I put some insulation in the attic and in the process touched a wire that went into the bedroom ceiling fan, the wire was loose and it knocked out power in the bedroom only. The rest of the rooms on the same circuit had power. I called an electrician because I was not comfortable messing with the wires.

When the electrician arrived, I explained to the issue and where the issue was. One of them went up in the attic and saw the wire I was talking about, this wire carried power into the room. They claimed to not know where the wire was drawing its power, they spent 90 minutes opening every outlet, light switch and light fixture on the circuit to check the wires. They even took the cover off the electrical panel. One of them told me they were getting close to the hour and may have to just run a new power wire. Then the other one went up to the attic and said, this wire has power so the issue must be in the connection in the ceiling fan. They opened the ceiling fan and found a loose wire in the connection. They tightened that connection and everything was working again.

About five days later that same circuit breaker tripped and would not stay on after resetting. I called the electrician back, the boss insisted on sending the same guys out because they had already been there and seen the wiring. The same two guys came, asked if I knew the issue, I said no. They did some testing and determined there was a hot wire touching a neutral somewhere in the circuit. They got half the rooms in the circuit on but still had to figure out the other three rooms. One guy then opened up a switch plate that housed two switches and pulled out the switches. I didn't see what he was doing before that. He then said this switch has a hot hooked up to the ground. They disconnected the hot from the switches and said these may have been a three way but they did not need to be there. They hooked the other wire back to the switches and the circuit came on again.

I have lived in this house for 8 years, that double switch has always been there. No one has ever touched it and it has never been an issue. After eight years, it decides to interrupt the circuit and trip the breaker so it won't turn back on? They charged me for both visits.

  • It seems like the kernel of your question is whether the three-way is wired correctly. You'd need to tell us more about the connections for help with that. Most of the rest of your post isn't really helpful to us. We're not crime scene investigators.
    – isherwood
    May 16, 2023 at 20:02
  • I can see them checking the other connections on the circuit. One loose connection and the others are suspect. the other work about the switches does sound suspect. A hot connect to ground is an instant trip of a breaker, a switch is a three way or not(no maybes), not being needed is suspect also, most people do not add unneeded stuff.
    – crip659
    May 16, 2023 at 20:10
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    It doesn't seem like they acted irresponsibly. It sounds like you have an expectation that stuff never breaks. Or maybe that your stuff never breaks :) May 16, 2023 at 21:27
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    Things were not working before they came. Things were working after they left. Therefore we must assume they found a problem and fixed it. There is not much more that we can do especially since the work is over.
    – Barry
    May 16, 2023 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


There is a good chance that someone previous to you did some less than intelligent wiring. Your excursion into the attic opened the "Pandoras box" of incorrect wiring.

I had the same type of issues when I purchased my current home. Yes someone wired a 3way switch wrong and it didn't manifest itself until I hung a new fan with a light and turned that switch on. That opened a breaker and the "box" that lead to a whole lot of new wiring.

I think you should be thankful that the electricians worked diligently to correct the problem.

  • Additionally, if a PO has messed this up, what else have they touched ?
    – Criggie
    May 17, 2023 at 5:05
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    In case of incorrect wiring, sometimes making things right might upset delicate balance of errors. I found out that I have no ground in my house, because grounding conductor was damaged. After replacing that length of cable, I had no power at all. Whoever worked on wiring last time apparently never expected for ground to be actually grounded. May 17, 2023 at 10:44

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