I need help

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  #1  
Old 01-08-05, 11:39 AM
ski1127
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I need help

I am trying to install a light fixture. On the box it says to put black wire on black and white to white and ground to wire. Have that figued out, until I took off old fixture. I have 4 black wires, very old house, old wires also. Is there a way to do this myself, or do I call an electrician? thank you for any answers in advance.
 
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Old 01-08-05, 11:53 AM
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Very common problem. Probably a switch loop.

Have you already tried to connect the fixture's black to both black wires from the ceiling, and the fixture's white to both white's from the ceiling. If you have not, don't do this. If you have, what happened?

How was the old fixture connected? Please don't tell me that you took it down without noting. If so, we can still do this but it will be harder.

Do you have any electrical test equipment such as a voltmeter or neon circuit tester? If so, what exactly?

Does the wall switch control just this one fixture, or more than one fixture?

Please answer all questions.
 
  #3  
Old 01-08-05, 06:34 PM
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If your old fixture is still up, there are 2 wires + maybe a ground. Use the same 2 wires. Leave everything that is not connected to the old fixture as it is.
 
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Old 01-08-05, 07:08 PM
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I wonder if he has knob n tube wireing? Do you have a ground in the box with those 4 black wires?
 
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Old 01-09-05, 07:23 AM
ski1127
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I have 2 black wires, each wire is split into two, these wires are connected to two seperate sockets. I have no equipment to test. Wall switch controls only this fixture. I have no ground wire coming in from celiling. Also I am a she. Thank you for all replies. I hope you can help me.
 
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Old 01-09-05, 11:36 AM
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Ok so your old fixture had 2 sockets. That gives you 2 blacks and 2 whites from the old fixture. Connect your new fixture black to the wire connected to the 2 blacks on your old fixture. Connect the white to the wire connected tothe 2 whites from your old fixture.
 
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Old 01-09-05, 02:29 PM
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I'm getting confused about which wires you describe are coming from the fixture and which wires are coming from the ceiling box, and what the colors of all those wires are. If you haven't already solved this problem, can you recap the wires?
 
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Old 01-10-05, 04:33 AM
ski1127
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I have 2 black wires coming from the ceiling. both black wires are split into two, that go to the 2 sockets. I have no white wires coming from the ceiling. Sorry for the confusion.
 
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Old 01-10-05, 05:30 AM
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I think your term sockets is confusing people. What do you mean by sockets?
 
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Old 01-10-05, 05:37 AM
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Probably mar connectors. Meaning he has pigtails. Just a guess.
 
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Old 01-10-05, 07:58 AM
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I'm also not sure what "split into two" means. Are we talking about two individual wires emerging from a black cable?
 
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Old 01-10-05, 10:24 AM
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She says it's an old house. My bet is she has two lines in the fixture box, one with the power and neutral (both wires being black), the other being a switch loop (also both wires being black). So she needs to determine which is the power and which is the switch, which she can do with a simple neon tester bulb.

If my guess on the wires is right, is there any other configuration it could be?

Joe
 
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Old 01-10-05, 10:56 AM
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Whenever you have four wires in a fixture box, there are two likely explanations: (1) a switch loop is involved, or (2) the switch controls multiple fixtures. It is necessary to figure out which to know how to wire it.

If all the wires are black and you don't already have a $15 non-contact voltage "tick" tester, you should buy one at your home center before proceeding.

Of course, concerns about 90-degree wire is always a factor when installing new fixtures on old wiring. Failure to heed these warnings puts your house at risk of a fire.
 
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Old 01-10-05, 05:01 PM
ski1127
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Sorry to confuse everyone. I am starting to become confused myself. When I bought the new fixture and saw the directions on the box, I thought to myself, "I can do this." Yea right. But the two wires that are coming from my ceiling, are split into two, (total of 4 wires) and those two wires are wired directly into a socket, (total 2 sockets) these sockets have bulbs screwed directly into these them. I do appreciate all reponses. You guys are great, wish one of you lived close to me. As for buying a "tick" tester, I would not know what to do with it when I got it home. I would be back on here asking how to use it. I don't want to sound really stupid here, I have totally remolded two houses, just nothing to do with electric. I guess my best bet is to call an electrician. Thanks guys.
 

Last edited by ski1127; 01-10-05 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 01-10-05, 05:24 PM
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Sorry, but I'm still confused.
  1. If you took down the light fixture and hid it behind the sofa, and then looked up at the ceiling box, exactly how many wires would you see? What colors are they? Are they grouped into cables?
  2. If you now go look behind the sofa, how many wires emerge from the fixture for you to connect to? I'm only interested in the unconnected ends of the wires, not anything about how they connect to the sockets. What colors are they?
  3. In what year was your house built?
 
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Old 01-10-05, 06:24 PM
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Forget about what the wires do before they get to the two wires that you. As long as you didn't mess with them then you will be fine.

Also, forget the fact that your old light had two sockets.

It sounds like you have two wires that you need to connect to the new light. That works because the new ficture has two wires that you need to connect to.

Just connect your two wires to the two wires for the light, and it should work. For the time being don't worry about the fact that you have two black wires and the new light has a black and a white. Assuming that the light works (and it should), we can worry about which wire is which later.

Note that the new light may also have a bare or green ground wire. For the time being leave that wire unconnected. We will connect it later.
 
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Old 01-10-05, 06:30 PM
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Any chance of taking a digi photo of it and hosting it on www.photobucket.com and letting us have a look at what is so puzzeling?
 
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