I have a ceiling light fixture that trips the circuit breaker every time the single pole switch is flipped. It has three white wires and three black wires. Before installing this light fixture, which works just fine in another location, in the house this switch/old light fixture worked just fine. What are we doing wrong?

  • You first need to tell us exactly how it is wired. What wires do you have in the ceiling box? And did you un-do all the splices (a BAD thing btw) when you removed the old fixture? – Speedy Petey Nov 16 '14 at 14:36
  • 1
    What was done wrong is that you connected something you shouldn't have, or left something exposed which is making contact that it shouldn't. Beyond that, we'd need to know exactly what you did, preferably with photos. – keshlam Nov 16 '14 at 15:14

Most likely - you treated a switch loop (black hot to switch, white switched hot from switch) as "hot and neutral" (since they are black and white wires) so every time you flip the switch to on, you are shorting hot to neutral. So, the circuit breaker, as it should, trips.

At this point you need to sort out what wires go where so you can sort out what they should be doing. If you'd care to save yourself or the next guy some trouble, pick up some red electrical tape and put it on the ends of that white wire from the switch, if that proves to be the case.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.