Breaker won't stay in "On" position

CPascalSeptember 4, 2012

Having and electrical issue and was hoping for some input before calling an electrician. This morning I removed a light fixture (a chandelier) from our master bedroom so it can be spray painted later today. Here�s what I did: 1) I turned off the relevant breaker (it took a few minutes of trial and error to locate the right switch). 2) I unscrewed the light fixture/mounting plate from the ceiling to expose the wiring 3) I unscrewed the plastic wire nuts (I think that�s what they�re called) that hold the wires together. 4) I tucked the wires back into the ceiling so they weren�t hanging down.

Here�s the problem: I tried to turn the breaker switch back on after I finished but it won�t stay in the "on" position for even 2 seconds. I made sure to start from the "Off" position and I also tried unplugging everything in the master bedroom before turning the switch back on. Any ideas why the breaker keeps tripping? I�m a complete novice at this so I�m hoping there�s an easy answer that I�m oblivious to.....

Thanks in advance for any advice,

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bus_driver

You're pulling our leg, right? Registered today. The wires you (say that you) tucked up into the ceiling are short circuited. Repeated attempts to reset the breaker will damage those wires.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:18AM
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CPascal

So those damaged wires need to be replaced?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:43AM
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hendricus

Pull all the wires down that you tucked up into the ceiling box. Put a plastic wire nut on each individual wire that is loose. Turn power back on.

You did mark all the wires when you took it apart, right?

That is, a wire nut for each wire.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:46AM
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hendricus

You won't know that they are damaged till you pull them down. Most likely not.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:48AM
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CPascal

I didn't mark any wires though -- I don' recall there being anymore than 2 wires. I appreciate the input -- guess I'm learning the hard way on this one.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:59AM
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homebound

Just a guess. Could be a short due to a nick in the sheathing of one of the wires. Possibly where the lamp wire goes through the threaded nipple, or maybe another wire in the box where a screw might be rubbing up against it (and damaged the casing). Just some things to consider.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 10:06PM
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brickeyee

"Could be a short due to a nick in the sheathing of one of the wires."

Or just the bare ends (formerly covered by a wire nut) touching another wire or a metal box.

You need to get at least a copy of 'Wiring Simplified' before you cause a fire.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:24PM
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lbpod

As Hendricus says: 'put a wire nut on each wire 'individually'. What difference does it make if
the wires are hanging out of the ceiling? Who's going
to climb up there to grab on to them????
You have OBVIOUSLY wire nutted two wires that shouldn't
have been wire nutted together....duhhhh.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 3:22PM
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countryboymo

The reasoning to putting a wire nut on each wire is so the painter or whoever doesn't get in contact with a bare wire and it be energized.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 6:36PM
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Ron Natalie

Or if you're going to push it back into the box that it doesn't come into contact with the box or some other exposed metal.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 7:30AM
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brickeyee

It is really simple.

Bare wires are NOT energized without being connected to something (still can be dangerous) or capped off with protection at least equal to the wires insulation rating.

New houses often have the new conductors rolled into a bundle and pushed back into the box because they are NOT ENERGIZED. The breakers are OFF.

With a copy of 'Wiring Simplified' you should be able to figure out how to hook everything back up when you are done painting.

In the mean time, put a wire nut (ideal orange size) on the end of EVERY wire in the box.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:56AM
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texasredhead

Let's see if I have this correctly, you, the OP, disconnected a ceiling fixture and removed the wire nuts? Then you stuffed the bare end wires up in the cieling touching each other and you wonder why the breaker won't reset? Do I have this correct? Then you sign for the fist time to share this event? Just curious, did it not occur to you to put the wire nuts back on the bare wires which you shoved in the ceiling?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 10:21AM
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