I just had my house painted. The painters took down the exterior lights. When they hooked them back up, the circuit breaker kept tripping when I turned the exterior light switch on. I took the fixture off and found that the ground wire from the fixture had been secured with the wire nut to the black (live) wires. I rewired it the way I had originally wired it (black to black, white to white, and ground to the ground screw) and it will not work. It does not trip the breaker anymore, but it seems as though the light fixture is ruined. Would that ruin the light fixture?

  • 1
    Bench test the fixture in a separate location, e.g. with a cheater cord made from a cutting the socket off an extension cord. Sep 6 '17 at 23:04
  • It's not totally clear to me what you're asking, but if you're asking whether the incorrect wiring alone could have broken the lamp, my guess is no. If it's a halogen lamp (you didn't say what kind it is), then they probably knocked it about; look at the bulb to see if the filament is broken. If it's LED or CFL based, you're probably not going to be able to tell what broke just by looking.
    – Fizz
    Sep 6 '17 at 23:07
  • I am more asking if by hooking the ground wire to the live wire it ruined the whole fixture. The bulbs are good. I tested them in a different light fixture.
    – TSig
    Sep 6 '17 at 23:13
  • 1
    It probably did not break from that misconnection. Get a multimeter and use its ohmmeter feature to check for continuity from the input prongs to the sockets. This assuming your fixture isn't one with built-in ballast or something more complex.
    – Fizz
    Sep 6 '17 at 23:26
  • Did you try a new lamp?
    – ArchonOSX
    Sep 7 '17 at 19:43

Check for a tripped GFI receptacle somewhere.

Miswiring a simple lamp fixture shouldn't ruin it.

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