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Old 10-22-2011, 10:39 PM   #1
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HELP! Major problems installing a new light fixture


I installed a new light fixture to a 3-way switch (1 dimmer and 1 on/off switch) and the dimmer blew when I first tried to turn it on. So, I replaced the dimmer and the new light fixture worked for about a day until the new dimmer blew. I decided to replace the dimmer with an on/off switch. I installed the new on/off switch and the breaker trips every time I try to turn it on. I tested the volts in each wire of the switch I've been replacing, and I'm getting 120 volts from the red wire and zero from the both black wires. Any idea what is going on?

Is it possible that the new light fixture is not compatible with the receptacle? It's a 75watt, 120volt, 60Hz AC 4-bulb light.

Would it work to just eliminate one of the 3-way switches so there is just 1 on/off switch? If so, how do I do that?

The photos show the wiring for the switch I've been replacing (single switch) and the other switch (doubled with another switch to a different light; the switch I'm referencing is the one on the left).

I would really appreciate any advice!
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HELP! Major problems installing a new light fixture-singleswitch.jpg   HELP! Major problems installing a new light fixture-doubleswitch.jpg  


Last edited by katemeyer; 10-22-2011 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:52 PM   #2
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HELP! Major problems installing a new light fixture


I am too tired to troubleshoot, but your switches are not grounded and that is a violation.

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Old 10-22-2011, 11:11 PM   #3
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HELP! Major problems installing a new light fixture


How many wires at the fixture, and how is it wired?
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:19 PM   #4
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HELP! Major problems installing a new light fixture


On the light fixture there is a clear wire labeled "N" (we assumed neutral), a clear wire labeled "L" (we assumed live/hot), a ground, and another wire with a green stripe. We hooked the N wire to the white, the L wire to the black, the ground to the ground, and taped the end of the green wire and left it unconnected (because there was no other wire to connect it to).
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:14 AM   #5
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HELP! Major problems installing a new light fixture


I will assume you did not change any wiring in the switch at the box with the 2 switches. At the single switch the black from the 2 wire cable (the one on the right) goes to the common of the switch. The black and red from the 3 wire cable go on the other 2 terminals (travelers) of the switch. Make sure you identify the common of the switch, do not assume because of the position on the old switch. Different manufacturers lay them out differently. Usually the common screw is colored black.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:13 AM   #6
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HELP! Major problems installing a new light fixture


Quote:
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I am too tired to troubleshoot, but your switches are not grounded and that is a violation.
What happens if there are no ground screws on the switches, I know I still see new switches without ground screws.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:07 AM   #7
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HELP! Major problems installing a new light fixture


If there are no ground screws on the switch you need to get grounded switches.
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Old 10-23-2011, 12:06 PM   #8
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One more difference between our codes and the NEC.
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:46 PM   #9
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HELP! Major problems installing a new light fixture


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I will assume you did not change any wiring in the switch at the box with the 2 switches. At the single switch the black from the 2 wire cable (the one on the right) goes to the common of the switch. The black and red from the 3 wire cable go on the other 2 terminals (travelers) of the switch. Make sure you identify the common of the switch, do not assume because of the position on the old switch. Different manufacturers lay them out differently. Usually the common screw is colored black.
I wired it the way you said and it tripped the breaker when I turned it on.
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:30 AM   #10
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HELP! Major problems installing a new light fixture


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I wired it the way you said and it tripped the breaker when I turned it on.
Then something is wrong at the fixture. Describe the fixture wiring and show us a picture. Might be as simple as crosssed wires when you connected the fisture to the box.

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