Lighting

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  #1  
Old 02-24-04, 02:49 PM
bishaha
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Lighting

I recently tried to install a recessed lighting in replacement of numerous lights in a corridor in my home. All but one worked well. This light is controlled by two switches and when I mapped out wiring I must have made a mistake becaause it simply does not work. This light also had two cables going into it where Red was with red, One black was with a white and the other black and white were not attached.
In trying to replicate that it did not work. Is there any easy way of finding out which wire should be attached to which at this stage.?
 
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Old 02-24-04, 03:10 PM
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Was this a straight one-for-one replacement? I.e., the number of fixtures stayed the same? You didn't try to add fixtures?
 
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Old 02-24-04, 03:12 PM
bishaha
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yes
one light controlled by 2 switches
 
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Old 02-24-04, 03:33 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by "were not attached". All these wires should have been attached to something. Can you clarify?
 
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Old 02-24-04, 04:52 PM
ltngbolt
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Sounds like you may have had a light controlled by 2 - 3 way switches where the 3 wires both went to the light fixture. This is hard to troubleshoot without seeing exactly what you have. You may need to tell us exactly what wires are in each 3 way switch as well as at the location where the existing light was. Also which wire colors are on the common screw at each 3 way switch. From what you said the black and the white that are not connected could be the wires you need for the light. Are you sure when you took it apart the black was to the black the red to the red and the whites were used for the light? That is the most common scenario I have seen for that setup
Let us know what you find
 
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Old 02-24-04, 04:54 PM
bishaha
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That's whats puzzling me coz i distinctly remember one white and one black simply straight cut and unattached to anything i.e
Red with Red attached to White going into light fixture
White with black attached to Black going into light fixture
Other white & Black unattached
& grounded
 
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Old 02-24-04, 05:56 PM
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The reason we can't just jump to the answer is that there isn't just one way to do it. The electrician who did this originally had multiple valid options, and without more information, we don't know which choice he made.

When you have a light between two 3-way switches, with power coming in at one of the switches, you will see two black/red/white cables in the box. The black from one cable, and the white from the other, will be connected to the light. The red from one cable is normally connected to the red from the other, and the black from one cable to the white from the other. The problem is that we don't know which black and which white you should connect to the light, and which you should connect to each other. I would encourage you not to guess, because you could easily end up with something that works but is unsafe.

Here is an algorithm. You'll need some sort of circuit tester. A simple $2 neon circuit tester will do just fine.[list=1][*]Shut off the breaker.[*]Remove the light fixture, and separate all six wires, but leave the grounding wires connected to each other (do you have grounding wires?).[*]Turn the breaker back on.[*]Very carefully test each of the six wires to the grounding wires for voltage. Only one of the six wires should test for voltage to ground.[*]Shut off the breaker again and tag which of the six wires had voltage.[*]Come back and tell us which wire that was. Then we'll tell you what to do next.[/list=1]
 
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