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Thread: breaker off but lights are still on

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    11

    breaker off but lights are still on

    i have a customer who said his breaker tripped but his lights are still on. he moved the wire to a different breaker and it did the same thing. he said when he pulled the wire from the breaker the lights did go out. could the neutral bar be hot?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    New England
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    10,430

    Re: breaker off but lights are still on

    Huh? :confused: :confused:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    17,166

    Re: breaker off but lights are still on

    Perhaps the customer did not explain the circumstances very clearly to you, but your explanation is certainly not clear. I would ask a number of questions of this customer:
    </font>
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">How did this situation first make itself known to you? What I mean is, if the lights did not go out, how did you become aware that a breaker had tripped?</font>
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"></font>
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Was there any work done recently on the home wiring? This includes new breakers, new circuits, moving circuits to different breakers, adding lights or receptacles, or replacing anything.</font>
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"></font>
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">When you say that you moved this circuit to another breaker, how did you dot that? Was there a spare breaker, or did you swap the wires on two breakers?</font>
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"></font>
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I presume (or I hope) that as you moved the wire to a different breaker, the breaker was turned off. Then, when you turned the breaker on, did it trip right away?</font>
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"></font>
    • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Were the lights off when the wire was disconnected, and did they come back on when you snapped the breaker back in (i.e., before you even turned on the breaker)?</font>
    <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">That is just off the top of my head. I'd have a bunch of other questions.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    TAMPA FLORIDA
    Posts
    4,576

    Re: breaker off but lights are still on

    I will need 6 more beers before i even try to figure this one out,back in 30 minutes
    Tampa Florida

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    N.C.
    Posts
    15,224

    Re: breaker off but lights are still on

    Wait a minute, this is 8/15/05 not 4/01/05.

    I agree with Jim on the beers, but I think the customer may have already had 6 or 24.

    Roger
    Moderator

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    17,166

    Re: breaker off but lights are still on

    I think the customer is a "DIY." You know, "Destroy It Yourself."

    Tell you what: I'll buy youse guys a couple beers, and youse guys buy me a couple "Makers Mark on the Rocks," and we'll be ready to solve all of this customer's problems.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2014 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    TAMPA FLORIDA
    Posts
    4,576

    Re: breaker off but lights are still on

    Only way it could happen the way he told it is to have a shorted breaker.If removing the wire from an off breaker kills the light the breaker is shorted.Tell customer to put the bottle down and try again in the morning,hick!
    Tampa Florida

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    N.C.
    Posts
    15,224

    Re: breaker off but lights are still on

    Charlie, [quote]Originally posted by charlie b:
    [b] I think the customer is a "DIY." You know, "Destroy It Yourself."

    Roger
    Moderator

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO NEC: 2014
    Posts
    15,474

    Re: breaker off but lights are still on

    Originally posted by dferrara:
    i have a customer who said his breaker tripped but his lights are still on. he moved the wire to a different breaker and it did the same thing. he said when he pulled the wire from the breaker the lights did go out. could the neutral bar be hot?
    Could the breaker have...er...broken in the "closed" position?

    Or is the light on a different circuit?

    I need beer.

  10. #10

    Re: breaker off but lights are still on

    I think your customers lights are on, but no one is home. Gee, I wonder what will happen if I do this? If all else fails, call an electrician. If you are the electrician, proceed with caution an amateur may have set a trap for you.
    Where ever you go... there you are

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