3-way circuit trips breaker

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by LV Bob, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. LV Bob

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    2
    0
    I have a problem that just surfaced. There is a 3 way switch that controls in-ceiling can lights. (Also on the breaker circuit but not controlled by switches are wall four outlets). The two light switches are both 3-way dimmers. They were installed last May. This week, the circuit breaker tripped. I could not re-set it so I unplugged everything and through process of elimination found that when I flip one of the light switches, it trips the breaker (the other light switch functions and the breaker doesn't trip as long as the "bad switch" if off). I replaced the 3 way with just a 3-way (not a dimmer) and the problem still exists. Any ideas on why it would do this after 9 months??
     
  2. MVIBoss

    Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    13
    0
    Hello LV Bob,

    If your circuit is wired like the attachment, then you have a short circuit to ground or neutral in either wire #1 or wire #2.

    When SW1 is switched away from the shorted wire, the light works OK.
     
  3. wireaddict

    Senior Member

    Nov 1, 2006
    133
    0
    Pull both switches out of the wall and try it again; it's possible you have a ground wire touching a terminal on the "good" switch which causes a short when the "bad" switch is thrown so as to try to energize the grounded wire. If it's not that it's possible you have a staple or nail through your romex [wiring]. Give that a try then let us know if you still have a problem.
     
  4. LV Bob

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    2
    0
    Pulled both switches and moved wires around then reinstalled. Working now. thanks
     
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