We moved into a home, built a while ago. there are wires hanging and covered in black tape on a chimney.

I bought 2 sconces and put them in place. i did not hook up the ground wire on one of them, the first in series and turned them , they worked, i saw the ground wire was broken, so i cut the wire back and fix it and re-wired it to use the ground wire.

after wiring them up, our circuit breaker on another circuit for the dryer starting popping. We had a dryer repair man come out and test the dryer, it never went over the 17amps to pop the 30 amps circuit breaker, he thinks the circuit breaker is bad.

I thought maybe the work I did for the sconces on ANOTHER circuit may had caused an issue? I have turned off that breaker for the sconces and still the dryer pops the 30 amp circuit breaker.

2 Answers 2


Sounds to me like a coincidence.

Grounds have nothing to do with the functionality of a circuit breaker. Meaning a circuit will work properly (albeit less safely) with or without a ground. The ground is a "safety backup" in case of a short circuit to metallic parts and pieces.

Hopefully all the work you did on the sconces is proper. Did you install and mount boxes for the wiring and to mount the lights?

  • There was no boxes, just 2 holes in the bricks for the romax wires, and 2 screw holes. I wired up the 3 wires (hot,neu, ground). I have no idea where those wires go behind the bricks. It works, both lights work, and no funniness.
    – ttomsen
    Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 16:22
  • 2
    Well, that is not a compliant or safe installation then. You must have a box for the splices and to mount the fixture to. Commented Jan 16, 2015 at 19:38
  • @ttomsen -- go back and put a box in -- bricks aren't waterproof, and water ingress could easily cause problems with your wiring down the road. Commented May 16, 2015 at 17:53

If you had a short from a hot to ground (screw through some wires) and an open ground (broken connection somewhere), then fixing the ground could result in a circuit breaker tripping. If that were the case, you'd see voltage on the ground.

But since you're fixing the ground at a fixture, and I'm assuming you didn't do anything like a bootleg ground to neutral connection, then the only possibility for it to be related to your work is disturbing the wiring (with perhaps a screw that missed the stud exactly where the dryer happens to be run).

All of this is highly unlikely and would show up with an amp meter when tested at the breaker. So if the amp meter shows the breaker is going bad, then replace it, they can go bad over time.

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