to a single pole switch. I got everything hooked up and turned on the breaker and it tripped.
Well, since several posters are asking us to use our crystal balls tonight , mine says this is a switch loop, and he has the fixture wired all black-to-black and white-to-white.
Dead short when the switch is turned on.

If not then something is simply wired wrong. Since we do not know what wires exist in what boxes it is all a guessing game.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


sounds like you have the switched wired wrong
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:00 PM   #11
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Well, since several posters are asking us to use our crystal balls tonight , mine says this is a switch loop, and he has the fixture wired all black-to-black and white-to-white.
Mine says the same thing....
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:35 AM   #12
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


am I the only one still using analog?
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Old 10-17-2011, 10:53 PM   #13
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circuit breaker trips only when switch is wired in


had a similar problem once. I rough wired some fixtures and ran power to the light fixture box first and then just wires to the switch and the guy doing the fixtures came in a day I was not around and did not know what he was doing and connected white to black and ground to ground in the box and then connected the switch and when the switch was turned on it would trip the breaker. because it shorted the wires out in the fixture box instead of turning the light on. Some people just don't understand even when you put black tape on the white to indicate the wires are just used for switching.

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