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Old 03-05-2007, 10:05 PM   #1
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Single line-8 fixtures shortage problem-help please!


Hello all, seem to be having a little problem here. Basically I have a 20 AMP circuit which is run to a 20 AMP switch. From there on out it is a run to 8 fixtures each holding 3 bulbs (@ 65 watts/each and 120 volts).

The problem occurs in that when you turn the breaker on all is fine and seems to be working. Then when you flip the switch from 'ON' to 'OFF' it kills the breaker and refuses to turn the lights back on.

According to my math all is fine in that:

(65 watts per bulb * 3 bulbs)/ 120 volt system=1.625 AMPS/fixture.

1.625 AMPS* 8 fixtures=13 total AMPS in the system. In a 20 AMP system I think this shouldn't be a problem.

Is it possible that I may have my positive and negative reversed on the switch?

If anyone could help it would be much appreciated!

Thank you again,
Sven

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Old 03-05-2007, 10:33 PM   #2
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Single line-8 fixtures shortage problem-help please!


you may have to take a look at the switch to make sure there is no short or you have wrong type of switch there

if you have 3 way switch instead of single pole switch sometime it can do a funny trick there

the load you have on the lighting circuit is plenty there but as i speak please do check the connection at the switch [ make sure you turn off the power there ]

and tell me how the switch is hook up so myself or other person here can help you with it


Merci , Marc

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Old 03-05-2007, 10:39 PM   #3
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Single line-8 fixtures shortage problem-help please!


You having an error in your wiring but unless you tell us how you wired the switch and fixtures we wouldnt know exactly how you errored.

There is no such thing as positive and negative in ac house wiring.

If this was a new circuit then you used 12/2 grd for your wiring. I'm going to assume also that you used nm-b cable (romex).

This type cable has a black (hot), white (neutral) and bare (ground).

If you brought power to the switch first, the power black connects to one terminal of the switch. You would then have a nm-b cable going to fixture one. You would connect the black of that cable to the switch. You would connect the power cable white to the white of the cable going to fixture one. Connect all the grounds together and pigtail to the green screw on the switch and if the switch box is metal connect to the box also.
At the first fixture you will have the cable from the switch and the cable going to fixture 2 and the fixture 1 wires. Connect all the blacks together in a wirenut, then connect all the whites together in a wirenut and same with the grounds. Do this to all the fixtures 1-8.
At the panel box black to the breaker... white and ground to the neutral bar if the panel is your main house panel.

Stubbie
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:55 PM   #4
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Single line-8 fixtures shortage problem-help please!


Hello again and thanks so much for all your speedy replies.

Right now it is too late to check if I used the correct switch (I'm 99.9% sure however I used a single pole 20A switch). My apologies I meant neutral not negative. Currently as is I have the white wire (neutral) on the bottom pole (nearest to the ground) and the black (positive) wire running from the top pole-screw. They ARE daisy-wired and all the black wires (Daisy wire from switch, feed line black wire and black wire from fixture) are wire-nutted together.

Next, following suit all the white wires are wirenutted together (Daisy wire from switch (note:BOTTOM POLE), feed line white wire, and lastly fixture white wire).

Lastly, all grounds are wirenutted together (Again, daisy wired from switch, connected with feed line ground and fixture ground). As you explained Stubbie all the rest of my fixtures are wired like this (The same as multiple outlets are wired as well).

My question is could it be that I have my positive and neutral wires on the wrong poles? Could this explain as to why all the fixtures turn on and light up only to then bust the breaker after turning the fixtures off?

Thanks again for everyones generous help,
Sven
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:09 PM   #5
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Single line-8 fixtures shortage problem-help please!


With what you've described in your last post, you need to turn the breaker off and leave it off until we can get this cleared up.

The white wire doesn't get attached to the switch anywhere...bottom...top....nowhere.

i'm going to try to find a picture, but until then...breaker off...PLZ.
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:45 PM   #6
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Single line-8 fixtures shortage problem-help please!


See if this works

Ok, if you click on it it will enlarge. The green conductors in the diagram are the grounds, which are most likely bare copper in real life. As you can see...there are NO white wires on the switch in this configuration. If you were sending power to the light first, for convenience sake, then you would likely use a switch loop, which would have a black wire and a white wire (at least until you re-ID'ed the white to black....right? )

BTW, pay no attention to the gray cable cover...I made them on a white background and wanted to show contrast...most indoor romex is white (14 ga.) or yellow (12 ga.)
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Single line-8 fixtures shortage problem-help please!-switch-diag.jpg  

Last edited by jproffer; 03-05-2007 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:45 AM   #7
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Single line-8 fixtures shortage problem-help please!


Awesome! That's exactly what I was looking for. Haven't tried to fix the problem yet however I believe I made the mistake in wiring the switch like I would wire a outlet (INCORRECT).

I fed the white wire into the top pole instead of wirenutting them together.

In my head this would make sense as it would allow current to flow black to black (positive) then however when the switch is turned off never allow it back through.

I will correct this ASAP and let you know.

Thanks again,
Sven
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:07 PM   #8
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Single line-8 fixtures shortage problem-help please!


Hello all-thanks tremendously for EVERYONE'S help and kindness. Turned out that was my problem, I hadn't lead both black wires into the poles.

Thanks again, I'm sure you'll be hearing more from me over the next few days.

Thanks again!

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