I have installed two LED pots in parallel, controlled by SPST switch. The lights are from Amazon (China?), the 14/2 wire and 200a Siemens panel are from Home Depot. The 15a breaker came with the panel.

  • I wired the lights by pushing the 14/2 wires into the supplied "auto-crimp" connectors.

  • I wired the switch(es) by adding 6" leads to all four poles. Both grounds were connected to the box and I used a marette to connect the ground from the switch.

  • Neutral / white was connected with a marette between switch, panel-wire and load-wire.

  • The panel-hot wire was connected to the bottom pole with a marette, and the load-hot wire was connected to the top pole with a marette.

If I turn the breaker on while the switch is OFF, the breaker immediately trips. If I turn the breaker on while the switch is ON, the lights turn on and everything looks good. As soon as I turn the switch off, the breaker trips. I changed out the switch, and the behaviour is consistent.

I have never seen this sort of behaviour. Where should I start looking?

  • 1
    Can you add a picture of the wired switch, its kind of hard to follow what you did from the text. – David Dec 23 '18 at 23:59
  • Is the breaker a regular breaker, or an AFCI or GFCI type? (Does it have a TEST button on it, for one?) – ThreePhaseEel Dec 24 '18 at 0:35
  • 2
    An SPST switch does not have four poles... – SomeoneSomewhereSupportsMonica Dec 24 '18 at 0:40
  • 4
    Why is neutral going to the switch? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Dec 24 '18 at 0:51
  • Is your 15A breaker and AFCI or GFCI or Combo? – Retired Master Electrician Dec 24 '18 at 13:33

Wiring a neutral to a switch would be impossible without making it non-functional, unless you used a 3 way switch instead of a standard one. That would also explain the behavior. if there are three screws on the switch, you used the wrong type. The Neutral should not go to the switch, EVER.

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  • The lightbulb in my mind turned on a few seconds ago. I rushed back here hoping nobody had seen the question yet... :) Thanks! – Duncan Dec 24 '18 at 5:06

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