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Old 06-04-2011, 06:00 PM   #1
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


Hi all,
I installed my own pendant fixture tonight for the first time and I was very careful to do everything as I'd been instructed. Long story short, I turned the circuit breaker back on and voila! The light worked. Then I went to the wall switch to turn it off and the wall switch is not working! What could be the cause? Could I have mixed up the live and the neutral wires? What could it be?
Thanks,
Gabe

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Old 06-04-2011, 06:06 PM   #2
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


please explain how you have it wired before everyone starts guessing. thanks

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Old 06-04-2011, 06:13 PM   #3
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


I grounded the green ground wire to the grounding screw. The wires coming from the ceiling are old wires with no color-coding, so I took note of which wires white and black were attached to on the old fixture and I matched them. One caveat: The label I made for the wires fell off and I MIGHT have gotten confused on which was which but I'm 99% sure that I attached them the same way as they were on the old fixture.
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:17 PM   #4
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


How many wires in the fixture box? Did you only remove the two wires + ground that were connected tothe fixture or did you disconnect other wires as well? If you only removed the two wires and connected the new fixture to the two wires it has to work the same as before even if you reversed the wires.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:14 PM   #5
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


If it was only two wires and the ground, the groung is obvious. We should assume that the two wires from the light would be black and white since they are not color coded. The one that we will assume is black will connect to one side of the switch. The white one would tie in with the white ones in the box. The black one in the box would go to the other side of the switch.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:33 PM   #6
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


Hi everyone,
Thanks for the suggestions, I figured it out. When I taped up the wires the live must have frayed a little and was touching the mount where the ground was attached, thereby providing constant current. Once I retaped all my connections, everything works well. I thought I was going crazy!
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:38 PM   #7
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


That doesn't sound right. If the hot wire were touching the fixture mount, the breaker should have tripped immediately. The light should not have come on. I can't tell exactly what's going on, but I'm concerned that there may be a problem with this installation - and it could be a very dangerous one.
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:30 AM   #8
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


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Originally Posted by mpoulton View Post
That doesn't sound right. If the hot wire were touching the fixture mount, the breaker should have tripped immediately. The light should not have come on. I can't tell exactly what's going on, but I'm concerned that there may be a problem with this installation - and it could be a very dangerous one.
Agreed. If i were you, i'd take the hot wire out and touch it to the grounded metal box. The breaker should trip Immediately. If it doesn't, it could be a bad breaker or your house isn;t properly grounded. If you replace the breaker and it still doesn't trip, call an electrician, because that is not something you want to leave as is.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:02 AM   #9
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


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Agreed. If i were you, i'd take the hot wire out and touch it to the grounded metal box. The breaker should trip Immediately.
I'm sorry, but this is the stupidest advice I have seen given on a DIY board in a long time!! I am sure my fellow professional electricians will agree.

This is NEVER a safe way to check for power or to identify a breaker, ESPECIALLY for a DIY!!
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:06 AM   #10
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


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I'm sorry, but this is the stupidest advice I have seen given on a DIY board in a long time!! I am sure my fellow professional electricians will agree.

This is NEVER a safe way to check for power or to identify a breaker, ESPECIALLY for a DIY!!
It wasn't to check for power or identify a breaker. It was to make sure it trips when it's supposed to.

How would you check that?
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:09 AM   #11
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


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It wasn't to check for power or identify a breaker. It was to make sure it trips when it's supposed to.

How would you check that?
I wouldn't. That is not a check I need to make.

Turn it on, check for power.
Turn it off, check again.
Done.

Shorting a wire to a box proves NOTHING as to ensuring "it trips when it's supposed to".
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:14 AM   #12
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


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I wouldn't. That is not a check I need to make.

Turn it on, check for power.
Turn it off, check again.
Done.

Shorting a wire to a box proves NOTHING as to ensuring "it trips when it's supposed to".
He said he had a short from hot to ground yet the light was getting constant power. That wouldn't concern you that there's a problem with the breaker or ground?
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:19 AM   #13
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


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He said he had a short from hot to ground yet the light was getting constant power. That wouldn't concern you that there's a problem with the breaker or ground?
HOW in the world would this be a problem with the breaker???

I honestly don't think he knows how he fixed it. A hot wire touching a metallic box, and not tripping the breaker means there is no valid equipment ground, and when the breaker was on the box and all metallic parts were live with voltage.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:37 AM   #14
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


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HOW in the world would this be a problem with the breaker???

I honestly don't think he knows how he fixed it. A hot wire touching a metallic box, and not tripping the breaker means there is no valid equipment ground, and when the breaker was on the box and all metallic parts were live with voltage.
I don;t know, that's more or less what i was asking.
A few weeks ago i replaced a receptacle and must have nicked the hot when i was tightening it. When i turned on the breaker it didn't trip, just alot of sparking.
When i intentionally shorted it, sure enough it didn't trip.
I intentionally shorted a receptacle on a different circuit and it tripped like it's supposed to. So i figured it must be a problem with the breaker? i replaced the breaker and everything worked as it should.

So, is there another way i could have come to this solution without intentionally trying to short it out?

BTW i'm not trying to argue with you here, I'm genuinely curious how a pro would have troubleshot it.

Hell, maybe that wasn't even the problem and i somehow fixed it at the same time as changing the breaker lol.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:47 AM   #15
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HELP! Installed new fixture and switch won't turn it off!


Sounds like the light was and still is wired that the neutral is being broke by the switch.

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