In an attempt to fix a wiring problem from five years ago, I made a huge error. Here's the scenario:
Box 1: Has switch #1 in a four-way set up (it's a 3-way switch) and is where the power comes in. It comes from the first thing on the circuit, a GFCI. Box 2: Has switch #2 in the four-way set up (it's a 4-way switch). Box 3: Has switch #3 in the four-way set up (it's a 3-way) and it goes to the lights in the four-way set up. The box also has a switch for yard lights. Here's where the problem occurred. Years ago, I had pig-tailed the power coming in for the yard lights with the wire going to the lights in the four-way set up. (I have no idea why.)
I didn't know anything was wrong at first. Everything worked until I flipped the switch to turn the lights off in box 3. The circuit breaker tripped and the GFCI at the beginning of the circuit also tripped.
I replaced the three-way switch in box 3, but the lights do not turn on. Everything else on the circuit works.
My question is did I ruin the switches? Should I replace all three switches in the four-way set up? Or is it possible that I ruined the light fixtures? Is it possible that I fried a wire in a wall?
I will check for soot on wires next, though I haven't found any yet, nor any melted sheathing.