Light Fixture with too many wires


Old 09-28-05, 07:19 AM
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Light Fixture with too many wires

I am changing out a light fixture in the kitchen. When l took it down I found it has seven wires in the box. Two sets of three are ganged together, with the light being attached to one set of two and the remaining wire. Now I have a switch that doesn't seem to operate anything. So I'm wondering if this switch was somehow takin out of the loop
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Old 09-28-05, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
If everything worked before, you should have simply connected the new light to the same wires as the old light. If you think you did that and it still doesn't work, then you made a mistake. If you didn't do that and forget where the light was attached then you learned a valuable lesson. Make notes and/or take pictures.

We can help sort out the mess, but tell us the complete wiring setup. Identify cables and colors, and tel,l us all the wires. Do this for the ceiling and for the switch(es) involved. Tell us how the old light used to work and what you have done, or think you have done.
Old 09-28-05, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Did you in fact connect the new fixture exactly as the old one was connected, without disturbing any of the other wiring? If so, this should have worked. But if you attempted to "fix" something, or even if you followed the directions that came with your new fixture (not always a good idea), then let us know what you did.

If the new fixture instructions were different than the old fixture was connected, it's almost always correct to connect it as the old fixture was, not as the new fixture instructions indicate. Unfortunately, there are many different wiring configurations you might find in the box, and the guy writing the fixture instructions pretends that there is only one. I think he's trying to avoid scaring you off with complicated instructions.
Old 09-28-05, 08:35 AM
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l took apart one of the ganged wires an lost two outlets an two other lights. Aperrantly they figured this was the easiest way to wire everything up using one box. Will just forget about other switch an wire up light the way it was . TY for your imput
Old 09-28-05, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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I don't recommend your approach. If the light had two switches then it likely needed two switches, such as at two different doors. We'll be glad to help, and it isn't that difficult.
Old 09-28-05, 09:17 AM
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This is an old house with old cloth covered wires so l'm not even sure which wires go to which outlet or light.

l'm not even sure the switch is meant to work with this light. As doesn't seem to have any electricity when l use the tester on it.
Old 09-28-05, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Asheboro, NC
Posts: 348
Possibly the circuit starts in the box you mentioned?
Power could have been brought to the light box, then a light switch was placed in the circuit for the lights, while other wires were to feed outlets.
This must be a common practice, I have many light boxed that act as a juntion box for other items on the same circuit.
In my case, all the neutral wires are ties together, with one pigtail coming out and connecting to the light.
Then there is a set of wires from the switch to the box. In the box, they have wrapped the white wire with black tape, and connected it to the black wire bundle, then in the switch box, they again wrap electrical tape on the white, and connect the black wire to the other side of the switch, and return it to the box as the hot wire for the light.
My house was built in 1975, I dont know if this is still a common practice or not.
It was a little confusing at first, with white wires marked black, but I guess it works, and seems to save some wire.

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