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Electrical Wire and Cable

Circuit Breaker Wiring Problems

How to Identify a Possible Electrical Circuit Wiring Problem: I have power coming back on the hot black wire going to a circuit breaker with the wire removed from the breaker.

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Troubleshooting a Circuit Wiring Problem
Electrical Question: I have power coming back on the hot black wire going to a circuit breaker with the wire removed from the breaker.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

This electrical wiring question came from: Rick, a Handyman from Orlando, Florida.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your Electrical Repairs Question Rick.

How to Identify a Circuit Wiring Problem

Application: Electrical Repair of  Double Fed Circuit Wiring, Troubleshooting Electric Circuit.
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by a Qualified Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and test electrical circuit wiring.
Precaution: Identify the panel circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Caution – Shock Hazard: Electrical Panels contain Live Wires and Components.

Conditions That Create a Hot Wire to a Circuit Breaker


Circuit Breakers and Electrical Panels

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Circuit Breaker Wiring Problems”
  1. joebanana says:

    I used to be a refinery maintenance sparky. Got a ticket to replace a pump motor, went to the starter and turned off the breaker, and as per procedure took the time to open the explosion proof enclosure (about 15 minutes of removing bolts)put my meter across the load side of the breaker and found all three phases of the breaker welded closed. Being activated by a float switch, this could have been very unpleasant. It was only a 480v. circuit, but. Always, always, check. Even if it’s inconvenient, time consuming, or a “long walk”, open that panel, box, switchboard, and check at the source, it’ll make your day better.

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Thank You Joe for this Very Important Warning.
    Like Joe says, Take the time to turn the circuit OFF and then TEST the circuit. I too have had similar experiences of finding an energized circuit that should have been OFF, and the condition could only be discovered by double checking and using a voltage tester. Make sure you have one and make sure you always use it.