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exiledgator 01-26-2011 10:17 AM

New wiring / old wiring / tripping breaker
Hi again,

3-way switch guy here. :blush:

I am refinishing part of our basement and I'm re-wiring all the 1955 wiring that I have access to before I rock the ceiling closed.

There are a few outlets in a 1st floor bedroom that were run in parellel in the basement (floor joists). This basement wiring went through and powered an old ceramic pull-cord light. I've removed the light/JB and ran new, continuous 14-2.

These three outlets are powered from above (wire coming down into jb from 2nd floor). "Outlet one" had the power coming down from above, and then another wire going down to the basement to power other outlets. Everything worked fine as far as I knew, i.e., the circuit had never tripped.

I finished my re-wire/installation and about an hour later the circuit tripped. :(Assuming my work had caused this, I went directly to "Outlet one" to diagnose. The two wires going to "Outlet 2" and Outlet 3" showed no resistance (not shorted), but there is ~340 ohms of resistance on the old wire coming down from above. :confused1: If I take my two new wires off the circuit and wire only the old feed onto the outlet, the breaker does not trip. :confused1:

What would be causing it to trip now given that I've added no new resistance? Is this a normal amount of resistance? Why did it never trip the breaker before? Can I not run two wires (one to each of the other outlets) from this JB? Does any of this make sense?

Sorry for the novella, and thanks in advance for any help!!

exiledgator 01-26-2011 10:30 AM

I just drew this up if it helps explain.

brric 01-26-2011 10:53 AM

I'm confused. Are 1,2 and three receps or switches? Are the red and black wires hot and neutral? If either 1,2 or three are switches there shoulod not be neutrals connected to them.

exiledgator 01-26-2011 10:55 AM


Originally Posted by brric (Post 578287)
I'm confused. Are 1,2 and three receps or switches? Are the red and black wires hot and neutral? If either 1,2 or three are switches there shoulod not be neutrals connected to them.

Oops. That was meant to clarify, not confuse.

1,2, and 3 are all outlets. I used red for neutral, cause white wouldn't show up too well on white. ;)

EDIT - everything is grounded as well

exiledgator 01-26-2011 04:38 PM

Perhaps I can rephrase my questions:

1.) Is the diagram above an acceptable way to wire these outlets?

2.) Why am I reading resistance (340 ohms) at "outlet one" on the incoming feed wire? Is that the panel?

3.) What could be causing the breaker to trip when it wasn't before?

HouseHelper 01-27-2011 08:43 AM

Check any cable clamps for over-tightening... this can break thru the old insulation and result in a short.

exiledgator 01-27-2011 09:08 AM

Thanks for the reply, HH.

There is no short in the new wiring, and that is what is causing the circuit to trip. When I hook the receptacle up with out attaching the new 14/2 feeding the other receptacles, I have no issue. Is it the way I've wired them?

exiledgator 01-27-2011 04:16 PM

Maybe I'll try phrasing this another way?

Is the diagram below an acceptable way to wire?:

or must I wire them like so?:

I currently have them wired like the upper diagram and the circuit keep tripping.


exiledgator 01-28-2011 10:17 AM

Anyone? Bueller? :(


bob22 01-28-2011 10:31 AM

Both diagrams are essentially the same. If it is tripping, you've a short somewhere.Turn off breaker and check for pinched wires, grounds shorting feeds, etc...To trip the breaker, you have a strong short circuit so you need to fix it or get in an electrician to do so. Assuming you've black (hot/feed wire) to brass screw and whites (neutrals) to silver screws on all outlets?

HouseHelper 01-28-2011 11:02 AM

Does the breaker trip immediately or after a period of time? What else is on this circuit?

exiledgator 01-30-2011 01:25 PM

I just wanted to post a thanks to everyone for their help and also post the solution.

I was getting a short on the old wire (feed) when I put everything (pigtails) back in the jb. The reason it wasn't shorting with the other lines not connected was because I hadn't bent the old line and created the short.

I climbed into attic and ran new line and all is well. (except now I discovered issues in my attic)

Thanks again!!

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