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sonicdrft

07:24PM | 02/02/07
Member Since: 01/07/07
4 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
ok heres the deal...i know very little about electric in houses so please bare with me...

now the problem....

as u can see the problem takes place in the garage...now the breaker is somehow linked to the house cause in the basement at the main breaker it has a switch to turn the whole garage out...now the garage didnt have lights on the ceiling when we moved in but has outlets on the roof...so we got some temporary regular light bulb sockets to plug into the outlets and we would just turn the lights out at the breaker...and on the breaker it would be the second switch down......so everything was fine for about 3-4 months...then one night we went to turn the breaker off and when we did it tripped the top one and the second...so i looked up how to reset it..i went out there and held it to the left for a few seconds and it reset it...so it was fine for a little while then now when u turn the second switch the lights sometimes go out but then come back on after a while...and then sometimes when u turn the switch the lights only dim...but also when u turn the top along with the second all lights go out ...but the problem is that the first switch turns the outside lights out...so yeah if u can understand that....also when u look at the breakers the first and second one has a screw that goes in between that?...so yeah if u need any more info let me know and all help is appreciated...and please keep in mind in new to this part....thanx

Billhart

03:49AM | 02/03/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1916 lifetime posts
I really can't tell, but from the fact that there is a screw connecting the handles of 2 breakers make me think that this is a multi-wire circuit.

That is one where there are two hots that share a common neutral. If wired correctly the neutral only sees the difference in current between them.

This can be very confusing to people that are not familar with them and you should get a professional to work on it.

Also only approved breaker ties are to be used. And when used both breakers are suppose to work as one. And the screw is not approved tie.

You should not be using one without the other. So have him wire a proper switch for the garage also.

Also some of the symptoms sound like the breaker might be broken/loose or have a loose connection.

TimBonham

09:53PM | 02/06/07
Member Since: 01/09/07
197 lifetime posts
Circuit breakers are NOT designed to be used as switches to turn lights on and off every day. Using them that way is likely to wear them out much faster than normal. That is quite possibly what has happened here, and you may need to replace the breaker to fix it. (But it sounds like there may be other complications in this wiring, too.)

Then have a switch installed in the garage to control these lights. It's a real simple job -- just 1 piece of wire from the ceiling light down to a switch in a box by the door.
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