In my bedroom I have a light wired to a plug and three receptacles.

There is nothing plugged into the receptacles but every time I turn the switch to the light on, the breaker trips.

The wiring from the light to the switch is wired correctly, and from the switch to the plugs as well.

I thought that I should switch the breaker from a standard to a GFCI breaker, but before spending that extra money and having the problem persist I'm betting that it's a short somewhere or wires touching.

Any suggestions?

  • Try replacing the blubs. Sometimes when they burn out, they form a dead short. – Mazura Feb 12 '15 at 2:04
  • 1
    Try plugging the light into an outlet on another circuit (another room). If it blows the breaker there, the problem is in the light. – DoxyLover Feb 12 '15 at 2:43
  • Did this problem just start happening, or did something change that caused the problem (modified electrical, hung pictures on the wall, got a new light, etc.)? – Tester101 Feb 12 '15 at 13:11

If you're saying that the breaker pops when the switch it turned to the 'on' position and nothing is in the socket, it is possible if you had the 'hot' on one connection and 'neutral' on the second connection of a single pole switch, that every time you turn the switch on, you're effectively touching hot to neutral, causing the breaker to trip.

If this is a new leg/pull/circuit, I'd look for stripped sections. Otherwise, this sounds like either the socket or the switch are not wired correctly. I'd assume that something is wired hot to neutral off the switch.

Otherwise, you probably have a short somewhere between the socket and the switch. I would check for anywhere wire could be stripped unintentionally:

  • Knockouts
  • Corners
  • Anything that is 'squeezed' into place
  • Staples (especially non NM rated staples)
  • Bored holes in studs, joists, etc.

Also, there is a slight chance that the breaker is old and needs to be replaced. It's rare, but I've seen breakers that fail, and can be reset.

I would be surprised if going to a new GFCI socket or breaker resolves this issue.

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