Dumb Light Fixture Again

Old 01-25-05, 10:41 AM
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Unhappy Dumb Light Fixture Again

I've got this light fixture that my husband tried to replace, but didn't pay attention to how the old fixture was wired when he took it apart. Now he can't get the new one to work. Help?

There appear to be five black wires, five white wires, and five grounding wires in this box. Apparently the extra wires are coming from four recessed lights near this fixture. Those four lights are controlled by one switch, and the fixture we are trying to replace is controlled by a different switch. My husband seems to remember the old fixture having one white wire hooked up to it, and the black wire bundled in with the other five black wires. So we tried trial and error trying to figure out which white wire it was, and tripped the circuit breaker until we found one that didn't trip it. But the new light fixture doesn't work with that combination. The four recessed lights work on their switch with this combination, just not the new fixture. We checked the lightbulb to make sure that wasn't it.

Any ideas?
Old 01-25-05, 11:33 AM
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Turn the circuit off and test it with a continuity tester. With both switches off test across the black and whit of each cable. when you close the switch you may get continuity across one cable with the switch closed and not with the switch open. That cable is a switch leg. Check the other cables and see which one has continuity with the bulbs in the lights and not with the bulbs out of the lights. Those cables go to the lights that removing the bulb changes. What you hopefully end up with is two switch legs, two cables feeding lights and one unswitched feed from the panel. Let us know how that testing comes out.
Tom H

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