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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New construction here (modular), I installed 3 track lights on 3 different pre-installed boxes in our living room, all of them switched on the same switch. The circuit to these lights also feed 3 exterior lights. Today was the first time that I've ever switched the breaker "off" to install the track lights.

After installing them I tried to switch the GFCI breaker back to "on" but it doesn't stay in the"on" position, it just goes to the middle reset position. After pulling it to "off" position and trying "on" again, it does the same thing.

The breaker has been "on" and we've used the exterior lights a few times with no problems, and it didn't rain today so I don't think moisture was a problem. I'm thinking maybe I installed the track lights wrong, but I paid close attention during install and it was very straight forward. Since the switch for the track lights and exterior lights is in the "off" position when I try to turn the breaker "on", shouldn't even faulty wiring for the track lights not be preventing the GFCI from turning "on"? Shouldn't it trip only when I switch the lights "on"? Does this mean the problem may be a faulty GFCI breaker?

Thanks for any guidance you can provide!
 

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Sure sounds like a faulty breaker. They do go bad. If it's an older breaker it could have failed a long time ago. This is why they recommend testing once a month and newer GFCI's self test regularly and lock open when there is a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
My mistake, AFCI breaker, I attached an image.

If both light switches are off, even with faulty wiring, it shouldn't prevent the breaker from staying "on" correct? When the switches are switched "on", that's when the breaker would trip or am I wrong on this?

Edit: can't figure out how to post an image with my ipad
 

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Yep, the first thing to do is start removing loads (especially ones recently added). Inspect the loads, be sure that the hots and neutral go only back to the breaker and not touch any other circuit. Make sure the neutral (and hot for that matter) doesn't touch ground anywhere.
 

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My mistake, AFCI breaker, I attached an image.

If both light switches are off, even with faulty wiring, it shouldn't prevent the breaker from staying "on" correct? When the switches are switched "on", that's when the breaker would trip or am I wrong on this?

Edit: can't figure out how to post an image with my ipad
If the fault is downstream of the switches the circuit should stay on.
 

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Without the switch on there would be no current flowing on the neutral. The fault would still need to be upstream if the gfi is tripping.
 

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@flyingron you're assuming that with the lamp switch off, the switched-hot line is totally isolated. That's only true if you remove the bulbs! With the bulbs in, switched-hot is connected to neutral via the bulbs.

@JimPort it could be current flowing on the other circuit.
 

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I would hope it has been fixed in the last 4+ years

Sent from my moto g power using Tapatalk
 
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AFCIs work by “listening” to the power line for any signs of an arcing happening.

Regardless of whether a switch is on or off, an AFCI "listens" on the whole circuit (both black and white wiring).

Something is wrong, either on the wiring, or at the connections.

If you remove the fixtures, in the reverse order you installed them, the tripping should stop at some point. Then you can begin re-installing one at a time, and trying the breaker after each fixture is connected.

It is possible there is a problem at the switch, or in the wiring, as well.
 

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Thanks RJ, I just saw the post prior to mine was new, not that is was to a zombie post.
 

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Yeah my mistake too, sorry folks.

@flyingron please check dates on posts and be careful not to "necro" old threads... it is super unproductive on a forum/BBS/chatroom site. If you want to add new and original content to older work, try diy.stackexchange.com where that is accepted/encouraged due to the Q&A format.
 
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