10:10AM | 09/24/07
Member Since: 09/23/07
4 lifetime posts
My parents basements lights were wired into an existing knob wiring system when they moved in. I thought it would be safer to get rid of all knob and tube, and replace with new lighting. I just spend the entire weekend wiring and installing 8 recessed light fixtures. When I attached them to the 15amp circuit on the electrical panel, the lights tripped the circuit breaker. It did it all the time, and at one point they stayed on for a while, but when I went to turn on and off the light switch, the breaker tripped. What could be causing this? Do I have too many light?


04:52PM | 09/24/07
Member Since: 01/09/07
198 lifetime posts
Do I have too many light?

Very unlikely. You would have to have 3-4 60W light bulbs in every one of those 8 lights to trip the breaker, and that would be so bright you could get a sun tan in that basement.

Most likely you have made a mistake in wiring these, and have a short circuit somewhere in the wiring.

If the breaker stays on until you move the on-off switch, the problem is probably in the wiring for the switch.

Otherwise, to find the problem, the quickest way is to disconnect half the lights, and try it again. If it still trips the breaker, the problem is in that half. If not, it's in the other half of the lights. Then disconnect half of that half, and try again. Eventually you should be able to isolate just where the wiring problem is located.


10:04AM | 09/25/07
Member Since: 09/23/07
4 lifetime posts
I found one of the wires between the last and second last light had no coninuity. I replaced the wire with new one, and once i did that, the light worked for a minute, until i turned off the light switch. Once the light switch went to the off position, the breaker triped. I haven't been able to get it work since, it trips every time. At one point the last light fixture even melted some of the wire. I didn't think I was overloading the circuit (its a 15 amp circuit with 14-2 wire)

Please help


12:12PM | 09/25/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
Are you SURE that you are turning the switch OFF.

If you have switch leg wiring and misswire the switch then it will blow a breaker when the switch is turned ON.

I see why too many problems here.

What kind of wire did you use?

How was it run? Step by step starting at the source and how is the switch wired and each light?

Did you use a sheathed electrical cable (assuming that you used sheathed electrical cable) connector at each box. The connector is clamp or bushing that keeps the cable and wire from being cut by the edges on the hole in metal boxes.

How did you make the wire connections.

I suggest that you get a book on basic home wiring at a home horror store or go the library.


07:07AM | 09/26/07
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
Check at each point that you have cable clamps to make sure things aren't too tight. If you tighten a clamp too much, it will cut into the insulation and cause a breaker to trip.
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