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Newbie - I accidentally shorted a light.. now what?


Bear with me as I don't really know what I'm talking about. I attempted to remove an old bathroom cupboard that had a light mounted on it. I turned the electricity off for that room down on my breaker.

When I accidentally touched the black wire, it zapped me a bit. I'm not sure why that was still live since the rest of the bathroom power was off.

When I went to remove the fixture, the black wire touched the white wire and sparks flew. Now I want to know... now what? I'm not even sure what words to use to search for help on YouTube or Google.

Thank you!


Re: Newbie - I accidentally shorted a light.. now what?


That proves that you have more than one circuit feeding an area of the house. Also proves that your panel is not labeled correctly. You need to find the circuit that is feeding that fixture. About the most simple way to do that is to take the line wire and touch it to something that is grounded. Like the metal box, and let it trip the breaker. It should be instant. It is it not instant, you have other issues in your electrical system. But you need to determine what circuit is feeding that line. Then, go thru your house and label every circuit once you determine what circuit is controlling each device. There will of course be multiple devices on a single circuit.

You should always use a meter to test before working on a circuit. Or, use only one hand to touch the wires, the fixtures, etc.... That way you are not the ground for that circuit. It is not a big deal, I have worked on live circuits all my life. Live and learn. Do not become the ground to any circuit.


Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

Re: Newbie - I accidentally shorted a light.. now what?

No problem locating the proper circuit breaker -- it popped when you shorted the wires!

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