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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a customer who has some HID (Metal Halide) lights under her house. They were not working when I got there and there was supposed to be a switch that controlled the circuit they are on.
Well, I disconnected the switch completely, (took apart the switch and the neutrals), and now the lights work. (OOOOO..... kay???)
Any ideas? The circuit appears to operate just fine as long as I have that switch disconnected. It wasn't blowing any breakers either. (I'll have to double check that. It may be that I didn't really check the breaker like I should have. It might actually have been tripped and just looked like it was on. Hmmm.....? :whistling2:
Anyway, it the breaker for the switch isn't connected to the light circuit, (They are both separate two wire home runs.),.... I'm baffled at this point. (I'm going back to investigate further tomorrow.)
Any ideas? Anyone?
 

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the switch is busted... if im reading it right, maybe not, im PWI
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, you read it wrong. (Or I didn't explain myself very well.) When the switch is disconnected the circuit appears to work correctly. In other words, the switch that was supposed to control the circuit was somehow stopping it from working correctly. - As soon as I completely disconnected the switch everything worked. (I didn't reconnect any wires that were attached to the switch. I didn't just by pass the switch, I disconnected it and left all the wires that were going to the switch disconnected.) Inside the switch box there were two hots and two neutrals. I took the switch completely apart and then the circuit worked correctly without the switch wires hooked up at all. I'm still not sure why. - I ended up working on something else while I was there today. :thumbup:
 

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Anyway, it the breaker for the switch isn't connected to the light circuit, (They are both separate two wire home runs.),.... I'm baffled at this point. (I'm going back to investigate further tomorrow.)
Any ideas? Anyone?
So there are two homeruns in a single gang box? When i first read this I figured it was backfed. But I have no idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, there are not two home runs in the box. :eek: - The switch was supposed to control the lights. One wire from the panel to the switch box, and another wire, out of the switch box, supposedly going to the lights. When it's hooked up like it's supposed to be the lights don't work. However, when I disconnect everything the lights do work. (Obviously, the lights are getting power from somewhere else.) I have no idea where the wire actually goes because it's all covered by insulation and vapor barrier and the customer doesn't really want to mess with that too much. Somehow, somewhere it seems that something is tied together incorrectly... What in the world could cause something like that?
 

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So now the breaker is acting as the switch? If so,
according to 240.83(D) it needs to be listed for the purpose. Did anything stop working when the switch was taken out of the loop?
 

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Yes, you read it wrong. (Or I didn't explain myself very well.) When the switch is disconnected the circuit appears to work correctly. In other words, the switch that was supposed to control the circuit was somehow stopping it from working correctly. - As soon as I completely disconnected the switch everything worked. (I didn't reconnect any wires that were attached to the switch. I didn't just by pass the switch, I disconnected it and left all the wires that were going to the switch disconnected.) Inside the switch box there were two hots and two neutrals. I took the switch completely apart and then the circuit worked correctly without the switch wires hooked up at all. I'm still not sure why. - I ended up working on something else while I was there today. :thumbup:
sounds like this light is fm wired.(friggin magic). call ripley's believe it or not.
 

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I suspect that the light circuit was somehow backfeeding the switch circuit...sometimes folks pick up a 'missing neutral' from another circuit. See if you have power on the switched leg with the switch circuit off. Whatever the problem is, it will be weird.
 

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sounds like this light is fm wired.(friggin magic). call ripley's believe it or not.
:laughing::laughing:

Sounds like its being backfeed somewhere. Turn off the breaker that you thought controls it....if it turns off-then that gives you a good place to start troubleshooting, somewhere between th panel and the lights(possibly another switch somewhere?)...if the lights stays on start turning breakers off one by one till you find the right circuit, then as stated before start troubleshooting.

If it was wired correctly, you will probably slap yourself for overlooking something real easy. If it was wired by a jimmy-jack-leg...well...this may take a while. Good luck.
 

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Just thinking out loud, what if the multitap is wired for 240 and the switch was bypassing one ungrounded conductor to neutral point,? Then the fixture would be trying to run off 120.
 

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Maybe someone replaced a switch and got the feed, switch leg, common mixed up, ho's don't like to admitt to it. Could it be a 3 way situation, feed at other end, accounts for lights now on even though this end is completely disconnected. Now just find the other end of the 3 way.
 

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Also you said it wasn't tripping the breaker. Try differant combinations of the existing wires that are in the box, when the lights go off you got it.
 

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Maybe someone replaced a switch and got the feed, switch leg, common mixed up, ho's don't like to admitt to it. Could it be a 3 way situation, feed at other end, accounts for lights now on even though this end is completely disconnected. Now just find the other end of the 3 way.
Ran into this situation not long ago.

People do all kinds of crazy stuff.....this includes me. :jester:
 

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sounds like this light is fm wired.(friggin magic). call ripley's believe it or not.
seriously now.. is there any possibility that these lights are on a contactor or relay where the switched wires could be on the wrong set of dry contacts? this would turn on lights when power is shut off to coil. and if controls are on a different circuit...
 

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i worked with a couple guys that thought they could trouble shoot everything with there tick tracer. they rented a lift to check out a pole at a walmart. opened up the light and read power on both sides of the ballast, when in fact light only had 277 on one leg. power on other side was just reading cause it wasnt a complete circuit.well, after they changed lamp, nothing changed. they proceded to go to the supply house. after this lamp changed nothing, they changed the ballast. after this changed nothing, they had me go there. with the right tool,(meter) had her fixed shortly after.check the power at fixture to make a long story short. metal halide fixtures take time to restart as well. could be your timing.
 
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