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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went to a house to change two hallway fixtures that the home owner has been having trouble with. Pulled first one down the wires were melted together and burn spots on the drywall. Saw an added wire with just the neutral wire connected in box. ( hot wire was not connected to anything.) Traced wire to an added ceiling fan in a bedroom they pulled a Romex to the switch in the room (which was originally controlling a receptacle) to get the hot. Got everything rewired and all is good but am not sure why the breaker didn't trip due to the short in the light fixture?
 

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If it's not a 'dead' short, there may be enough resistance in the fault to prevent the breaker from tripping.

Or they have FPE breakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Def a dead short wires in old fixture melted together. Even checked continuity with meter when I was finished...
 

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So you had to turn the breaker off?

If so, you should have replaced it since it's obviously not doing it's job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Located and turned off breaker to bedroom circuit and rewired then turned off switch to hallway light fixtures and replaced them. I did replace the breaker to the hallway fixtures as a precaution. Assumed that the added neutral wire was the culprit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Located and turned off breaker to bedroom circuit and rewired then turned off switch to hallway light fixtures and replaced them. I did replace the breaker to the hallway fixtures as a precaution. Assumed that the added neutral wire was the culprit. There was still one lamp in one of the fixtures that was on. ( three lamps per fixture. Breaker never tripped...
 

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Not sure man just tossing it out there, learn me something... I just remember working on some 347 volt lighting that was fed from 3 different breakers that we had a lot of trouble with, just reminded me of that job
 

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Def a dead short wires in old fixture melted together. Even checked continuity with meter when I was finished...
There was still one lamp in one of the fixtures that was on. ( three lamps per fixture. Breaker never tripped...
I don't think you had a short. My guess is that there was a loose connection that melted the insulation together but never actually created a short. If you had a short it would be impossible for a light to still be lit.
 

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It was a short, but it may have been relatively high resistance, or relatively fast.

You need a certain amount of current flow that lasts for a certain amount of time to trip a breaker. If either one of those isn't satisfied, the breaker isn't going to operate, even if it's working properly.
 

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I came across an FPE plug in 20 amp breaker a couple of weeks back that went against the grain and tripped , resulting in customer contacting me to find short. FPE was a very popular panel here for a long time. If I was full of cool aid like most here are I could have made an empire out of peddling FPE replacements for big money and no real local evidence of proof that they never trip during overloads or shorts.

I challenge 480 to make a suicide switch box up and do some purposeful trip tests on plug in (residential.. no need to kill the poor guy to prove a point..) FPE breakers in a You Tube video to show us all how evil they are.
 
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