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Old 02-19-2010, 02:24 PM   #31
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


About 15 years ago,I bought a trailer that had a similar problem After searching and tracing the affected circuit,I finally found the devil.It turns out that there was a branch line that went to the smoke detector(120v),then lead to an electric roof ventilator. The previous owner had disconnected the fan ,but did not tape or nut the loose ends. The bare wire hit the duct. I found it buy cutting a hole in one of the bedroom ceilings.This probably isnt Your trouble but I have seen some Wierd stuff in mobile homes

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Old 02-19-2010, 05:39 PM   #32
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


ARGH! There is 2 light switches like 1 foot from the service panel that controls the hallway light and the light outside the backdoor. I already have the cable disconnected from the service panel. The outdoor light hasnt worked in a long time either. The weird thing is that the cable runs down from the service panel but ALL the cables to those switches runs up. Do you think there is a junction box somewhere in the wall to the right of my back door?

If I turn on both switches will I be able to still get a reading on my multimeter?

Last edited by Orion Pax; 02-19-2010 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 02-19-2010, 11:09 PM   #33
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


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ARGH! There is 2 light switches like 1 foot from the service panel that controls the hallway light and the light outside the backdoor. I already have the cable disconnected from the service panel. The outdoor light hasnt worked in a long time either. The weird thing is that the cable runs down from the service panel but ALL the cables to those switches runs up. Do you think there is a junction box somewhere in the wall to the right of my back door?

If I turn on both switches will I be able to still get a reading on my multimeter?
Its hard for us to visualize your situation! Is the service panel on the main floor level or in the basement?
Is there a 3 way switching arrangement there? I have seen situations where one of a pair of 3 way switches was buried in the wall.
You should start opening up and disconnecting everything that is associated with this problem!
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Old 02-20-2010, 05:40 AM   #34
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


Are you sure you have disconnected everything from the circut? I recently had the same problem only to find that the pump in my septic tank was shorted. The Septic pump was piggybacked onto another breaker. What I am saying here, is perhaps there is something else you cant see attached to this circut... ie antenna booster, security lights, etc... Good Luck... electrical problems can be head scratching!
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:35 AM   #35
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion Pax View Post
ARGH! There is 2 light switches like 1 foot from the service panel that controls the hallway light and the light outside the backdoor. I already have the cable disconnected from the service panel. The outdoor light hasnt worked in a long time either. The weird thing is that the cable runs down from the service panel but ALL the cables to those switches runs up. Do you think there is a junction box somewhere in the wall to the right of my back door?

If I turn on both switches will I be able to still get a reading on my multimeter?
You need to find ALL the items on the circuit.
You need to open ALL the boxes.
The issue is in a box or something attached to a box.
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Old 02-20-2010, 03:23 PM   #36
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


I fount another outlet in a bedroom that is being used as storage. They really did a nice job when wiring up my trailer years ago. Just to give you an idea I drew a picture. Now I dont know if the light in the room marked BEDROOM is on that circuit or not. It hasnt worked in a while either as we had a problem with our hot water tank (which is located in that bedroom) and before we knew it we had a sauna in that room so I just removed it and taped up the ends separately. The new outlet I fount works fine when I turn on the breaker. 7 outlets and 3 maybe 4 lights/switches. Notice the weird layout of that circuit (so far).



I am at a lost here. I believe I have fount everything tho. So what should I do now? Disconnect everything? Even tho the items that are still connected work fine? I know that the one outlet in the living room that isnt piggy backed with it disconnected the breaker doesnt flip. So the problem is some where before that outlet correct? Where do I go from here...

That pic only shows the items on that one circuit.
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:46 PM   #37
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


Now that you have disconnected enough to allow the breaker to stay operated, you start working your way back along the daisy chain.
Each time you connect up a box, turn the breaker back on to see if the fault is still on the line!
When the breaker again, trips, you will know where the fault lies!
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Old 02-20-2010, 10:10 PM   #38
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


Well I know that the switches work. Which are first on the circuit. Has to be, they are right next to the service panel. I am almost confident that there is a junction box somewhere in my hallway. For the outlet in that bedroom. That ONE outlet (3 total in that room) is on that same circuit. So I guess I will be pulling down drywall in my hallway.

I allready know the box that trips it. That one in the living room that is not piggy backed. Its somewhere before that box. I just dont know where the junction box is that splits up for the bedroom outlet.
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:26 PM   #39
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


Well I think I fount the problem! I bought that wire tracer and fount a spot that shouldn't be giving a signal! The wire running up from the 2 light switches in the hallway is ran through a metal pipe in the ceiling. The hot wire is touching that pipe some where in the ceiling! So I just have to tear up my ceiling and follow that pipe! Hopefully its just an elbow pipe and not running through the ceiling!
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:21 PM   #40
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


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Originally Posted by Orion Pax View Post
Well I think I fount the problem! I bought that wire tracer and fount a spot that shouldn't be giving a signal! The wire running up from the 2 light switches in the hallway is ran through a metal pipe in the ceiling. The hot wire is touching that pipe some where in the ceiling! So I just have to tear up my ceiling and follow that pipe! Hopefully its just an elbow pipe and not running through the ceiling!
Not sure that I'm following you properly, but that metal pipe could be shielding the trace signal. If that is so, it would be a shame to rip the ceiling down and then find out, that's not the case!
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:01 PM   #41
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


I have the transmitter connected to the hotwire and the ground at the outlet in the living room where the circuit keeps flipping. Then I take the other piece and run it up and down the wall in the hallway and it beeped in 3 spots at the end of my hallway. 2 of those spots I knew about, the light switches and the backdoor porch light. The third one turned out to be some metal piping that the wire is running through. The wire is insulated with plastic. The wire tracer I bought ONLY beeps when it sees BARE wire. Not insulated wire. So when I put it near the pipe, the wand piece (receiver) starts beeping as it is picking up on the pulse that the transmitter is transmitting through the wire. The wire is shorting out on the pipe somewhere. According to the company's tech people (the maker of the wire tracer) I am connecting it properly to trace the hotwire. I could trace the hot and neutral at the same time by connecting the aligator clips to just those 2 wires but it makes more sense to just trace the hot wire as that is what would cause a short right? I dont really plan on living here much longer anyways so a couple of holes wont bother me. I just dont want a fire to happen while I am at work or something.

If it was shielding the signal the receiver would not pick up on it. As if it was insulating it. Which is the point of the device. So a few holes later tomorrow (maybe) we will see what I uncover.

And I fount out with that device that the light switch in that one room is on that same circuit AND the smoke detector in the hallway is on that same line as well! So 7 outlets, 4 lights and 1 smoke detector! And what is the limit again? How does that work?

Last edited by Orion Pax; 03-02-2010 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:06 PM   #42
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


Limit.....where are you located ?
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:16 PM   #43
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Need help with a short somewhere in my wall.


In my area, the limit was 8 receptacles or twelve lights!

Now that you know what is connected to this circuit, you should disconnect the wiring for these additional devices!

The odds of a short circuit occurring in a cable are very small. I'll be very surprised if its a cable fault!

I'm not familiar with your fault tracer, as mine works on a different principal. Usually, the results from these are not totallly precise and should be used in conjunction with other tools and methods!

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