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Old 09-04-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
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Voltage Bleed Thru?


I was changing to CFL lights in my ceiling fixture and I noticed that the bulb was flickering (In Off Position). I thought I would change out the light switch to see if that would fix. It did not. I found the breaker that went to the fixture and switched it off and it still flickered. I checked with volt meter and got a reading of 44 volts with breaker off. Could it be a bad breaker switch. This is a 35yr old home. Thanks for any help on this matter.

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Old 09-04-2012, 05:07 PM   #2
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Voltage Bleed Thru?


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Originally Posted by bodeb View Post
I was changing to CFL lights in my ceiling fixture and I noticed that the bulb was flickering (In Off Position). I thought I would change out the light switch to see if that would fix. It did not. I found the breaker that went to the fixture and switched it off and it still flickered. I checked with volt meter and got a reading of 44 volts with breaker off. Could it be a bad breaker switch. This is a 35yr old home. Thanks for any help on this matter.
Is there a dimmer or timer for the cfl?

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Old 09-04-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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Voltage Bleed Thru?


No, just one on off switch
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:31 PM   #4
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Voltage Bleed Thru?


try turning other breaker off, one at a time, see if you can get that breaker to read 0v
It may be tied with another circuit or J box
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:42 PM   #5
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Voltage Bleed Thru?


The home I am working on is 6hrs from here and it will be awhile before I get back to it. If it is tied to another circuit that would be incorrect? It should not be like that should it?
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:00 PM   #6
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The home I am working on is 6hrs from here and it will be awhile before I get back to it. If it is tied to another circuit that would be incorrect? It should not be like that should it?
Correct, it should not be wired like that.
Mistakes happen, and can go unnoticed.
It could be just a neutral thats tied together causing this, but it could also be the hot wire. See if you can locate the 44v on other devices, receptacles, what I'm trying to say, find that circuit first see whats on it. Did you try checking the voltage at the light with the switch on and breaker off?

Then IF another breaker does turn off the 44v see where (if) the two circuits have a common J box, whether its a switch location or J box in basement open it up see if its wired correctly.

This wouldn't happen to be a MWBC (muti-wire branch circuit)?

Just trying to cover bases 6 hrs long drive without ideas

Hoping others chime in with more
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:59 PM   #7
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Voltage Bleed Thru?


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Originally Posted by bodeb View Post
I was changing to CFL lights in my ceiling fixture and I noticed that the bulb was flickering (In Off Position). I thought I would change out the light switch to see if that would fix. It did not. I found the breaker that went to the fixture and switched it off and it still flickered. I checked with volt meter and got a reading of 44 volts with breaker off. Could it be a bad breaker switch. This is a 35yr old home. Thanks for any help on this matter.
This seems to be a common complaint with energy efficient lighting and your wiring may not have a problem at all. Phantom voltage, stray voltage, inductive coupling, these are some terms that are thrown around to describe what happens when you have de-energized cables running close to energized cables. Your lighting circuit could be picking up enough energy to dimly light the CFL even though your switch is off and the wiring is correct.

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