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Username Post: Need advice on household wiring problem        (Topic#347982)
Charlie57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3088
Charlie57
Loc: Lebanon, Tennessee
Reg: 03-30-08
10-31-17 08:33 AM - Post#2712802    

So far you guys have come through every time. I have made a big problem for myself and not really sure where to start.
Every time I turn on the light switch it blows the breaker. Last year I added a room upstairs so I know two things could have happened. One, I know I have a junction box in the ceiling going to the light box, maybe the wires came loose? Secondly, It is always a possibility a nail or screw hit the wire. The switch was fine for a few months after the project and just recently started shorting out.
In my photo you can see the light switch on the wall and the fixture location in the roof. The junction box is somewhere in the ceiling. I added a room upstairs so it is 100 percent not accessible from there.
What should I do to fix this?
Thanks in advance,
Charlie
[image]Untitled by Charlie Shew, on Flickr[/image]

"Charlie's 57 Chevy" I made it's very own FaceBook page please visit and "Like"
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Charlies-1957-C hevy/214078481937849


 




100 CHEVY 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 6208
100 CHEVY
Loc: Helena,Missippi,U.S.A.
Reg: 12-09-04
10-31-17 03:58 PM - Post#2712868    
    In response to Charlie57

To start,it's against the code to make a junction box inaccessible---Now you know why!
I would turn off the power and check the connections you can access.
Then,get a vom and test the wiring for shorts to the other wires with all switches and connections open or un-wired and seperated from one another.
If the problem ends up being in the hidden j-box,it's up to you to fix it however you think is possible.
Good luck!
Mike.

"You gonna leave it like that?
http://www.picturetrail.com/100chevy


 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 10862
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
11-02-17 01:24 PM - Post#2713074    
    In response to Charlie57

I suspect the junction box isn't the problem. I suspect that the romex between the switch and ceiling light has a nail in it from the upstairs subfloor. Carpenters have a tendency to miss the ceiling joists with their nailguns. As mentioned, take it loose from both ends and check for a short from hot to neutral or ground. You may have to cut some holes in the sheetrock to pull another cable.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
100 CHEVY 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 6208
100 CHEVY
Loc: Helena,Missippi,U.S.A.
Reg: 12-09-04
11-02-17 03:18 PM - Post#2713084    
    In response to acardon

I had a phone line get "nailed" in the subfloor of a very expensive custom home a few years ago.
The owners wanted me to cover the cost of repair.I told them they need to go after the carpenters.
That line still doesn't work!
Mike.

"You gonna leave it like that?
http://www.picturetrail.com/100chevy


 
Charlie57 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3088
Charlie57
Loc: Lebanon, Tennessee
Reg: 03-30-08
11-05-17 01:43 PM - Post#2713344    
    In response to 100 CHEVY

I had sometime to work on this today, while I am pretty sure I'll be making a few holes in the wall I do have another question. First, because all the hot, white, wires are tied together in the box I am assuming that the hot is not the problem wire. Second, on the switch I have two black wires on the ON side of the switch. One I am sure goes to the light fixture but where would the other one go? I am not aware of any thing not working. Any guesses?
You can see in this photo the two cables coming into the box at the top right, both of the black wires are running to the same light switch.
Untitled by Charlie Shew, on Flickr

"Charlie's 57 Chevy" I made it's very own FaceBook page please visit and "Like"
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Charlies-1957-C hevy/214078481937849


 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 10862
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
11-05-17 02:03 PM - Post#2713346    
    In response to Charlie57

Many times a wall outlet or half of a wall outlet will be wired to a light switch, for a table lamp.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
100 CHEVY 
Dedicated Enthusiast
Posts: 6208
100 CHEVY
Loc: Helena,Missippi,U.S.A.
Reg: 12-09-04
11-05-17 04:22 PM - Post#2713365    
    In response to Charlie57

White should be the neutral connection.Everything white(neutral) in the box appear to be connected correctly.
One of the cables(romex) is most likely power.the other cable may go directly to the light fixture.If so,the switch is connected correctly also,as it switches power from one cable and goes to the light on the other cable using the black wires.
There should be a bundle of bare copper ground wires in the box also.
I assuming a lot by just looking at the picture though.
Mike.

"You gonna leave it like that?
http://www.picturetrail.com/100chevy


 
WagonMan 
"7th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1613
WagonMan
Age: 69
Loc: Las Vegas, NV
Reg: 10-26-04
11-06-17 05:27 PM - Post#2713503    
    In response to 100 CHEVY

Can't tell by the pic, but make sure the ground wires to the switches do not touch either of the switched black wire screw terminals when everything is assembled. I would give it a try with power with everything pulled out just to see if that might be it.

Charles

57 210 4dr. Wagon(bought '82)
-350/700r4 Mild Custom
56 BA 4dr. ht.(bought '98)
-265/TH350 Mostly Stock
29 Ford Sedan(bought '75)
-4.3L/TH350(in progress)


 
hilandr451 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3782
hilandr451
Age: 55
Loc: Anna Texas
Reg: 01-02-02
11-08-17 02:34 PM - Post#2713689    
    In response to WagonMan

Have you checked all your outlets (top and bottom) to make sure they all have power?

If you find that one side of an outlet isn't working, pull the wall plate off and look in that box for any wires touching each other or ground. I'm not sure why there is a junction box in the ceiling - that isn't regular practice for residential wiring, but I don't suspect it has anything to do with your problem. Shorts don't just "happen" in j-boxes unless somebody recently messed with it or there is a lot of vibration, drastic temp changes or moisture associated with it.

By the description of the outage, it does sound like it could be a shiner (nail or screw). Some times they take a while to make a short if they didn't go directly into the conductors. It could also be a romex staple hammered in too far. That is a common problem as well.

As they said, label and disconnect all wires to the switch in the switch box and in the light box, cap off the power wire for the switch then use an ohm meter between the white and black wires and black wires to ground to see if there is a short.

If you find something, you know which wire to replace. However if that wire goes through that j-box, you're hosed. The only thing you can do would be to take down ceiling sheet rock until you locate it, then flip it over so you can have access to it from the ceiling.

Happy hunting and whatever the outcome, please keep us posted!

-The Hilander.
A crystal red 2015 Impala Limited LTZ 3.6L sunroof
"Rattle can primer red" 1966 C20 Custom Camper 5.7L, 700 4R trans 410 diff. front disc, p/s
Project Pics


 




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