Troubleshooting Electrical Circuit Problems?

This is a really weird (and scary) problem: I live in a 1977 split level house, and although it has always taken very little to trip the circuit breaker the electricity has been okay for the 18 years we have lived there.


Recently, however, the overhead lights in two bedrooms won't work unless you plug something into a certain outlet in one of the rooms. This only turns on the light in that room, nothing works for the other room. Actually, we thought it only happened if you plug something in there, but even touching the plug prongs to the wall near the outlet does this.

Now, we do have an electrician coming, but until then we need to know how dangerous this is and we would like to have a clue as to how big a problem it is (how expensive to fix). Thank you!

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April 28, 20160 found this helpful

I have no clue, but it seems pretty serious to me. Thank goodness you have an electrician coming, tomorrow, I hope!! My home is of similar vintage, and it had some issues, nothing dangerous, but too many outlets on one breaker, so the breaker was continuously flipping (and that wears them out, so they do it more easily!). Very annoying. Anyway, I don't know how expensive it will be to fix the problem in the bedrooms (wiring short?


something serious, anyway), but it will be much less expensive than a house burning down because you didn't have it fixed. Good luck.

PS. Have that electrician assess the rest of the wiring, just to see if you have any other problem areas. Better to be safe than sorry. Maybe some home handyperson had a go at your wiring, and made some dangerous mistakes.

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June 15, 20160 found this helpful

I have wired many many lights with a wall switch, and many times multiple switches from one power source by pig tailing to the appropriate number of switches.
But for some reason the breaker now blows when I install the switch?
With no switch in the line - the lights work fine, but as soon as I put a switch in the line - the breaker blows!


All new equipment, including a new breaker because it is a new line.
110 volt c/w a 15 amp breaker.
very standard issue - but for the life of me I cannot understand why I am blowing the breaker. Help please!!
Dennis Beamish
Cambridge Canada
dwbeamish47 at

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