old kitchen light wiring


Old 07-12-04, 10:53 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Question old kitchen light wiring

i'm replacing a hanging light fixture in my kitchen. the light is on a dimmer switch. i've taken off the old fixture succesfully but can not determine which is the hot wire and which is the neutral.

there are 3 wires (all aluminum) coming into the box. 2 are twisted together and were not connect to the old fixture's wiring (i left it that way). 2 other wires are twisted and were wired to the fixture. and there was 1 single wire also wired to the old fixture.

i've tried using a meter to touch each of the wires individually to the outlet box to determine which is hot but this doesn't work. when i test the twisted pair and the single wire i get a live reading.

does anyone have a way for me to determine which wire is hot so i can attach my new light fixture appropriately?
Sponsored Links
Old 07-12-04, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Spend $15 at your local home center on a voltage "tick" tester. It will make quick work of this job. While you are there, be sure to pick up some (expensive) wire nuts rated for aluminum to copper connections.
Old 07-12-04, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You can buy a tester at the store that will tell you which is the hot wire. It is often referred to as a tick tester, as it emits a ticking sound when it is near the hot wire.

You can test the wires using your tester if you pout the other wire to a good ground source. Ground sources include a water pipe or the ground wire on a properly grounded oreceptacle outlet. Note: Do not perform this test when other people in the house are likely to be running water.

Since you stated aluminum wiring is present, I will caution you to make sure that you properly connect this aluminum wiring to whatever fixture you will be using.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes