In troubleshooting one circuit, I accidentally discovered information for a second circuit that I've also been trying to sort out. So, bottom line is I was stupid and lucky. While replacing a switch on the first circuit (breaker off), I accidentally touched the hot to ground on a switch next to it which is on the second circuit (breaker on) with a ground wire and the lights on this second circuit came on.

This second circuit is a combination of lights and outlets with branch circuits. Part of this circuit works and part doesn't. As I said above, when I jumpered hot to ground, everything worked. I think this means there is an open neutral somewhere because the circuit was completed when connecting hot to ground. Is this correct? If so, how do I find the open neutral?

thank you.

  • 1
    Are these 2 circuits' breakers right next to each other? Do they share a single cable at any point? Is the light which turned on rated for both 120V and 240V? Could we see a photo of the inside of the box with the switches pulled back? Sep 24 '17 at 16:32
  • Yeah, that's messed up. If you have two entirely separate circuits then what happens on one should not affect the other. Something is definitely wrong here.
    – ArchonOSX
    Sep 24 '17 at 18:38
  • @Harper, It's the switches, not the breakers, that are next to one another. They don't share any wiring. I tone traced both circuits and know where each goes. The wiring configuration is the same for both: 14/2 in and 14/2 out with the black wires connected to the switch and the white wires wire nutted together.
    – TWS
    Sep 25 '17 at 0:26
  • Can you post photos of what's going on? Sep 25 '17 at 0:34
  • The blue and brown wires raise more questions. What can you tell us about those? Interestingly those are Euro colors but nothing in that box is made for Europe. i was caught off guard by the green wire nut on the neutrals but wire nut color doesn't matter (well not to wire function). Sep 25 '17 at 1:20

So I solved this myself by tracing the wires. I figured out that two circuits had shared a neutral when I found two open splices, traced them back and separated onto separate circuits. I didn't realize it at the time. Once I traced the wires, drew out the diagram and figured out there was no neutral, I figured out where to connect the neutral back in to complete the circuit. All working now.

revised repaired circuit For posterity's sake, the original circuit diagram:

original wiring diagram

  • Since I pointed you in the correct direction after you saying they were not shared an up vote would be appropriate.
    – Ed Beal
    Oct 2 '17 at 18:34

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