Stupid Switch!


I mentioned on Saturday that we lost electricity in our computer room Friday night.  Even after unplugging everything from the outlets the circuit breaker kept tripping.

Betsy’s creativity with extension cords kept us  online, but we knew we had to get the problem fixed.  We just hoped the repair wouldn’t be too extensive or too expensive.

The circuit that failed is strange — it includes the outlets and ceiling light in the computer room, a mirror light in a bath room, and a lamppost light in the front yard.  I suspected that the problem might be related to the front yard light which hadn’t worked for a couple of years.

When the electrician arrived he quickly determined that we had a dead short someplace along the circuit.  The wiring in the lamppost  was properly tied off and insulated.  It was possible the  problem could be along the buried wire leading to the lamppost or in the walls of the room.  How could we find it?  While we were talking the electrician pointed to a switch and asked what it was.  We had to think for a moment but replied that it was a switch to the yard  light.

The switch position indicated that the light was off, but the electrician tested it and the switch was on!  He flipped the switch, reset the circuit breaker, and we had power in the computer room!

Duh!  To prevent a recurrence we had the electrician completely disable the switch.  We’ll put a solar light on the lamppost.

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3 Responses to “Stupid Switch!”

  1. Fishing Guy Says:

    George: That is so funny, something as simple as a switch being turned on a shorted circuit. At least it was an inexpensive fix.

  2. seniorhiker Says:

    We were fortunate on this one. You can bet we’ll be extra careful around switches from now on!

  3. NCMountainwoman Says:

    That’s the sort of thing that happened when we moved into our new house. Our contractor had so many houses started, I think he sent whichever (and several different) electricians he had available. Hopefully we have all the bugs out now. Fortunately, none of the problems were expensive, but some of them did take a lot of investigation to identify the problems.

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