I am installing a set of recessed lights in a closet, replacing the existing fixtures one at a time. I removed power to the lights while installing each one by using the light switch, not the circuit breaker at the box (after verifying that the the switch was wired correctly with the hot side being switched, not the neutral).
I successfully installed the first light, and had just pulled the second one down. I turned the lights back on to see better (since the other fixtures still worked), but didn't notice that the now bare and exposed hot and neutral wires from the fixture I just pulled were touching.
When I turned on the switch, the lights did not come on and you could hear a deep growling noise somewhere in the house, very similar to water hammer noise. I turned off the switch right away, not knowing the cause. I turned on the switch again with the same result. After turning off the switch, I inspected the wiring from the fixture and discovered the short.
As I understand it, the time it takes a breaker to trip is basically inversely proportional to the current draw. A dead short should be VERY high current, and I would have expected the breaker to trip instantly. It did not do so. Questions:
Shouldn't the breaker have tripped? If so, I can't trust the breaker and should replace it. But, how do I go about testing the other breakers in the box? They are all old... probably original to the 1964 house. What was that noise?