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Faulty light question

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  • Faulty light question

    I need advice. My front lite at end of driveway all of a sudden started to trip my breaker. Theres 3 lites on the breaker.Only when I switch that lite does it trip.The lite switch has 3 switches on it and a timer for the garage lites.
    I took it off the post tonight looked at wires nothing was apart. One bulb was shattered inside (not sure if a surge can do that) So I took it out and turned it on again, same thing happened.
    Could it be the socket where the bulb goes in?
    I have a multimeter tool. Could you tell me what to turn it on to and what to check for and where to check?

    About 2 months ago I turned on one of the lite switches an the lite didint come on (chandelier). I turned it off and then on again and it came on. No probelms since then until now.

    Why might have bulb been blown up? Its enclosed and nothing has hit it.

  • #2
    Re: Faulty light question

    First thing to do is to determine if it is the fixture or the wiring going to it. Pull the fixture back off the post and disconnect it. With the wires seperated and capped, turn the switch on again. If it trips, it is in the wiring going to the fixture, if it holds it is in the fixture itself.

    Jeff

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    • #3
      Re: Faulty light question

      Why the bulb would break I do not know, dust would be my guess, I really doubt if the bulb has anything to do with it.
      I would do as suggested to see if the fixture is faulty or the line, and then continue to trace it down and repair, or remove it from the circuit, until it can be repaired, (dust can cause uneven heating of the glass and break the bulb)

      The other fixture that did not come on and then did was probly in the switch, and it may or may not be wearing out, but for some reason it apparently did not complete the circuit, the time you did not have it come on. Maybe it was not totally switched all the way and you did not realize it. If for some reason it happens again I would start by replacing the switch.
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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      • #4
        Re: Faulty light question

        I took lite off and it still tripped.Must be switch. I will open her up and take a look.I might be seeking help again.

        Thank you

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        • #5
          Re: Faulty light question

          Could be the switch or it could be the the wiring going to the post. In my opinion it is very unlikely to be the switch, I would place my bets on somewhere in the conductors between the switcha nd the post, the wire has a ground fault in it.

          Jeff

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          • #6
            Re: Faulty light question

            Back in the summer of 1972 I had a similar problem. Garage lights worked one day, they failed the next. What to do. Trace it down. To make a long story short, the shrubbery growing next to the foundation of the house had had its roots grow and expand enough that it got between the direct burial cable and the house foundation and severed either the hot or the neutral, mind is foggy, and I don't remember which. Anyway, we re-trenched the line, replaced the entire wire, and put it in pipe. Problem solved.

            You might try locating where the UF cable (or pipe), enters the house and see where it ties in. Does it pull power off an outlet on the front of the house? Does it pull power direct from the main panel. Track 'er down. Turn off the breaker and disconnect from the place where power originates. Then take your meter, put it on Ohms, and start looking for continuity between the front of the black and where it exits to the light post itself. You may need two people and an extension cord to use as a long lead to check for continuity between the two ends. If you don't follow this, post again, and I'll explain further. Then you have to do the same with the neutral and with the ground. Are you dealing with a three-way at some point? Then you'll have travelers to check also. After you establish if the wires all show continuity, then start checking for continuity between the white and black, the white and ground, the ground and black, the red and etc. etc. etc. If you're still with me at this point, you're getting closer to finding a solution. I'd be willing to bet that at some point you're going to find that one of the wires has opened up and connected with another wire (continuity where there shouldn't be any), which will prove Jeff P. correct in his original diagnosis above. Good luck and let us know how it all turns out for you.
            Jim Don

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