Have gone through other threads to troubleshoot to no avail.

WORK DONE / SCENARIO - Relocated ceiling box to hang new chandelier. - Used existing wires that were long enough for move. - Brand new electrical switch. - 2 black / 2white in switch box, 1 white / 1 black in light box.

PROBLEM - Accidentally connected hot wire to neutral wire at chandelier. Unfortunately the clear speaker wire type wiring threw me off. - When I flipped the dimmer switch for first time, it sparked. - Replaced dimmer with simple toggle, one-way switch. - I now hear a slight hum at switch while light turns on for split second and it shuts off due to tripped breaker.

TROUBLESHOOTING DONE - Tested with and without lights. Circuit trips on both. - Turned off other lights on circuit. Circuit trips on both. - Disconnected light fixture, circuit does not trip, and hot wire has current. - And lastly, swapped light fixture for same (had ordered two identical chandeliers) and the same problem occurs.

CLOSING COMMENTS I was totally thinking I had screwed up the light with the short, but second chandelier has same problem. And if the breaker tripped with the light disconnected, I would go down the route that there was a problem with wiring or ground, etc., but it holds.

I am stumped. Appreciate any thoughts and ideas!

  • 1
    Have you tried a standard screwshell lampholder at the light location? To eliminate the chandelier as the problem, install a standard light bulb at the light location with a single pole switch at the switch location. From your description the switch is being fed from the main panel and the hot wire is being switched. So, you should have the two black wires on your switch and the two white wires connected together. If this works, add the dimmer to the circuit. Then the chandelier.
    – ArchonOSX
    Aug 11, 2017 at 7:46
  • Sounds like you have a short in your wiring to me, caused by your initial mistake. I'd probably get a trained electrician in at this point if it was me. You don't want the wiring to catch and burn down your house.
    – user56853
    Aug 11, 2017 at 13:48
  • So I disconnected chandelier and placed single bulb socket as suggested. Same thing, but this time I saw a spark in the light box. I took apart the box and noticed that inside the cable sheath someone twist connected black wire to match length of white. The connection was bare at point it was making contact with the grounded box. It arced one of the screws to the cross bar to point that I could not unscrew it. I must have exposed it when I pulled it through the box on the other side. While this was frustrating, sure glad I uncovered at this point as could have been much worse. Thanks!!!
    – Hankster
    Aug 11, 2017 at 19:03
  • @Hankster -- post that as an answer and I'll toss you an upvote for it :) Aug 11, 2017 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


The comments pretty much answer it, but the important take away here is that the wire should possibly be replaced. I was a little thrown by the "speaker wire" comment but I presume you are referring to the light.

Get an electrician in there with a MEGGER to test the wiring. They will determine if it is compromised in areas unseen, and recommend replacing the run if needed.

Be safe! Get the megger. Chances are it melted where you found it, but it could be bad elsewhere, that you haven't found it.

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