light switch, open circuit issue?

I came home two weeks ago to find power out in a section of my house. The breaker had flipped in the basement. I pushed it back to "on" and it kicked right back along with a loud buzzing noise in the wall. A contractor friend came over and diagnosed the issue to be an "open circuit" caused by a foyer light and recommended that I replace the two switches that control this light. I have since replaced the two 3-way switches and still have the same issue. When I flip the switch I hear a buzz and that power kicks off.

any thoughts or advice on how to repair this issue?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A loud buzzing noise was coming from where: The breaker? The light? The switch? Or someplace else?

    You only get a buzzing sound when there is what's called a "dead short." In other words, a hot and neutral or two hots are touching one another. This could be in the light, probably not in the switch.

    Please feel free to email me more information on the buzzing sound. Perhaps I can better help diagnose the problem.

    Source(s): Master/Licensed Electrician
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    You were misinformed by your friend. I hope that he is not an electrician or a lot of people will be in danger. An open circuit does not draw any current so it could not cause the breakers to trip. You have wasted your time and money replacing the switches.

    You definitely have a fault though. The buzzing noise is probably sparking caused by faulty insulation in the wall wiring or in a socket or other fitting. This will be what is pulling the excess current and tripping your breakers. You are very fortunate that your breakers are working properly or you would have had a fire by now.

    Use keen ears and possibly nose, to pin down the location of the fault.

    You MUST investigate the wiring in the area around the buzzing. Do it NOW because electricity that is out of control is dangerous stuff.

    There will probably be insulation damage or a breakdown in an embedded junction box. If you keep on using it and just resetting the circuit breaker then sooner or later the breaker will fail and then you will be in really big trouble.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Open circuits do not cause breakers to trip, so the advice that you got was wrong.

    If the breaker is an older breaker, replace it. Breakers do age and trip at lower current levels as the years go by, and will often exhibit the symptoms that you report as they near the end of their useful life.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    an open draws no current,and won't trip a breaker....remove the suspect light from the circuit and try the breaker...

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The light is faulty.

    Source(s): Life
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.