Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-13-2008, 08:54 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Unhappy

wiring issue- HELP


I was installing some exterior lights on my house. One particular light has a photo cell (it comes at night and shuts off at dawn). However there is no switch to turn it on or off. I was in the process of replacing it and thought the power was off; two wires touched and sparked. Since i did not know waht circuit the light was one (and since it stays off during the day) I had no idea whether it was on of off. Here's the issue: Apparently, the light is on the same circuit as an electrical receptacle and now neither works. After the wires sparked, I checked the circuit panel and saw that no circuit breaker has tripped! Did I somehow "short circuit" the light and the recepacle? The there were four wires connected to the original: a black (connected to 2 black from the house). a white (connected to 2 white from the house), a ground wire connected to the box, and a fourth wire which was connected to the box as well. This fourth wire and one the black wires touchedand caused the spark. I was running out of dayllight, so I capped off the wires (two white wires together, only one black wire because the second wire broke and I am unable to strip enough insluation) andthe "mystery" wire. Also, the house was constructed in 1971 and so most of the wiring is aluminum.How can I fix this? The light is outside my bedroom and now I have no power on one side of the room!! Please help

kyle d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2008, 09:43 PM   #2
DIY'r
 
ScottR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hicksville, NY (Yes, it's an actual town).
Posts: 520
Rewards Points: 0
Default

wiring issue- HELP


Quote:
Apparently, the light is on the same circuit as an electrical receptacle and now neither works. After the wires sparked, I checked the circuit panel and saw that no circuit breaker has tripped!
The breaker may not have tripped if it's faulty or if you only touched the wires verrry briefly. But: some breakers don't trip too obviously. What I mean is that the breaker switch may be just a hair away from the "ON" position when it's tripped. Check all of 'em. If you push each one towards "ON", it shouldn't move at all. If you get a little movement, flip it "OFF" then back on.

Quote:
and a fourth wire which was connected to the box as well. [..] I was running out of dayllight, so I capped off the wires (two white wires together, only one black wire because the second wire broke and I am unable to strip enough insluation) andthe "mystery" wire.
One of the two black wires (the one that sparked) comes from your circuit breaker panel, and the other wire probably goes to the receptacle that's no longer working. You'd need to re-strip it and wire nut it back together with the other black. If you don't have enough play in the wire in the box, you'd need to try to pull more through from the box to the wall. If you see a clamp with a screw holding the wires to the back of the box, loosen the screw and gently try to bring some more of the cable through. Let me know what you see in the box if not a clamp.

If the fourth "mystery wire" is connected to the box similarly to the ground wire, then it's a ground as well.. Maybe not originally, but it is now .

There's a lot of "be careful"s associated with aluminum wire and you discovered one of them -- very brittle and easy to snap off the ends of conductors. When you're folding them into the box, watch that you don't make too tight a bend (or wiggle them around) or they can snap inside the insulation and you'll never notice.. except for the electrical problems..

ScottR is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wiring diagram for three-way switches with pilot light SaxTeacher Electrical 34 09-15-2013 07:53 AM
Cable issue or wiring issue? Duchey Electrical 57 12-15-2008 01:34 PM
Century Home Wiring Issue fradam1976 Electrical 14 05-07-2008 01:53 AM
Replacing wiring in middle of run, ungrounded lighting circuit alexz Electrical 3 07-05-2007 08:53 PM
Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be? hotdiggitydog Electrical 6 04-11-2006 07:52 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.