OT: Circuit Breaker triggering


I've got a light that will turn on ok, but when I turn it off it flips the breaker. I reset the breaker, turn the light on again and it goes on a stays on. Then I shut it off and it triggers the breaker again.
Any ideas?
Thanks, JP
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"Jay Pique" wrote in message

Bad switch.
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Swingman wrote:

Maybe - but I've tried 2 (of the same make/model) and they both trigger it. Someone on alt.home.repair suggested I try a switch that "clicks" and to check whether the breaker itself is one that detects arc-faults too sensitively. I'm guessing it's the latter.
JP
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Is this a ceiling light or a desk lamp of some type? If it's a desk lamp, I suggesting trying another lamp plugged into the same electrical outlet. If the breaker still goes, then I'd suggest looking at the outlet. If it's a ceiling light, my first suggestion is to try a lower wattage bulb and see if that blows the breaker. That might be an indication of faulty wiring somewhere.
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Sooooo, is this a new lamp? A new problem? Has the lamp worked OK in the past with this switch? Maybe the breaker is bad. Is that lamp one of those mega wattage 1500+ type?
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Leon wrote:

It was a new lamp and a new problem. The lamp had never been used with the original switch. The breaker may have been too sensitive for the switch. At someone's suggestion a different type of switch was used (it "clicks", as they recommended) and the problem hasn't again arisen.
JP
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I'm guessing that the circuit is actually a 3-way circuit. If thats the case, then you've probably got a 2-way (spst) switch in a bad spot. If your good at home repair and feel confident at it, check the circuit, otherwise, have an electrictian check it out. The symptoms that you describe would be the cause of just that.
IMO Jack

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First - why would he have a spst switch in a three way circuit? That would defeat the three way functionality.
Second - putting a spst throw switch in a three way circuit would not cause a breaker to trip. It interrupts the hot wire just like another three way switch would, or as it would in a standard single switch circuit.
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Not if its wired incorrectly

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Fine - though I'm not sure what that means. The OP stated that the breaker only trips when the switch is turned off. Rules out incorrect wiring.
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Define "off" in this context; IIRC it was a SPDT (aka 3-way) 15Amp toggle switch for lighting, right? Next question: Is the switch either grounded or lighted? If so, a short-circuit in the switch to ground can cause the breaker to trip (this is not, however, very likely unless it is a very crappy switch). If not, then the only mechanism that I can think of which would cause the breaker to trip would be a high-resistance contact situation in the switch (i.e. corrosion); to determine if this is the case, you must clarify "off". Does "off" in this context indicate that the position of the switch was such that the end of the toggle was closer to the floor, or does "off" indicate that whatever load is controlled by the switch is no longer receiving power?
In any case, replacement of the switch is called for.
scott
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