Author Topic: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?  (Read 3042 times)

Online ChaimMoskowitz

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #45 on: October 10, 2017, 09:12:19 PM »
I have three switches at my front door (front hall, outside, and upstairs lights). All work other than the front hall. Bulbs are good. Is there a problem with:

A. My switch
B. My light fixture
C. My wiring
D. Not enough information
Does one switch control one light?
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Online good sam

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #46 on: October 10, 2017, 10:00:20 PM »
Does one switch control one light?
Not sure what your question is. There are 3 switches, each controlling one light.
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Offline hachover

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #47 on: October 10, 2017, 11:02:41 PM »
I have three switches at my front door (front hall, outside, and upstairs lights). All work other than the front hall. Bulbs are good. Is there a problem with:

A. My switch
B. My light fixture
C. My wiring
D. Not enough information

If it worked before, and recently went bad, its likely the switch or the fixture. Having a tester of some sort would make diagnosing simpler, but you can do it without. Uninstall the switch and swap it with one of the others. If it still doesnt work, it wasnt the switch. To test the fixture, uninstall it enough to access the wires feeding it - depending on the fixture, you might not need to uninstall it all the way to get access. Connect a simple bulb socket to the wires. If it works, then it was your fixture. If thats also not it, then you need to call an electrician.

Obviously dont do any of this if youre not absolutely comfortable with electrical tinkering. As the joke goes, whats black and crispy, and hangs from a chandelier? An amateur electrician.

Even if you are, it makes no sense not to go out and buy a $10 tester to make this easier.
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Offline yitrap

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #48 on: October 10, 2017, 11:04:25 PM »
Turn off the fuse before you touch anything

Online good sam

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #49 on: October 11, 2017, 08:52:11 AM »
Thanks guys
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Online ckmk47

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #50 on: October 11, 2017, 09:29:30 AM »
A bathroom. and the outlet outside it, keeps tripping the breaker. This is a new development.
I thought it might be because there is no light 'fixture', just a bulb screwed into a pigtail attached to the wires, so I installed a fixture.  That made no difference.  Within 15 minutes of resetting the breaker, it was tripped again.
Is there anything I can do, or just call an electrician?

Online ChaimMoskowitz

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #51 on: October 11, 2017, 09:40:12 AM »
Not sure what your question is. There are 3 switches, each controlling one light.
Then you will have two wires on the switch.
Poor mans switch tester. Turn off breaker. Take one wire off (doesn't matter which one) and connect to the other wire. You will now have two wires on the same screw on the switch. Turn breaker on and see if light goes on. If it does the switch is bad.

Make sure you have the correct breaker. If not 100% sure don't try this.
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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #52 on: October 11, 2017, 09:53:55 AM »
Then you will have two wires on the switch.
Poor mans switch tester. Turn off breaker. Take one wire off (doesn't matter which one) and connect to the other wire. You will now have two wires on the same screw on the switch. Turn breaker on and see if light goes on. If it does the switch is bad.

Make sure you have the correct breaker. If not 100% sure don't try this.
+1 simplest method for layman to test.

Online good sam

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #53 on: October 11, 2017, 12:23:30 PM »
Maybe one day, with some training, I will be a layman.
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Offline User6669

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #54 on: October 11, 2017, 05:14:55 PM »
A bathroom. and the outlet outside it, keeps tripping the breaker. This is a new development.
I thought it might be because there is no light 'fixture', just a bulb screwed into a pigtail attached to the wires, so I installed a fixture.  That made no difference.  Within 15 minutes of resetting the breaker, it was tripped again.
Is there anything I can do, or just call an electrician?

The wiring might be wrong, or the outlet or socket might be defective. If you feel confident enough, you could try to remove and test, otherwise seek help.
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Offline hachover

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #55 on: October 15, 2017, 08:15:36 PM »
The wiring might be wrong, or the outlet or socket might be defective. If you feel confident enough, you could try to remove and test, otherwise seek help.

Just to add, my guess would be some frayed insulation on the wires in the circuit, causing a short and tripping the breaker.
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Online ckmk47

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #56 on: October 15, 2017, 09:34:11 PM »
My guess is that it's a short.
I'll test each outlet for power after I flip the breaker, but how will I know if it's short?
Will it not work?  I'll also check each light switch.   


I assume I won't find anything, and then I'll call an electrician.  :D   If I actually find something defective, I'll change it.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 09:37:14 PM by ckmk47 »

Offline hachover

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #57 on: Yesterday at 08:55:20 AM »
My guess is that it's a short.
I'll test each outlet for power after I flip the breaker, but how will I know if it's short?
Will it not work?  I'll also check each light switch.   


I assume I won't find anything, and then I'll call an electrician.  :D   If I actually find something defective, I'll change it.

Its not a big leap to guess that its a short, but the key question is what causes the short. If part of a wire is exposed then two pieces could be touching or arcing. The fact that you say it breaks within 15 minutes, but the circuit can be reset, makes me think this is a possibility. The bare wire would not touch anything when all is still, but some minor tremor (like walking on the floor above or on stairs) jostles the wire within the wall and causes the issue.

If this scenario seems likely to you, then you definitely need an electrician. A wire in the wall that has gaps in the insulation is no joke. Depending on the setup, it might be relatively simple to would disconnect the wires and run new ones parallel.

Of course, it could easily be something else. I'm doing my best with your 2 sentence description and I'm not a pro either.
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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #58 on: Yesterday at 10:07:00 AM »
It can also be a worn breaker. Does the breaker trip with no load?
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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #59 on: Yesterday at 11:06:53 AM »

The problem is in the basement bathroom.
Over yomtov we also noticed that the pump (that brings the basement waste water up to the outgoing sewer line) was emitting a smell.
I prioritized getting the plumber over the electrician, to give myself 1 more day to see if I could find the short myself.
As soon as the plumber looked at the pump I realized that it's on the same electrical line that has the short and it had no electricity over yomtov to empty.
But when I flipped the breaker,  it didn't turn on.  We found the short!
The plumber is in the middle of finding out if I need a new pump or he can fix the short/motor on this one.  No electrician needed.


Thanks, all of you, for your ideas and support.