Wiring Problem / Conflict


Old 05-01-05, 02:10 AM
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Wiring Problem / Conflict

Our guest room has an overhead box for a fixture and a wall switch to activate the fixture. The wiring is the old copper type. I wanted to install a simple two socket fixture so I climbed up to look at the wires. There are three that are all connected, two that are connected, and one that is not connected to anything. The wiring is old and it is difficult to tell what is hot, neutral, ground.

I installed the fixture. On the second try I got the wiring right and light came one when turning on the switch. However, having the fixture installed caused an adjacent room to lose power. I uninstalled the fixture and changed the wiring back to its original state and the adjacent room regained power.

I separated the three wires that were all connected, and the adjacent room again lost power. I reconnected the wires to get the power back to its original state.

Any ideas how to solve this conflict, so that I can have an overhead light in the guest room and still have power in the adjacent room?

Thank You,

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Old 05-01-05, 05:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
The solution to your problem is to connect the wires properly. You should never guess, you should always verify connections with a tester or meter before just connecting them to something.

One of the wires is a switched hot wire. It is most likely the single wire not connected to anything. Connect this to the black wire for the fixture.

One of the groups of wires is the neutral connection. This is most likely the group of two wires. Connect the fixture white wire to this group.

The other group of wires is most likely always hot. Do nothing with this group.

You can verify this connection first using a simple neon light tester by touching the tester to the wires I mentioned. Be careful doing this, as you need to do so with the wires live.

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