Strange circuit breaker activity?

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tetixuqe

New User
Location
Waldo
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Hi there;)
I'm dealing with a difficult to locate problem with our 120V landscape lights. My first thought was there was a short somewhere in the run, but there seems to be something additional going on at the circuit breaker or closer to it. The circuit (one bundle of white, black, green) goes from the circuit breaker on the side of the garage to a junction box also on the side of the garage, where it connects to two different bundles, one serving the front landscape lights and the other serving the back. When I disconnect all of the wires at the junction box and turn on the circuit breaker, I get voltage on the black wire from the circuit breaker and not on any other wires (which is correct). But when I hook up the wires from the circuit breaker to either of the bundles in the junction box (i.e., either the front landscape lights or the rear landscape lights), then there is no voltage detected on any of the wires in the junction box, even on the black wire coming from the circuit breaker. The circuit breaker does not trip, but somehow the voltage is gone. If I disconnect the landscape lights wires from the circuit breaker wires again, the voltage comes back on the black wire coming from the circuit breaker, again without resetting the breaker or anything. It's like the circuit breaker is cutting the power on its own without tripping, or perhaps something else that I'm not knowledgable to know. Any ideas? The circuit breaker does seem to work by tripping if i introduce a short on the line (touch the black wire from the circuit breaker to the white wire from the circuit breaker), but I'm just not sure what could cause power to essentially be cut off to a circuit merely by attaching a black wire to any other black wire without a circuit breaker or GFCI being involved.
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
I don't know what type electrical contractor you are but you seem to be in over your head on this. First off, you should never intentionally cause a short by touching the hot/black to the white/neutral. Several other things you should know in checking this. I would suggest you find a qualified electrician to help you with this.
I will close this thread.
 
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