: I am left with the task of removing the remaining 2 smoke
: then one by one opening each junction in the basement on the
: circuit until i find a short. It should be nice and smokey
: shouldn't it?
No, not necessarily. It depends on what the short is. If it's
something in direct and solid contact, there might not even be
any evidence of arccing, etc..
If I were you, I'd get out (or buy a cheap) my multimeter,
disconnect the wire from the breaker again, and leave it off for
the duration, remove/unplug everything in/on that branch,
including lights, and start tracing. If you have to buy a
cheapie at RS or someplace, get one with a beeper sound when it
sees shorts; very handy.
Or, call in a pro, but you really should STOP testing it by
popping the ckt breaker every time or it may really GO bad, or
worse, a fire might start and smolder somewhere until it's too
Constantly stressing/flipping a ckt brkr is definitely bad for
it; they're just not made to be used as switches. Besides, it's
a lot safer to work without power on the line.
You DO kill the Mains to work on the breaker, right? Even if
you don't pull one out, the right move could put a pile of them
right into your lap when that cover's off. Very often the covers
hold the breakers in proper place.