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What's Causing Electrical Short?

I have an "Intermatic" spring wound interval switch, P/N FD60MWC. Normally it's used to replace a wall on/off switch, but I thought I could wire it to an extension cord so we could automatically turn our radio off at night. Not so.........when I plug the extension cord into the wall outlet it shorts out (sparks at the outlet). What am I doing wrong? I cut one wire of the extension cord and connected the 2 cut ends to the 2 terminals on the timer switch. The radio isn't plugged into the female part of the extension cord when this happens.
  • June 06 2009 - New Bern
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Answers (4)

I'm glad to have read your follow-up comment in regards to the short previously mentioned in the timer device. It would have been easier to tie a string to the plug on the radio and just yank it from the wall after you've heard enough! I suppose you now realize those dollar store extension cords are only used for jump roping.
<<grin>>
  • September 08 2009
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Profile picture for real estate mike
You turn your radio off with a switch? Very ingenious. Mine has a remote but the batteries do run out from time to time.
  • June 08 2009
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Profile picture for Lindon1051
It was wired correctly. The short was in the cheap extension cord that I bought at the Dollar Store.
  • June 07 2009
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Profile picture for Trump Junior
You created the short when you wired the extension cord to the switch.  I think you put one of the wires on the wrong post.  Check and see if there is another available post on the other side of where you are wiring and switch one of the wires over to that post.  Remember, the white and black wires can not ever have an electrical connection between them EXCEPT indirectly, through an appliance.  The appliance offers resistance and the electricity causes the appliance to function.

Edit - I guess your wires are all copper since you are wiring with an extension cord - not black and white - but same logic applies.

Hope that helped.  You can use an ohm meter or continuity checker to check if your wired the thing correctly before you try plugging it into the wall next time.  There should be no continutity between the prongs of the plug whether the switch is on or off as long as no appliance is plugged in.
  • June 06 2009
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