Electrical Repair Questions? Ask an Electrician for Answers ASAP
Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.
Have you removed both 3 ways from the wall and inspected for wires that may be nicked or cut? Possible ground wire touching a screw?
Did this just start suddenly?
Yes I have checked. No I bought the house a year ago. And the outdoor fixture was missing so I never knew I had this problem
What are the wire colors on the 3 ways? Call them #1 and #2?
2 black wires and 1 white
Ok, need to see what other wires are in the boxes, that is an odd combination and may be crossed up wiring.'
Could there be a short in the traveling wires?
Is this an outside light in the yard?
or on the house?
Would it cause any other problems if I just capped of the one switch and the traveling wires and made it a single switch?
It is on my house
The house was built in 1977
Ok, was trying to understand why the light is on a GFCI when it is on the house?
GFCI is not required when the light is attached to the house, especially in 1977
The gfci is in the garage and that is where the second switch is.
It is not a problem with how you got it working, by capping the traveler wires. That is fine if that is the way you want it to work.
The garage receptacle needs to be GFCI, but not the switches.
I put a regular outlet in place of the gfci and everything worked fine
Maybe someone just connected the lights on the LOAD side of the GFCI. They can go to the LINE side if there are no other receptacles connected.
you can keep the GFCI in the garage, just connect all the wires to the LINE side of the GFCI. Then the light will not be on the GFCI
But , make sure there are no other receptacles, if there are more, then you cannot do it because the receptacles must be GFCI in the garage or outside
I chased the wires through the crawl space and its the white wire that is on the same circuit of the gfci
There isnt a cable?
just a wire?
No its a cable
Ok, and the cable has a black and white wire inside connected to the GFCI, correct?
Ok, is there anything else on that cable besides the light?
If you disconnect that cable, what all goes off?
Garage door opener an outlet on the back wall
Ok, Then the wires have to stay on the LOAD terminals on the GFCI since there is another receptacle on the back wall.
Apparently one of the traveler wires is touching somehow and making the GFCI trip. It only takes about 6 milli anps to trip one
milli amps, sorry
You could put another GFCI on the back wall, then connect that cable to the LINE side and eliminate the problem
In other words, connect that cable to the LINE side terminals. Then go to the back wall receptacle and change it out to a GFCI. Then all would be safe and the light should not trip the GFCI.
GFCI has 2 sets of terminals, LINE and LOAD
Well that one shows power in the wrong spot. Not sure why, need to correct it.
So two gfci in a row would solve tis problem?
Here is the correct one, sorry.
They would not be in a row
First one will have all wires on the LINE side and only protects the receptacle plugs on the front.
Second one would wire with the wires on the LINE terminals also and protect the plugs on the front also
The way it is now, the first GFCI protects everything, receptacles, l;ights and all
The lights will no longer be on a GFCI
Ok I understand now.
ok, sometimes it is hard to explain on GFCI because of how they are wired is how they operate alone or also other items
Would this bypass the problem with the traveling wires if there is one?
You stated earlier, that you changed the GFCI to a regular receptacle and all worked fine, is that not correct?
Or can traveling wires cause the gfci to pop for no reason?
Must be small leakage of some sort. It doesnt trip the breaker, so there is not a diret short.
Yes that is correct
The main breaker never trips
I understand, that is why it worked fine with the regular receptacle
GFCI is to protect people with tools and such that may have problems or get close to water etc. ONLY takes a split second of power leakage to trip it
So this leakage I don't need to worry about causing a fire in my wall?
Im confident in my connection skills. its just the things behind the walls that freak me out.
If it was not on the GFCI now, you would not know it. It could be a loose wire nut in the circuit, that is all it takes, a loose connection that is not making good contact. If it were a big problem, it would trip the breaker
If you go through the entire circuit and check all connections and wire nuts, you will probably find the problem.
If the light starts to flicker later, then you know it is a loose connection.
Ok sounds good. Thank you so much. I will get to work on these outlets