So my wife purchased an antique light fixture at an antique fair. It is an old brass chandelier with 6 regular bulbs and 1 small bulb in the center. The guy that sold it to her said the wiring was perfect and that all the parts were there. Wait for it...the guy lied...I know this is hard to believe. Anyway after a long search I found all the necessary parts to put this thing back in working condition. Unfortunately some of the wiring was bad as well and I had to replace some of the wires. I did all that work and tested it by temp wiring a plug and plugging it into a socket. Bingo...it works great and is beautiful. So then I go to hang it up and as soon as I hard wire it from my dining room ceiling it trips the entire house electricity. Obviously there is something wrong. When I put the original light fixture up it works fine...what are some potential issues that could cause this problem? Thanks in advance.!


  • Welcome to DIY.SE! Can you post pictures of the lamp wiring and the box in the ceiling in the dining room. Also, where in the world are you? – mmathis Oct 12 '16 at 20:08
  • "it trips the entire house electricity" ??? I've actually never seen a main CB trip. The branch circuit's breaker should be the one tripping... Do you have a GFCI main or something? How about a picture of your CB panel? – Mazura Oct 12 '16 at 21:28
  • I will take pictures when I get home tonight. I am living in Belgium. Things are a little bit different (i.e. 220v electrical systems) but electrical concepts are the same. Thanks for the quick responses. – Roy Oct 13 '16 at 7:42
  • Is the breaker that's tripping a ground-fault (a.k.a residual-current device (RCD) in other parts of the world), or an arc-fault breaker? Is it tripping a single branch circuit breaker, or a main breaker? – Tester101 Oct 13 '16 at 10:39
  • I will have to take a picture and post it for you. I am not sure... – Roy Oct 13 '16 at 16:11

If it trips the breaker right away (within a second or so) then you have a "dead short", which means one of the hot wires is touching a neutral wire or something else that's grounded. You will have to go through to double- and triple-check that the wiring is done properly and there are no stray hot wires.

If the breaker takes longer to trip (it can take up to 20 minutes in some situations) that indicates you have simply overloaded the circuit. Is there more wattage being drawn by the new fixture than the old one?

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  • The breaker trips immediately shutting off power to the entire house. When you say one of the hot wires do you mean a wire inside the fixture or one of the wires coming out of the ceiling? – Roy Oct 13 '16 at 7:52
  • The new fixture is drawing more wattage than the old one, but not much. And I tried removing some of the bulbs and it still tripped. The other thing that is strange is when I wire it to a plug and plug it into the wall, it does not trip any breakers. – Roy Oct 13 '16 at 7:53

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