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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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I have a home built in 1960. I changed out a 3 pole switch.

Customer Question

I have a home built in 1960. I changed out a 3 pole switch. The lighting associated with all 3 switches is working, but I now have 3 outlets that are non functional, and now my breaker is tripping as well. I also changed out 2 outlets and another 3 pole switch in my hallway. They are working, but now my bathroom light and my entryway light are not working. I've undone and redone the wiring 3 times now, to no avail.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be glad to assist you. Do you have a 2 wore voltage tester?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know if it's a two wore voltage tester. I have the thing with the prongs that you stick in an outlet to see if it's hot.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Not usable for this problem. You need a 2 wire tester. I suggest a Volt/Con. It is easy to use without having to set it for function. Available at any home center for around $25.00. Get one and we can continue.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They didn't have anything specifically called what you said. I bought a Klein tools electrical test kit. It says manual ranging multimeter, non contact voltage tester, receptacle tester. Is this right?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
That will work. Remove the wires on the 3 way switches, reset the breakers and check to see what is working and what isn't let me know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What setting do I use on this tool? It starts at 200m, then 10A, all the way around a dial with various numbers... A/c voltage, DC voltage, dc current large or small, resistance, continuity, diode
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
That's why I suggested a Volt/Con. Set it to ACV.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
And I'm specifically testing the wires?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
With the wires removed, test each one to ground for voltage. There should only be one in a box or possibly one in each switch box if wired an old way. That's what I need to know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know how to test them to ground. Do I touch the red and black test leads to each individual wire?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
There may be a bare copper wire or if a metal box, the box is ground. Put one probe on ground and then touch each wire with the other probe.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The tester that we bought has a 200 and. 600 number. Which should I set it to?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Only the white wire sparked, but the machine gave no reading
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Test them all in both boxes, then let me know. Check breaker when there is a flash.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The issue I'm having with the breaker that's tripping is unrelated to this particular 3 pole switch. It's on a different circuit. I only changed one of the two switches for this particular light, so I'm only testing the wires in the one I changed, and the tester is not giving me any reading.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Your endeavor in working on multiple outlets and switches on more tan one circuit makes helping you out of the usual that we can do on line. I suggest that you call an electrician who can ring out the wiring and resolve the issues. I'll opt out. Good luck.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist.

Are you still in need of assistance on the switch?

If so, what is the total count of wires and their colors in the entire switch box?

Which of those wires is on the switch screws?

Then look at the box for the other switch for the lights, and get the same information.

I understand the other switch was not changed, but the information is needed to determine the other switches wiring etc.

Let me know and we can continue,

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