Short Circuit but fuse did not blow?

RikidooMay 14, 2012

I made the mistake of moving a light box without turning off the power. I believe the wire touched a screw and caused a short circuit. Everything on that circuit stopped working (a few ceiling lights and electrical outlets). When checking the fuse box, none of them has blown.

I have taken out the light box where the short circuit happened, it was connected to only one other light box, not in a loop. This didn't solve my problem.

Any suggestion on how to proceed to fix this would be very much appreciated.

Thank you!

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bus_driver

How did you test the fuses? Is there another fuse or circuit breaker panel?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Rikidoo

I replaced the fuses on the affected circuit with new ones and it made no difference (replaced them on the fuse box).

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:24PM
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bus_driver

Plug fuses sometimes require tightening with considerably more torque than one imagines.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 7:32PM
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randy427

The sudden surge of a dead short can also cause a poor connection somewhere in the circuit to become an open connection. Specifically, I'd look at the receptacles and switches in the circuit and replace any back-stab devices found (they are notoriously unreliable), while also looking for loose connections and anything that 'looks wrong'.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 12:11AM
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bus_driver

It appears that you assumed that the new fuses were good. They almost always are so, but not absolutely always. At this point, it is necessary to examine everything in the most minute detail. Test all the fuses. Test all the voltages at each circuit in the panel.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 1:13PM
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brickeyee

It sounds like a weak spot in the wiring failed before the fuse.

It is now likely the open that is preventing operation of the portions of the circuit.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 8:30AM
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Ron Natalie

Umm...I'm not sure we still know that "none of the fuses were blown." If the short that caused the problem still exists, just replacing the fuse with another is going to result in an instantly blown fuse. Sometimes it's not possible to tell by looking in those little windows that the link is blown either.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 10:25AM
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brickeyee

Time to screw in a light bulb?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 12:57PM
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Rikidoo

Thanks all for your replies. I don't think the fuse is the problem. Since my panel is not very well labeled, I've tested new fuses by switching all of them back and forth a few times. Everything was still working except the circuit where I did the short.

I'm thinking that I must now have an open circuit as some of you have suggested, but still couldn't find where it's opened. I don't think I have any backstab devices.

I suppose that I need to buy the gagdet that tells me if there's current and test every outlet and swtich on the affected circuit.

Otherwise, I'm thinking I should probably change my fuse box to a breaker panel.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:01PM
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greg_2010

I'm thinking that I must now have an open circuit as some of you have suggested, but still couldn't find where it's opened.

What have you done to try to find it?

Otherwise, I'm thinking I should probably change my fuse box to a breaker panel.

You do realize that won't solve the problem, right? But I guess if you are hiring an electrician to switch out the panel, he can easily find the problem with your circuit.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 3:26PM
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brickeyee

Fox and hound time (electronic signal tracer transmitter and receiver set).

An electronic signal generator (the 'fox') is attached to the lines at the panel, then a tracer (the 'hound') is used to follow the lines until the signal is lost.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 11:00AM
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kisu

What brand do you recommend brickeyee?
I was thinking of buying a set for fun but the Greenleee 1000 is super expensive.

so far I've gotten by tracing using an old fluke pro3000 tone tester kit. But that works when circuit is off not on - but has helped me trace a lot of wires.

I would love to have a good tester that works on a live circuit.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 10:50PM
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brickeyee

Ideal has some less expensive models.

The more expensive ones are often more rugged, sensitive, and have a sensitivity adjustment that makes them easier to use.

If the it senses on multiple breakers you dial back until it only indicates on one, then switch the breaker off and see if the unit stops sensing anything afte3r turning back to the highest setting.

Then use a meter to check the circuit before touching anything (NOT a 'non-contact' sensor).

    Bookmark   May 27, 2012 at 10:11AM
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norman1964

fuse box? PULL the "main", and with the "main" still in your hand, turn it around and look at the hidden cartidrige fuses. Then do the same for the "range", and keep going, until you've checked them all. One of them blew. chances are, you'll looking for the one that partially turned to dust.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 2:28AM
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bus_driver

Wow, Norman The Newcomer has been busy helping with problems that surely were resolved long ago.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 3:26PM
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greg_2010

You never know ... Rikidoo never came back to tell us whether his problem had been solved so maybe he's been sitting in the dark for two years waiting for Norman's excellent reply. Now he can finally move on with his life.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 4:20PM
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WilliamFitzgerald

May it would not be short circuit but a loose connections of wires, check the circuit completely don't miss anything to check may be the fault arise from circuit board, for short circuit you replaced burnt fuses and reset the circuit breaker to overcome from these short circuit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Electrical

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:24AM
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