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jastangl

09:57AM | 06/11/09
Member Since: 06/10/09
1 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I recently had my ceiling repaired in my kitchen and ran into trouble putting the lights back on myself. There are two ceiling lights both controlled by two switches on each side of the kitchen. One light had 2 wires plus ground coming out of the ceiling and was no problem to connect.

The other light-box had three sets of wires coming out plus the set that went to the light fixture. I wire-nutted all the whites together and all the blacks together and the grounds together.

When turning the power back on at the breaker, the lights were on. When I flipped one of the switches, it went off and tripped the breaker. (I shouldn't have done this but) I then flipped the breaker and fried the breaker and the light box in the ceiling smoked. Since then, I've replaced the breaker.

Now, I looked here: http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/courses/p230/switches/3way/variations.html and believe I'm working with the 4th picture.

With the breaker off, I've ohmed out the 3 sets of wires, two maxed, one is 1ohm. I'm believing the 1ohm goes to the other light fixture. My plan is to nut the 1ohm set to the new fixture and nut the other two whites and other two blacks together. This should work right?

Before doing that though, I made sure none of the wires were touching and flipped the breaker to make sure it was working (dining lights are on that and not connected to the same switches). When I flipped the breaker, it popped right away.

So, two issues:

Is my wiring plan correct?

2nd, what's tripping the breaker? Did I melt the wires in the ceiling or the switches? Should I get an electrician?

Thanks,

Jared.

househelper

05:53AM | 06/17/09
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
Do you have more than one switch controlling these lights? If not, then the link you posted does not apply.

One of the sets of wires in the ceiling box is a switch loop... it carries a constant hot to the switch (white) and a switched hot back to the light (black). If you can determine which black is the constant hot from the breaker and which set goes to the other light, then the other set is the switch loop. Remark that white with a marker or black tape. Connect it to the constant hot (from the breaker). Connect its corresponding black to the blacks for the light fixtures. The remaining whites all get connected together.
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