Electrical Repair Questions? Ask an Electrician for Answers ASAP
Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.
First, did you run from the house to the first post and then from that post to the second?
I ran to a T and then split off in each direction.
a T? you have a junction point?
Yes, I ran the wire thru a PVC conduit, then took two more wires to tie to that, one going to each lamp.
Ok, so oyu have 14/2 running from the house to a junction point, then ran the 14/2 to each light from that junction? Is that correct?
Ok, at the junction, do you have all the blacks together, all whites together and grounds together. All making good contact under the wire nuts?
I have a lamp on each side of my sidewalk.
Ok, but at the splice point where all 3 cables meet, you have connections tight under wire nuts? color to color?
Ok, at the lamp post you have motion sensors or photo cells for nightime operation?
Only one works though.
ok, so you have a combination sensor at each light?
The sensors came separate from the lights.
But the sensors are combo with both motion and photo cell?
Each light has a separate motion sensor attached to it.
ok, understand that motion and phot cell are 2 entirely different operations, need to be sure what you have in place.
yours are definitely combination units?
Give me a second.
They are Zenith motion sensing light post adapters. Model SL-4100. Got them thru Home Depot. It says the Photocell keeps the light off during the daylight hours.
Can you connect the light post directly to the 14/2 cable and see if it works?
do not use the sensor
I did that, and then the breaker tripped.
Ok, does it trip if you leave the cable disconnected from the light, free wires not touching anything?
I haven't tried.
need to try that, that will insure your connections are correct at the junction point and cable is not knicked or cut
Got a few minutes? I can go and disconnect it.
sure, be right here, not a problem
Okay, I disconnected the light and the breaker is still tripping.
Ok, need to go to the junction point where they are all connected together. Sound like the black hot is crossed with a ground or white.
Nope.. I did white to white, gray to gray and neutral to neutral.
I double-checked everything.
Something is touching in the junction box or wire scraped
Go and disconnect the cable going to that light
I put black taped and duc tape over each of the connections.
are the wires just twisted together? or wire nut?
They are twisted together with a wire nut on each end.
ok, wire nuts are good.
Still need to disconnect the one light and check the breaker again. If it holds, your wire is scraped or cut and shorting out somewhere
nothing else will trip the breaker
It couldn't just be the breaker?
When you say its scraped, what does that mean?
Is it from me removing the wire coating?
scrape is when the edge of the cable is missing a little insulation and toughing the next wire in the cable. UF cable like you have can touch each other when stripped to wire up
normally just pull them apart but have to watch and not do it so copper shows.
I really don't think that's the problem. I was really careful when I put those wires together in that junction.
black white and bare grounds
There is no black on these underground wires. They are gray.
need to double check that, sounds like the outside insulation is still on the black
If there was a problem at the junction, wouldn't the other light be having a problem, too?
all 3 are encapsulated in the gray outer covering
if the breaker trips how can the other light work?
I know there is a gray outside coating for all three, but there is also a gray inside wire instead of a black.
The one light was working before I took the motion sensor out of the second to get it to work.
interesting, will have to see if a company made a change, black is standard on all cables
I thought so too!
in order to eliminate everything, the second light needs to be disconnected and the breaker checked. OR , if you have a meter that does continuity, then it can be used.
Well, the second light is now disconnected. I am starting to believe it may be a breaker problem, or is there a chance it is an overload problem?
breakers are either good or bad,
Well, I guess I will have to get the breaker looked at.
if you disconnect the wires at the junction and check the breaker.
is the breaker a GFCI or standard one?
I can't just simply disconnect those wires. They run under my sidewalk. The breaker is a red switch.
but the junction isnt underground?
Yes, it is underground.
The wire runs thru a PVC pipe underground.
splices must be accessible 100% of the time
I can get at it, but it won't be fast.
they cannot be under the ground unless the cover is above ground
I don't understand.
is the T under the dirt? or above the dirt? can you remove the 2 screws without doing any digging etc?
Yes, the T is under the dirt, under my sidewalk. I would have to dig to get at the T.
What screws are you referring to? The wire nuts?
ok, that is why the asking, it is not allowed to be under dirt, it is against codes
Not even if it's in a PVC pipe?
yes, it must be above ground to access the wire nuts, no digging
I think I need an electrician to come out. Thanks for the help.
cable is fine under the ground, but not a splice point
you mentioned red switch?
what about it?
the breaker has a red button? or something?
The breaker is red.
The flip button on the breaker is red.
ok, sounds like a Bryant
so what does that mean?
if you want to verify the breaker, you can disconnect the wire on the breaker in the panel and then test
Nothing, just a brand name
I need an electrician
ok, be glad to work further with if you need it
all up to you