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Old 05-10-2013, 11:38 AM   #1
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fusebox keeps tripping


Hi all,

I recently changed all the socket facias in my kitchen and within days the lights started tripping the fusebox and there is a smell of burning plastic.
I have left the fuse tripped but have no clue what to look for.

Any ideas?

PH

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Old 05-10-2013, 12:36 PM   #2
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fusebox keeps tripping


Patsy....

With the breaker tripping and smell of burning plastic.... LEAVE THAT BREAKER OFF.... just as your doing.

Not sure of your knowledge/comfort level around electrical. Everyone here supports DIY... but you may/probably want a licensed electrician to look at this.

By socket facia's... did you mean receptical and switch cover plates. Did you do anything else. Did you have to move or jiggle excessively any actual receptical. Whre's the burning plastic smell coming from.

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Last edited by MTN REMODEL LLC; 05-10-2013 at 12:37 PM. Reason: clarrity
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:43 PM   #3
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fusebox keeps tripping


Hi
I just changed the socket and switch plates ( I have done this before with no problems).
I did not touch anything in the fusebox except to turn the power off while I was working. The smell seems to be coming from the fuses but the only switch that keeps tripping is the lights, not the sockets.

any ideas?
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:56 PM   #4
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fusebox keeps tripping


I'm not sure what a 'socket facia' is, but I would check all the new work that was done for any discoloration/carbon. It sounds like there is some type of dead short/ground fault in your circuit. You did the correct thing by not turning the breaker back on. Try to find the problem, correct it, and then try the breaker afterwards. Also, when re-energizing the breaker, use your non-dominate hand to throw the switch with your body turned away from the panel- meaning don't watch it. This is known as the left hand rule. I'm not trying to freak you out, but the breaker could explode. Not saying it will, but take proper precautions.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:01 PM   #5
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fusebox keeps tripping


sorry for the facia thing- I meant the socket/outlet face plate. I am currently checking the connections to see if I have missed anything.

Thx for the input.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
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fusebox keeps tripping


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Originally Posted by patsyham44 View Post
Hi
I just changed the socket and switch plates ( I have done this before with no problems).
I did not touch anything in the fusebox except to turn the power off while I was working. The smell seems to be coming from the fuses but the only switch that keeps tripping is the lights, not the sockets.

any ideas?
By socket, do you mean the recepticals sometimes known as the "plug-in-thing"

Did you change the light switch.... were there more than two wires present in the switch box.? Were there more than two wires going to the switch (was it a 3 way switch... turn light on-off from two locations.?)

Did you change the light (ceiling light?) at all.?

And I'm sure (pretty sure?) by fuse, you mean the breaker with the little flip switch to turn on and off the circuit.?
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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fusebox keeps tripping


yes I did change the light switch and yes it is a three-way, yes I meant the plug-in-thing and yes I meant breaker. no I did not touch the ceiling light.
I am currently re-checking all the connections I worked on, no luck so far. I don't understand why there's a burning smell- surely it shouldn't get that hot before it trips?
thx for your time.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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fusebox keeps tripping


Did it trip IMMEDIATELY. I mean in several seconds, or was it slower like 10 seconds or two minutes.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:34 PM   #9
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fusebox keeps tripping


When you pushed your switch (to the light) back in the box, could that bare wire that attaches to your switch (ground wire) have curled up and hit (is touching) either of the screw terminals on the switch???
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:36 PM   #10
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fusebox keeps tripping


it first tripped about 5 days after work finished. it now takes about 15 to 45 mins before it trips
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:41 PM   #11
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fusebox keeps tripping


that was the first thing I checked, the earth leads away from the the other wires and I have checked both switches for exposed wires
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #12
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fusebox keeps tripping


It's somewhat confusing right now.

Few more questions, any idea as to how old your "fuse box" (service main) is.

Does it say Federal Pacific on it, or can you see a name on it. Does it look excesively old and crappy.

Also, think carefully, I know you said it was the light that was affected, and I assumed it was pretty quick tripping. If it takes 15 to 45 minutes to trip, is there some other load going onto the circut. (Load means are you plugging something in, maybe a hair dryer, and it's not the light causing the trip, but some other electrical load, maybe a furnace fan, microwave???.)
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:58 PM   #13
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fusebox keeps tripping


Can't see any logo on the breaker board but don't remember federal pacific . If its an appliance causing the overload wouldn't it trip its own breaker?
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:02 PM   #14
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Can't see any logo on the breaker board but don't remember federal pacific . If its an appliance causing the overload wouldn't it trip its own breaker?
Yes.... but I did not think you were aware of everything (recepticals or even a furnace) that might be on the same circut as your light.... and thus tripping that light circut.... ie the light might just be the symptom, not the cause.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:05 PM   #15
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fusebox keeps tripping


I asked about the condition/age/name of your "fuse box" (service main) as it is a possibility you might have a bad breaker.... if it was a FP (Federal Pacific for instance, I would be very suspect of the breaker.

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