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Old 06-07-2010, 06:32 PM  
DeanM
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This is what I did:

I tested the wires going into the switch for the GFI outlet. It was live. First I tested black with black and red with white and there was electricity. Then for some reason I decided to test red with black and black with white. This tripped the breaker. I saw a brief spark and it burned the tester metal part...I thought I can touch either wires with the red and black on the tester. Why did this happen?

My wife saw this and she wouldn't allow me to continue the test for the next switch which is for the lights. I gotta test it tonight after she sleeps.. But before I do, I need to know why this happened today. I should always touch the hot(black) wire with the black wire on the tester?

I traced the wire from the main electric box outside and about 4 feet away, this wire has been cut and it has no voltage on it... What do I do now? On the post itself, the wire is not exposed. I could only see a bolt where the wire ends at the top of the lamp post.

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Old 06-08-2010, 03:18 PM  
kok328
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The leads on your voltmeter are black and red. Red is for the hot and black is for ground/neutral. It shouldn't matter which lead you use to test with when working with A/C current. However, on a DC circuit, it will read negative if you don't use the correct leads for the correct wire. Did you have your meter set to DC? Most likely, you bumped into something with your test leads to cause the short.
Anyway, if the lamp post wires lead out and have no voltage, they must have been previously disconnected. Trace them back into the box to verify and/or perform a proper termination on them inside the panel.


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Old 06-11-2010, 03:54 PM  
DeanM
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I checked the wires leading into the light switch and there was no electricity. Then I shut off the breaker and removed the light fixtures. Then turned on the breaker and checked the wires in there and there is electricity. So I changed the bulbs on the light fixture and installed it back on and the light is on all the time now. I cannot switch it on and off with the switch. Should I replace the switch?

Thanks so much.
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:00 PM  
DeanM
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I look at it deeply and found that one of the wires connected to the switch is touching the electrical metal box. When I move the electrical box I see blue sparks right at the contact point of the wire and the electrical box. It appears that when they are touching, the lights are always on. When they are not touching the switch is controlling the lights. Perhaps I should rewire the switch so that the wire is not touching anything but the terminal screws?

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Old 06-12-2010, 04:39 AM  
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Perhaps.


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