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Discuss Breaker trip after screwing light fitting back to freshly painted ceiling in the Electrical Forum area at

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  1. gazroo

    gazroo New EF Member


    This afternoon, finished re-emulsioning a plasterboard ceiling in a 25-y-o house (so the electrics are modern enough).

    I had removed a circular metal light fitting - the swivel 3-spotlight type of thing - but it uses modern LED bulbs. Never ever had a problem with it. The wiring is solidly connected and the fitting not heavy, so I let it dangle to ease painting above/around.

    Finished the final coat and didn't let it dry but immediately screwed the fitting back onto the metal plate which is itself screwed to the joist. I'm confident no wires were trapped but switched the light on and - bingo - tripped the fuse box.

    Removed the fitting again and let it dangle. Switched the fuse box back on. All circuits worked again and all three bulbs were now working too. In fact, whilst dangled, the fitting is turning on and off just fine, but I'm nervous about fixing it back to the joist plate in case I trip the electrics again.

    Could the damp emulsion have been the culprit, or is it likely to be another reason ?

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities Electrician's Arms

    It depends on what sort of breaker it was that tripped. Was it an RCD or an MCB.
    What is written on it? does it have s test button?
  3. littlespark

    littlespark Electrician's Arms

    Scottish Borders
    Is it a squeeze to push it all up to fix it back to the bracket?

    Can you post a photograph of it hanging, showing the connections?

    There’s maybe a cable pressing against the metal bracket when it’s pushed up
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Marvo

    Marvo Admin and gender confused Staff Member Admin

    South Africa
    Isolate the power and check the wires carefully to see if you managed to puncture one with a screw or maybe trapped one and squished it until it made contact with an earth. If there's a damaged wire then either trim it back to remove the damaged area or get some heat shrink sleeve and repair it.

    If you're unsure rather get a sparky in to help you, it should literally take him/her 10 minutes to fix it safely and you'll have peace of mind.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. KEV 1 N

    KEV 1 N Electrician's Arms

    That is most definitely the problem!
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. Pete999

    Pete999 Forum Mentor

    Business Name:
    More than likely wet paint, or you could have pinched the cables when refitting the light, if you are uncertain then call an electrician 15 minute job if all wiring is OK
  7. gazroo

    gazroo New EF Member

    Thanks to all who replied, and so promptly! I put the fitting back up after a further 48 hours and it was fine. Guess I'll never know for sure but I think it was the damp paint; there is a good inch between the fitting and the plasterboard so little chance for wires or connectors to get squished.
    • Like Like x 2
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