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dogger

04:07PM | 09/19/05
Member Since: 07/05/05
16 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
Tonight I installed a new light fixture on my porch. I shut off the breaker switch and turned it back on when I was done connecting the wires. Turned out one of my wires wasn't connected fully so when I hit the breaker to turn it back on, it didn't work. I made the fix to tighten the wires, hooked everything back up. Yes, white to white, black to black and ground into the screw. Then I hit the breaker again and it wouldn't work. In fact in the breaker there was a spark. Have I blown a fuse? What should I do? Thanks.


househelper

07:50AM | 09/20/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
Sounds like the breaker is tripping due to a direct short.

Are there any other wires in the box with the fixture? If so, what color and how were they attached before? Will it work if you put the old fixture back up?


dogger

05:10AM | 09/21/05
Member Since: 07/05/05
16 lifetime posts
I haven't tried to put the old fixture back up. I don't want to cause a 'bigger problem' than I already have, but it's a pretty simple connection, so maybe I'll give that a shot tonight. There is another wire that's on the fixture itself - copper. But, when I removed the old fixture, there was a copper (ground, I assume) wire coming from the wall, and it was attached to a screw on the mounting plate. The copper wire on the old fixture was not attached to anything. Therefore, when I attached the new fixture, it had the same set up and I just left it's copper wire unattached (actually, i just wrapped it up around the black and white wires, to keep it kinda out of the way.

househelper

05:54AM | 09/21/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
It's possible that the copper wire you wrapped around the black and white is touching the bare wire inside the wirenut of the black wire. Remove the fixture from the wall, support it somehow so you can leave it connected, unwrap the wire, restore power, and see if everything works. If so, then you have a short occuring when all the wires are pushed into the box.

If it still doesn't work, try the old fixture. You may have a defective new fixture.

dogger

06:16AM | 09/21/05
Member Since: 07/05/05
16 lifetime posts
thanks, househelper. i'll give that a shot tonight, and see how it goes. i assume i won't be doing any damage, do you think?

dogger

07:07AM | 09/21/05
Member Since: 07/05/05
16 lifetime posts
do you think if that's the problem - the copper hitting the black, that if i put electrical tape around the copper wire then that would be ok? thanks.

househelper

07:32AM | 09/21/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
The copper wire should be attached to the copper wire from the wall. If you use electrical tape, put it around the wire nut and wire on the black. Be sure to wrap in a clockwise direction.

dogger

07:58AM | 09/21/05
Member Since: 07/05/05
16 lifetime posts
when i was disconnecting the original fixture, the copper wire from the wall was screwed down under a screw on the housing that's attached to the wall, and the copper wire from the fixture itself wasn't attached to anything.

therefore i was just trying to follow the same set up.

i can, however, attach the copper wire from the house to the copper wire from the fixture.

househelper

09:27AM | 09/21/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
One other thing to look for is a pinched black wire, caught between the mounting bracket and the fixture. Evidence would include flat spot, exposed wire, possible burn marks.

dogger

07:44AM | 09/22/05
Member Since: 07/05/05
16 lifetime posts
i did a better job of hooking up the black on black, and also hooked the 2 copper wires together, and it works.....

only problem is the black wire from the wall is really short - part of it broke off - so i could only use elect. tape to hook it to the fixture. seems to be working just fine, now. do you see a problem with this approach? thanks.
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