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Old 12-24-2009, 03:08 PM   #1
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Floodlight keeps tripping circuit breaker...


I recently had my house pressure washed and now my floodlight no longer works, and it keeps tripping the circuit breaker. Is this something I can fix on my own or should I call the electrician? It's been over a month so everything has had time to dry/air out. I have taken the bulbs and floodlight assembly off the house for now. Any help or assistance would be greatly appreciated
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
I have taken the bulbs and floodlight assembly off the house for now.
All you have left is the wiring (one cable) in the jbox?


It's probably not the issue.

Could be coincidence that it tripped around the time of the powerwash.
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:27 PM   #3
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jbox?

I thought maybe the water shorted everything out
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:30 PM   #4
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jbox = junction box - where wires are tied together
Could be water was forced in & is shorted out somewhere
Any other junction boxes near the wiring where they could be tied in

Breaker is tripping....or GFCI ?

Do you have another light to try?



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Old 12-24-2009, 10:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
jbox = junction box - where wires are tied together
Could be water was forced in & is shorted out somewhere
Any other junction boxes near the wiring where they could be tied in

Breaker is tripping....or GFCI ?

Do you have another light to try?
My best guess is that water was forced in. I haven't looked too carefully up there since I have very little experience with electrical work.

I purchased a new set of floodlights and wired them up and it did the same thing. Breaker is still tripping with the wires capped off.

What is GFCI? Sorry...my lack of electrical knowledge is really showing. My biggest reason for posting the question here is I'm trying to determine if this is something I can troubleshoot on my own or call the electrician. I'm starting to think the electrician route since I don't seem too knowledged...
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:46 PM   #6
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A GFCI is a specific outlet to protect outside power - usually just outlets
But in some cases lights are protected too
Its the same type outlet that most people have in the bathroom

If its the breaker that is tripping then you have a short
If there is conduit they could have forced enough water in there to fill the conduit & wire could be shorting out



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Old 12-25-2009, 08:30 AM   #7
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Ahhh...gotcha. I now recognize what GFCI is. I have one of those in our master bath and have reset that before.

I don't think it's a GFCI in this instance since none of those are on this circuit. There is a conduit behind the vinyl siding in the attic. So what are the fixes for each of the scenarios you pointed out (i.e. breaker tripping causing a short and conduit having water in it & wire could be shorting out). Is it easy or complicated?
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:44 AM   #8
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You need to trace the conduit back & see where it goes
Hopefully there is a junction biox with a cover you can pull off
Water in conduit can take a long time to dry out



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Old 12-25-2009, 11:00 AM   #9
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Okie doke. Thanks, Dave...and Merry Christmas!!!
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Old 12-26-2009, 09:38 AM   #10
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I read this twice to make sure I was not missing what I have in mind: "Hank3", you state the "breaker" is tripping, and then you state you understand what a GFCI outlet is, O.K. But is there a chance your breaker is a GFCI breaker, and is tripping from a ground fault? Look at the breaker, compare it to other single pole breakers near it, does it look different? Does it appear to have a "reset" button on the breaker? IF SO, then it is a GFCI breaker and is doing it's job. You will still need to find the problem. IF it is not a GFCI breaker, then, as stated, you may have had water pushed into conduit. IMO--I would call back the people who pressure washed your home, explain that you did not have this problem before you had the pressure washing done, and listen to what they have to say about their responsibilities with this problem. After turning OFF the breaker for the lights, you may need to remove all of the lights for a few days to allow all of them to dry out more. Good Luck, David
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