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Installing a Switch Shorts a Wire and Trips Off The House


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

When installing a switch for a garbage disposal the power was on and the white wire grounded and tripped the breaker for the entire house: How to Repair Wiring Problems with Switches, Common Problems When Wiring Switches and How to Fix Them.

Switch Wiring Problems

Electrical Question: When installing a switch for a garbage disposal the power was on and  the white wire grounded and tripped the breaker for the entire house.

How do I locate the problem? After reading about this it appears that a neutral wire has come loose or burnt in the conduit.

This electrical wiring question came from: Edward, a Homeowner from Schaumburg, Illinois.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Edward.

How to Repair Wiring Problems with Switches

Application: Troubleshooting Switch Wiring Problems.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with hand tools and electrical troubleshooting skills.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring or switch testing.

Common Problems When Wiring Switches and How to Fix Them

IMPORTANT: When replacing a faulty switch it is best to work only with the wires that are connected to the switch and do not disturb the other circuit connections.

Troubleshooting Circuit Wiring Problems

The following is a guide to help troubleshoot complex problems with circuit wiring problems:

More about Wiring Switches

Wiring Diagrams for a Garbage Disposal
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Wiring a Garbage Disposal

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