Trouble wiring a light that has to seperate switches


  #1  
Old 07-24-04, 09:43 AM
AdL2
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Trouble wiring a light that has to seperate switches

Hi,

I have a light that I have just took off the ceiling that I want to replace. This light can be turned on/off by either of two switches, one of which is in the same room as the light and the other one is in the room nextdoor.

The problem that i am having is that the wire for the light actually has two main wires each with the wires inside. Now i would of expected each wire to have live, neutral and ground however it dosnt seem too. In total i have three red wires, two ground wires (that are twisted together) and one neutral wire. Except that one of the red wires is actually black with a red cover over the end of it.

It seemed that when i disconnected the old light that two of the red wires were put together and just connected to a screw that wasnt conected to anything else.

So i have wired it up by just putting electrical tape around two of the red wires and then just wiring the rest of the wires as normal (the two neutral wires are conected to the same point). However this didnt work....

So, sorry if i havnt explanined it very well, im a total novice at this stuff. Can anyone give me any advice?

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 07-24-04, 10:15 AM
J
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the wire for the light actually has two main wires each with the wires inside
So this means that the ceiling box has two cables, each with one black and one white wire, not counting any wires from the light fixture itself. True?

i have three red wires, two ground wires (that are twisted together) and one neutral wire. Except that one of the red wires is actually black with a red cover over the end of it
Well this seems to shoot down my prior assumption. So please clarify exactly which wires are in which cable? This information seems illogical, because it seems to suggest that one cable has only red and red/black, and the other cable has red and white. Cables without a white wire are very rare. Please look again to see if you overlooked any of the wires. And define more precisely what a "red cover" is.

It seemed that when i disconnected the old light that two of the red wires were put together and just connected to a screw that wasnt conected to anything else
As I'm sure you know by now, it's the "seems that" part of this sentence that is the root of your problem. Careful recording of the old connections and making the new connections the same as the old is a can't-fail algorithm.

So i have wired it up by just putting electrical tape around two of the red wires
You should not be making connections with electrical tape. It is unreliable and a violation of electrical code. Use wire nuts.

Go back and look more carefully in the ceiling box and describe exactly and precisely what wires you have, and what cables they are in.
 
  #3  
Old 07-24-04, 03:03 PM
AdL2
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Hi, first of all thanks for the reply. I can see how what i wrote was be a bit confusing, ill try to answer your questions as best i can.

With regard to the red and white wires, i think that maybe because im from england that we may use different colours.

The ceiling box has two cables, each with one green/yellow wire and one red wire. Then one cable has a black wire and the other has another black wire but this has a red sheath (lets just say it has red tape on it).

Now ive done some research on this and it seems that (theres that word again) the black wire with red tape on it is the switch wire.

And yes i sure do wish i paid more attention to the wiring when i started. I just expected it to be straight forward.

Thanks for the advice about the tape, i will fix that with a terminal connector block.

Thanks again its getting late here so im gona leave it for now and have another go at it in the morning, ill let you know how i get on
 
 

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