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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everyone - Im in the process of building MysticalJet 3.0.

I have wired electric and done so many many times, but this has me stumped and I'm hoping someone can help out ( and confirm my thoughts). I'll try to explain as best I can and I hope someone has some ideas.

One of the circuits (15 amp) controls some lights in the theater. There are 4 light switches. 1 for led soffit lights (side), 1 for proscenium soffit lights, 1 for sconces on 2 columns, and 1 for 2 outlets above soffits for LED light strips. Everything is wired and connected. Soffit lights are working great and connected to insteon. dimmers. I am having a problem with the sconces.

The circuit goes Power to light switches, then out to lights. One is 2 sconces in parallel - one in each column. When I hooked up the sconces today and turned them on, I heard a POP at the switch (actually insteon dimmer) I'm sure I killed the dimmer. Lights would not come on.

Anyway, I did some troubleshooting but just can't figure it out.

Immediately thought I screwed up the wiring at the dimmer so I disconnected traced the wires (they looked good) and swapped with a standard toggle switch. When I turned the toggle on, the breaker tripped immediate.

OK, so I thought something f-ed up in the wiring at the sconces. So I disconnected the sconces and capped the wires. Tried the switch, and no problems. OK

Next I connected 1 sconce at the first column in the chain. Turned switch on, and ok, lights on no problem. OK. Then swapped sconces and did the same. Light turned on OK. no problem. OK time to check next light box in series.

I disconnected the sconce in column 1 and just connected the wires. Then connected the sconce in column 2 in chain. Turned switch on and all OK light came on.

OK so I then connected sconce on column 1 in parallel (so now both sconces connected) turned switch on and POP - killed sconce in column 2 ..smoke an all.
This is where I am. Seems wiring is OK . so wtf is going on?

Im at the point that ill need to order new sconces but before i do i want to be sure I'm not missing something.

Any help much appreciated.

FYI- here are the sconces I'm talking about.
 

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lights shouldn't be in series they are daisy chained but in parallel. You might have them wired correctly but your terminology is off.

Look at the base of the bulbs for a short? or your moving the wires about may have caused a short to appear, disappear then reapper.
Your Insteon dimmer is probably toast, I've done that before with a short.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
lights shouldn't be in series they are daisy chained but in parallel. You might have them wired correctly but your terminology is off.

Look at the base of the bulbs for a short? or your moving the wires about may have caused a short to appear, disappear then reapper.
Your Insteon dimmer is probably toast, I've done that before with a short.
yep, parallel and daisy chained - fixed the first thread. I don't think its a short or at least I can't see it. Wondering if the sconces themselves are the problem

edit: To clarify - Each sconce has a load, neutral, and ground connected.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After some reflection I think if you take both sconces apart you will find that they mixed up the hot and neutral wires in one of the sconces. The result is that when two are connected in parallel you are connecting the hot wire directly to the neutral without a load. AKA a short. That would explain why they both work independently but not connected together.
This is what I thought but i don't really want to take them apart - so I can return for refund (which I hope I can get since I ordered a while ago). I'll probably go a different brand at this point with the sconces but just want to be sure Im not missing something on my end before I do.

Thx Big.
 

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Did you see a spark or smoke? If so, that can be a clue. It will occur at the weakest point in the circuit. This will likely be either where the short is, or at the switch (or dimmer), since the switch itself is a weak point in the circuit. If you saw a spark or smoke from the switch, that won't help you much, but if you saw it somewhere else, start looking there.


There isn't really much in the light fixtures to figure out. The black hot wire should go to the center terminal of the socket. The white return wire should go to the outside threaded base portion of the socket. The ground should go to the metal frame. You should be able to look at the fixture for any signs of burn marks or sparking. If you find them, you have likely found the problem. If not, the problem is probably elsewhere. It sounds like you have already tested the sconces individually, which would imply that they were working properly.


I would temporarily substitute different light fixtures or sockets in place of the sconces to confirm that the circuitry is working properly. Any light fixture or socket will work. These cost $1.19 http://www.lowes.com/pd/Eaton-660-Watt-White-Hard-Wired-Ceiling-Socket/1098607. Or get something like this with pigtails for a couple dollars more http://www.lowes.com/pd/Project-Source-Socket/3958895.


You may want to invest in an inexpensive multimeter. You don't need anything fancy for basic troubleshooting. You can get them for under $10 at your local Harbor Freight store. They regularly give them away for free when you sign up to get their coupon mailers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How many light fixtures do you have on this one circuit?

Sent from my SM-G870W using Tapatalk
Just the 2 lights in circuit. No spark, actually the dimmer failed initially. Then when I replaced with toggle switch, the breaker tripped a couple times before smoke from 1 of the fixtures. I packed them up today for refund.

I inspected the wires in the sconce closely, particularly where the smoke came from. Appears there may be a nick in the neutral. If this is the case, then possibly was a short against the mounting plate.

I have tested with other lights and circuit seems fine. Thanks for the replies.
 

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When you tried one sconce at a time , did you use the same sconce at location 1 , then location 2 , or did you test sconce 1 at location 1 , then sconce 2 at location 2? It sounds like a short in one of your fixtures , based on the troubleshooting you described . If everything is fine when the sconces aren't in the chain , then its the sconce(s) . Could be a manufacturing defect , I've had fixtures with bare wire inside the fixture , shorting to ground , where it wasn't visible until I destroyed the fixture looking for the problem .
 
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