I was replacing a light switch in my basement. I switched the breaker for "Basement Lights" OFF, then replaced the faulty light switch. Then the breaker would not stay switched ON, and went instantly back to OFF. The light switch is now completely disconnected and the breaker still won't stay ON.

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    Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. It's almost certain that the breaker is doing its job: protecting you from a short-circuit that you introduced when rewiring the switch. If indeed the switch is disconnected, then the short is probably nearby (e.g. a wire's insulation has been cut). – Daniel Griscom May 21 '18 at 0:06
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    Are you certain the wires going to the switch are not touching anything? Are there other things on that circuit? What are they? Can you turn them off Can you remove the breaker or the circuit from the breaker, so as to test the breaker? – mike65535 May 21 '18 at 0:09
  • @mike65535 Yes, i'm sure that the wires to the switch are not touching anything including each other. The circuit has all the basement lights on it for all of the five rooms. – Charles Hickok May 21 '18 at 0:20
  • The "instantly reverts to off" behavior is the breaker tripping, caused by an explosive amount of energy surging into your wiring somewhere. It is a magnetic trip caused by at least 10x breaker rating in amps, now multiply by 120V for watts... and multiply by armwave 0.02 seconds, giving watt-seconds aka joules of energy. Now compare to muzzle energy here. – Harper May 21 '18 at 4:57
  • As the others have said, and I insinuated, the breaker is likely doing its job. You didn't answer my other questions. Why did you replace the switch in the first place? Can you handle working in the breaker box? – mike65535 May 21 '18 at 10:11

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