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Old 01-03-2011, 09:03 PM   #1
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Electrical Short - No Power Now


Hello all new to the board and need help with a problem.

Just finished some painting and was putting new switches, plugs and plates up. I noticed when I removed the old light switch the screw was not coming out of the electrical box behind the drywall because thread was partially stripped. So my first question is how can I get the new switch screwed into the box if thread is stripped?

My bigger question which is the more serious issue is that when I tried to force the screw into the box, it slipped and one of the screws on the switch touched he metal box and a short occured and a spark.

Now the light is not working. It is a switch that controls a light but there is also another switch at front of house that controls the same light it is not working either. Other switch in the box for laundry room lights isn't working. Living Room lights don't work, 2 sets of kitchen lights don't work, hood fan and light don't work, TV, cable box and audio receiver don't work. Lots of things do work though like stove fridge, micro, other hall lights, bathroom etc.

A breaker was not thrown at the electrical panel in basement. I turned power off then back on but it did nothing. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated as I know am without lots of lights, TV etc.

Thank you very much.

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Old 01-03-2011, 09:23 PM   #2
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Electrical Short - No Power Now


After doing some reading I think it may be an electrical dead short? Is this right? I'm sure the switch got scorched when it came in contact with the metal box however the breaker did not trip. If I replace the light switch that sparked will that fix the problem? Any help appreciated.

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Old 01-03-2011, 09:28 PM   #3
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Electrical Short - No Power Now


I would suspect the breaker is bad and not resetting. Is this a newer home with newer breakers or an older house with older breakers?

Even new breakers can go bad. I highly doubt the wire itself broke from the short but it could have. But even if this wire did break it typically controls lights and maybe a plug.

Just a suggestion but i would check the breakers again.Pick one up they are only about $7 and swap it out.

Oh and make sure it is the right breaker some may trip but they dont always swing to the other side. I just had this happen last night when i shorted a wire, the breaker was tripped but i didnt notice it untill i really looked at it.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:31 PM   #4
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Electrical Short - No Power Now


The switch could be bad, but if the breaker is not tripped you would have power going to the switch. Have you checked for power at the switch? If power is present just replace the switch.

You can check this with one of the Cheap sniffer tools that checks for line voltage.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:38 PM   #5
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Electrical Short - No Power Now


Turn every breaker off then on again.

Doubt switch is bad, and to do any work on that circuit please check for voltage, you need a meter or circuit tester.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:45 PM   #6
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It's a newer house, 5 years old. Breaker didn't swing to the off position. Haven't checked power at switch, multimeter is at work will check tomorrow.

Breaker could be broken even though it didn't trip and pop to the off position?
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:51 PM   #7
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Electrical Short - No Power Now


Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggyj View Post
It's a newer house, 5 years old. Breaker didn't swing to the off position. Haven't checked power at switch, multimeter is at work will check tomorrow.

Breaker could be broken even though it didn't trip and pop to the off position?
Many times the breaker doesn't go to the off position, some only move slightly toward the off position. The only way to be positive is to cycle each breaker off to on.

If power is not restored I would suspect that a short still exists.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:55 PM   #8
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Thanks Jackofall1... I manually turned each breaker off and low and behold everything is now working. Thanks a million. Seemed breaker was on bur guess it wasn't.

Now how do I get switch screwed into box if thread on box attached to stud is stripped?
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:59 PM   #9
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Electrical Short - No Power Now


You will have to retap the hole, I don't remember the tap size but I think its like a 6 x 32, or get a self tapping screw from the hardware store.

Sometimes a drop of oil on the screw before you put it in will help

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