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Old 05-13-2008, 11:23 PM   #1
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noob wireing question


so the wife and i decided to add some lights to our living room. we were limited to a plug in lamp so we decided on 2 recessed lights. unfortunately, unless i missed something because im tired or what not, something is not correct. there was an open breaker (20 amp) in the box so i used that. ran 12/2 to the switch. the switch has 3 screws. 2 on one side and the green ground. i wired the black into one of the screws and left the green alone. i then ran a wire from the switch (12/2) to the first recessed light. at the switch i connected the other black to the other screw and twisted and capped the whited to each other. i did the same for the bares. at the light i matched all 3. i then ran a wire from that light to the next. i matched the 3 wires in the second light as well and finally went back to the first light and matched those. i believe i wired them in parallel.

the bulbs blew when i turned on the breaker so i shut it off and called it a night. so what did i do wrong? thank you in advance for any help and your time...

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Old 05-14-2008, 02:02 AM   #2
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noob wireing question


It sounds like you have it wired properly. I'd test the source to see if you are feeding 120v instead of 220v. It sounds like you are feeding 220v. I'd check your breaker.

If you wired it wrong, you'd either get no light or you might get sparks and the breaker would trip.

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Old 05-14-2008, 02:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by shame302 View Post
so the wife and i decided to add some lights to our living room. we were limited to a plug in lamp so we decided on 2 recessed lights. unfortunately, unless i missed something because im tired or what not, something is not correct. there was an open breaker (20 amp) in the box so i used that. ran 12/2 to the switch. the switch has 3 screws. 2 on one side and the green ground. i wired the black into one of the screws and left the green alone. i then ran a wire from the switch (12/2) to the first recessed light. at the switch i connected the other black to the other screw and twisted and capped the whited to each other. i did the same for the bares. at the light i matched all 3. i then ran a wire from that light to the next. i matched the 3 wires in the second light as well and finally went back to the first light and matched those. i believe i wired them in parallel.

the bulbs blew when i turned on the breaker so i shut it off and called it a night. so what did i do wrong? thank you in advance for any help and your time...
It does sound like you have 220v going to the light. Does the 20 amp breaker have more than one screw on it (double pole) ?Where did you hook the white wire in your panel?
Also you should pigtail the bare wire (ground) to the green screw on your switch.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:11 PM   #4
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noob wireing question


thank you for the replies...so the 20 amp breaker looks to be a double pole. it has a white and a black going to it. its the same width as 2 of the smaller breakers with one throw switch if you get what i mean. i thought 220 had to have the big wire, like my kitchen range? looking at the others, the small single breakers have one black wire going to them and the whites and grounds going somewhere into the strips on the back.

well, if this is the case how should i attack that thing? appreciate it. im working on pics but for the life of me cant find the cord for my camera.....
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:21 PM   #5
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meh, your probably right but now i i at least have to know whats going on there. ive already left a message with an electrician friend of mine. sounds like all he really needs to do is swap out the breakers.

in my own defense though...im a quick study of thing. i generally try to keep my nose out of things that can kill me though.

so im curious, do i have to buy a single 15 amp breaker or can just one side of the 2 pole 20 amp breaker be used, wired in the other config.

do they even make 20 amp single pole breakers?

edit:
on second thought, ill just pick up a 15 amp breaker for him to install tonight. with just 2 lights on it and 2/12 wiring that should be the safer bet i assume. thanks again!

Last edited by shame302; 05-14-2008 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:29 PM   #6
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noob wireing question


You should have the black wire going to the breaker, the white wire going to the terminal strip where all the other white wires attach, and the bare wire where all the other bare wires attach. The breaker should be single pole (only one screw available). Everything else should be correct based on your description.
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Old 05-16-2008, 08:33 PM   #7
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electrician came by and set me up. all works great. thanks again!

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