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Light fixture not on breaker

Posted by brandyelp (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 14, 11 at 7:39

My house was built in 1998 and we have screened in patio. My husband was going to replace the ceiling fan w/ light on the patio. After turning off all the breakers for the house, the fan and light are still on. There is no wall switch for this fixture either, only the pull strings on the fan. We are obviously not going to attempt changing out the fixture ourselves anymore. I am just wondering if there is something I'm missing like another circuit breaker box for outside electricity. If not, where is this electricity coming from? This also seems like a pretty big safety hazard to me. I think we are the second owners of the house, but I'm not sure. Is this something that the builder should address?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Light fixture not on breaker

"I am just wondering if there is something I'm missing like another circuit breaker box for outside electricity."

Yes, you are missing something. Your fan is certainly on a breaker. If there is box by the outside meter, check there. If you can't track it down, you'll have to spring for an electrician.


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RE: Light fixture not on breaker

After turning off all the breakers for the house,
Did you also turn off any 240 breakers, the double ones for dryer, stove, AC?

Had the same thing, turn off all the breakers and the lights in the basement family room were still on. Someone tapped one side of the dryer line to power this room.


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RE: Light fixture not on breaker

The patio electricity is located on another breaker outside the house. It's on the same breaker as the A/C. Thanks for your help.


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RE: Light fixture not on breaker

Is the "another breaker outside the house" located in a subpanel? Otherwise, you may have a wiring issue. It would be odd for a subpanel to be installed for an A/C and outside patio, particularly on a relatively new home. It sounds like someone improperly tapped into the A/C circuit for power on the patio. Is the patio circuit protected by GFCI?


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RE: Light fixture not on breaker

I am reminded of that commercial where the husband asks the wife, "what does this switch do?" and keeps flicking it on and off. Wife says, "I don't know."

Camera goes to the outside where we see the neighbor's garage door opening and closing on his car.


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RE: Light fixture not on breaker

Yes, you absolutely need an electrician to check this out. More than likely some hack(handyman) hooked into the 240 volt AC line which has no neutral so they probably used the grounding conductor, which is a very dangerous thing.


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