Basic Wiring Question

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  #1  
Old 10-03-05, 07:34 AM
paulp36
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Basic Wiring Question

I've just installed a outdoor Lamp Post and ran recommended Outdoor wire into my new house. The inside pre-wired box that was installed by the Electrical Contractor for this Lamp Post Project has a Black, White, Red and Ground wires. My Outdoor wire has only Black, White and Ground. What do I do with the Red wire in the box? And what is the Red wire for?
 
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  #2  
Old 10-03-05, 07:39 AM
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Is there a switch that is supposed to control this light? My guess is that the red wire is a switched wire, and the black wire is always hot. If I am correct, the connect the red wire to the back wire that goes to the light and then connect the two white wires. Leave the black wire unconnected.

You can (and should) verify the wiring with a tester. Test the white wire with the both the black wire and the red wire. I suspect that the red wire will only be hot when the switch is on.
 
  #3  
Old 10-03-05, 07:42 AM
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It's hard to say why you have a red wire in this box. Is there an electric eye mounted on the side of your house?

I'd probably start by capping off the red wire and connecting other wires by color. You might then find that the light is on all the time and not controlled by the electric eye (if it exists). In that case, try capping off the black wire in the box and connecting your new black wire to the red wire.

These are just guesses, but they should be safe guesses. If you really want to understand, you'll need to trace these wires back to where they come from and see how they are connected there.
 
  #4  
Old 10-03-05, 07:42 AM
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The color Red MAY indicate that it is a switch-controlled conductor.

You will have to test-for-voltage between the White & Black and the White & Red to positively determine which conductor- Red or Black- is switch-controlled.

Good Luck, & Learn & Enjoy from the Experience!!!!!!!!!!
 
  #5  
Old 10-03-05, 08:35 AM
paulp36
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Originally Posted by racraft
Is there a switch that is supposed to control this light? My guess is that the red wire is a switched wire, and the black wire is always hot. If I am correct, the connect the red wire to the back wire that goes to the light and then connect the two white wires. Leave the black wire unconnected.

You can (and should) verify the wiring with a tester. Test the white wire with the both the black wire and the red wire. I suspect that the red wire will only be hot when the switch is on.
Yes there is a switch on the first floor that comes directly from the box with the Red wire. I intend to put a Photo-cell switch in the Lamp Post to automatically turn the Lamp Post Light on and off, based on Daylight and Darktime periods. I would also like to have the option of manually turning off (with the switch) the Lamp Post light. What does this scenario call for so far as connecting the wires?
 
  #6  
Old 10-03-05, 08:45 AM
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You can't have your cake and eat it too, at least not at this stage of the game.

You can certainly wire it so that the switch works. Or you can wire it so that the photocell works. But if you use both then the light will only work when the switch is on AND the photocell calls for it to be on.

How you wire it depends on what you want, AND on the wiring at the switch. Open the switch box and tell us the wiring there, or perform the test of checking for voltage across the red and white and then black and white wires with the switch on and with the switch off.
 
  #7  
Old 10-03-05, 09:14 AM
paulp36
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Originally Posted by racraft
You can't have your cake and eat it too, at least not at this stage of the game.

You can certainly wire it so that the switch works. Or you can wire it so that the photocell works. But if you use both then the light will only work when the switch is on AND the photocell calls for it to be on.

How you wire it depends on what you want, AND on the wiring at the switch. Open the switch box and tell us the wiring there, or perform the test of checking for voltage across the red and white and then black and white wires with the switch on and with the switch off.
Having the switch on to allow the Photocell to manage the on and off functions of the light is exactly what I want. I will also have the option (as you stated) of manually turning the light off during the dark hours, with the switch if I so choose. What then is the proper wiring procedure given the wire scenario I mentioned in my first posting?
 
  #8  
Old 10-03-05, 10:15 AM
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You need to figure out what the red wire and black wire are.

Open the switch box and tell us the wiring there, or perform the test of checking for voltage across the red and white and then black and white wires with the switch on and with the switch off.
 
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