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Old 02-18-2010, 12:41 PM   #16
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.



This is my breaker. This is a tandem breaker. Not a double pole. Only ONE is flipping off.

My boxes are plastic and there are no clamps that I have seen yet. The wires so far are threaded through holes in the boards with metal sleeves inserted into them to prevent damage by nails/staples. I already checked for scorching and damages to the insulation on the wires at all the outlets/boxes. Nothing. If it makes any difference I live in a 20+ year old trailer.

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Last edited by Orion Pax; 02-18-2010 at 12:54 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:06 PM   #17
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


"Orrion Pax" Thanks for the photo. My bad guess. Now--with a 20+ year old trailer, is there aluminum or copper wiring? I'm now thinking that you have a "HOT" wire somehow shorted to ground somewhere--that could be dangerous. Did you ever open the motion light box for inspection, and if so what did it look like? We're working on the problem,,, David
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:08 PM   #18
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


The trailer makes a difference. The wire probably go through metal vertical supports. If the protective bushings were left out, the wiring could be cut down through the sheathing.
Is the wiring plastic sheathed or metal sheathed?
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:22 PM   #19
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


The motion sensor made no difference. I removed it and opened it and still flipped the breaker. Copper wires. Plastic sheathed. Not sure what you mean by metal vertical supports or protective bushings but I doubt either was used in my trailers construction.
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:06 PM   #20
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


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Originally Posted by Orion Pax View Post
The motion sensor made no difference. I removed it and opened it and still flipped the breaker. Copper wires. Plastic sheathed. Not sure what you mean by metal vertical supports or protective bushings but I doubt either was used in my trailers construction.
What material is the framing made from? Wood or metal? With metal studs, there are plastic bushings to isolate the Romex(plastic sheathed wire) from the sharp metal edges.
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Old 02-18-2010, 03:26 PM   #21
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


All wood except for the main frame that makes up the base and the metal siding. I said the wires where threaded through the wood studs through holes that has metal sleeves to protect them from nails and what not....
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:32 PM   #22
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


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Ok I removed all outlets and switches starting at the end and worked my way up. As soon as I get to the beginning of the daisy chain it works. I connected the wires at that outlet together with some wire nuts (b+b and w+w) and it still flips so its not a bad outlet. So a wire is fried in my wall some where is my guess. There are still 3 walls that blown wire could be at still. I am thinking its in the one that I was originally thinking where I heard the noise from when the breaker was flipped back on the first time. I need to replace 2 outlets as some of the plastic framing around the plugs them selves have bits broken off and any plugs dont fit snug in them any more so while I am at lowes I will price a wire tracer while I am there. If I can get one cheap enough to justify the cost (at this point any thing cheaper than an electrician and the cost of my house burning down are enough) I will get one. I really dont feel like pulling every sheet of drywall down to do this. I will pull the one I THINK its in down first before I buy one as its the easiest to do. After that if it isnt there then I am getting it. As the rest have most of the electronics and other big items in front of those walls and just too much to move.

Other than a long paragraph does it sound like I'm on the right track?
Have you removed all the wirenuts and opened all the wire connections in the boxes?

Only once in all my working carreer did I encounter a wire failure in mid span! Its more likely to fail where its clamped where it enters the box!
The one time that this occurred, it was from lightning damage!
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:33 PM   #23
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


Ok I cant find a short in that wall. I got the drywall down. A bit unsuccessful as a corner cracked. Easily repaired and repainted. Wire is not damaged in the section I thought it was. Now there is 4 more sections of drywall to go through to find the short. I am really considering getting a wire tracer now. I dont feel like pulling down and putting back up 4 more sections of drywall to find it. Here is what the wall looks like on the inside so you have an idea of how it was built.

Its basically like that in every stud through out the wall so far with the exception of that metal sleeve being more flush with the wood in others and that one stud looks like its damaged on both sides due to the sleeve being forced in. Cracked around it. This section of dry wall leads to a corner to the left. Think it might be in that corner?
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:38 PM   #24
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


Yes I removed all wire nuts and opened all connections and the breaker stays on when the first outlet on the circuit is taken out. If I straight wire it the breaker flips (no outlet, just wires tied together with wire nuts). So the problem is AFTER that box correct? or right at it.....
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:36 PM   #25
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


At this point I'm convinced I would start checking individual wire continuity, either by using a good multi-meter set to the "OHM"/resistance setting, or a simple battery/light "ringing" set-up. A "ringing" set-up can be Googled. I'm with "Wildie" on this. I did find a broken "HOT" wire in a mobile once. These were the older receptacles/switches which had "stabs" built into the back of them and when the back cover of the receptacle/switch was pushed on the wires were penetrated. A bad system IMO. This unit also had wooden framing, but no bushings in the studs. I'm now wondering IF there could possibly be a point where a metal bushing has chafed the wiring and penetrated the outer jacket and insulation of one wire. Nothing's impossible. Please be careful, and keep us posted, David
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:46 PM   #26
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


if all the studs are 2x2 with protective metal bushings thru them it is very possible a miss placed screw/nail has finaly worked its way thru to a short
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:11 PM   #27
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


Well I am a dumbass and cant believe I was this misguided. When I remove the last outlet (which is the first on the circuit, working backwards) the breaker stays on meaning the SHORT is before that outlet. Its between the breaker box and that outlet. So lets start back at the breaker box. What should I look for in the breaker box that would indicate a short either AT or around the breaker box? And give some descriptions of items that I might not know what your talking about as this is my first time working out of the breaker box but I am 100% sure I will be careful in repairng this and fully capable. I just dont know what to look for or what ever.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:39 PM   #28
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


I cant see anything indicating a short in the box. I follow the hot wire till it goes through the floor and nothing. The ground is fine and the white is as well. I dont see any clamps any where in it so I dont know of any thing else to look for. I cant seem to find a ringing setup as you suggested Thurman. Maybe you could provide a google searched link for me as maybe I am spelling it wrong as you have it spelled "ringing" Set-up and looking for that isnt showing up anything that would work.

Worst case scenario I could just replace that line of wire. Would I be able to connect a new wire to the end at my outlet and just pull the old wire out and taking in the new wire with it at the same time?

Oh I forgot to mention all of my outlets seem to be backstabs. I hate em. So I bought 2 new side screw outlets at the same rating as my previous ones. Dont plan on changing them all as I dont plan on living here much longer!

Another EDIT:
This wire is no higher than 1 foot off the floor as it services the outlets to the ground except for the switch at the end and a ceiling fan beyond that switch (switch controls fan). So nails arent possible. Who would be nailing in a nail 1 foot from the floor into the wall?

Last edited by Orion Pax; 02-18-2010 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:56 PM   #29
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion Pax View Post
Well I am a dumbass and cant believe I was this misguided. When I remove the last outlet (which is the first on the circuit, working backwards) the breaker stays on meaning the SHORT is before that outlet. Its between the breaker box and that outlet. So lets start back at the breaker box. What should I look for in the breaker box that would indicate a short either AT or around the breaker box? And give some descriptions of items that I might not know what your talking about as this is my first time working out of the breaker box but I am 100% sure I will be careful in repairng this and fully capable. I just dont know what to look for or what ever.
When I started out, I was taught to wear rubber soled boots and to keep one hand in your pocket while working on a hot electrical panel.
I'm still here, so it must have been good advice!
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:09 PM   #30
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


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Originally Posted by Orion Pax View Post
I cant see anything indicating a short in the box. I follow the hot wire till it goes through the floor and nothing. The ground is fine and the white is as well. I dont see any clamps any where in it so I dont know of any thing else to look for. I cant seem to find a ringing setup as you suggested Thurman. Maybe you could provide a google searched link for me as maybe I am spelling it wrong as you have it spelled "ringing" Set-up and looking for that isnt showing up anything that would work.

Worst case scenario I could just replace that line of wire. Would I be able to connect a new wire to the end at my outlet and just pull the old wire out and taking in the new wire with it at the same time?

Oh I forgot to mention all of my outlets seem to be backstabs. I hate em. So I bought 2 new side screw outlets at the same rating as my previous ones. Dont plan on changing them all as I dont plan on living here much longer!

Another EDIT:
This wire is no higher than 1 foot off the floor as it services the outlets to the ground except for the switch at the end and a ceiling fan beyond that switch (switch controls fan). So nails arent possible. Who would be nailing in a nail 1 foot from the floor into the wall?
With the cable in question disconnected at both ends (including the ground wire), you should now be able to measure the fault with an ohm meter.
The black is obviously crossed to something, so clip onto the black and see if you can measure something to the white or the ground wire.
If you find nothing, then measure from the black to the panel case!

Make absolutely sure that there isn't a hidden outlet that you have over-looked!

By the way, I have never seen cable run through a metal sleeve like this! It must be a local code requirement.
In my area sleeves are not required!

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