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.
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.
- When the breaker trips it affects the garage lights and four exterior receptacles.
- I revved all receptacles and the breaker still trips- strangest thing and it just started?
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
This electrical wiring question came from: Rick, a Handyman from Orlando, Florida.
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
- When it is discovered that the wire that is attached to a circuit breaker is energized or hot when the circuit breaker is in the OFF position, this is typically an indication that an electrical circuit has two separate sources that are supplying power to it.
- This is sometimes referred to as wiring in a loop.
- The other circuit and breaker can be identified by turning off all the circuit breakers and then turning on the circuit breaker that had power on the wire.
- A voltage tester would be used to take readings on all the other circuit breakers that are in the off position.
- The other source of power will then be discovered, and it may be found that it is the same size wire and amperage circuit breaker.
- If this is not the case then there is a problem with the wiring or a problem with a circuit in the panel which may be causing a neutral feed back.
- You have stated that this just started happening and I am curious if any new wiring or circuits have been added recently. If so then the additional wiring will need to be examined and corrected.
- Whatever the case, I strongly encourage you to contact a licensed electrical contractor who will be able to perform a series of tests and evaluations which will reveal the exact problem so it can be corrected.
Circuit Breakers and Electrical Panels
- Always consult with a qualified electrician or a licensed electrical contractor for any home electrical wiring that you are not familiar with or comfortable performing.
- Never be over confident either, especially when it comes to electrical panels and electrical circuit breakers.
- These areas of electrical wiring are not a place for amateur handymen or handy-women or inexperienced DIY’ers!
More about Home Electrical Wiring
- Electric Circuit Listing
- The size of the home electrical service panel is designed by calculating the square footage of the home and factoring in the code requirements for the electrical circuits that are required.
- Electrical Wiring Protection using Circuit Breakers
- A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring.
- When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
- Electrical Wire for the Home
- Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
- Garage Electrical Wiring
- Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Garage Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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