3 wires into a box???

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  #1  
Old 02-25-06, 01:15 PM
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3 wires into a box???

Hi all, I'm new here!

I'm in the middle of changing some sconces in my house and I've run into a problem. One of the boxes has 3 wires running into it. I'm assuming one goes to the switch, one to a duplex receptical and one from/ to?

Anyway, the 3 black wires are marreted together and two of the white are, with one free. Unfortunately I never saw the previous sconce setup as the wires pulled off before I could get a look.

I have tried white on the loose white and black mixed in with the 3: nothing. I reversed it to white with the black etc.: still nothing.

Can anyone help me out with this?

Thanks in advance!
 
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  #2  
Old 02-25-06, 01:35 PM
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From the sounds of this the most likely setup is that the white wire already together are the neutral, and the loose white is the hot from a switch loop.

However, you shouldn't ever guess. That is foolish and can get you killed. Open the switch box and look at the wiring on the switch. Use a two wire tester and verify what the incoming wires are. This will tell you how to wire it.
 
  #3  
Old 02-25-06, 02:31 PM
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Thanks Bob,

Wouldn't the fact that I connected both the white and black of the sconce to the loose white and got nothing indicate something? I can only assume the fact that if there was one marreted white wire with nothing attached to it, it should attach to either the white or black.

Open the switch box and look at the wiring on the switch. Use a two wire tester and verify what the incoming wires are. This will tell you how to wire it.
As my understanding of wiring begins and ends with 1 wire, I'm not sure what I would be looking for or what it would be telling me.

That is foolish and can get you killed.
I do everything with the power off. Are you refering to a fire risk?

Thanks again!
 
  #4  
Old 02-25-06, 04:27 PM
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Connect the sconce white to the whites marred together and black the lone white wire. This is switch loop that was not wired using the colors properly.
 
  #5  
Old 02-25-06, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mrjimmy
Wouldn't the fact that I connected both the white and black of the sconce to the loose white and got nothing indicate something? I can only assume the fact that if there was one marreted white wire with nothing attached to it, it should attach to either the white or black.
The only way you will get light is if you get a hot wire and a grounded wire.

Originally Posted by mrjimmy
As my understanding of wiring begins and ends with 1 wire, I'm not sure what I would be looking for or what it would be telling me.
If your understanding of electricity is this limited, then you shouldn't be doing what you are doing. Electricity can and does kill people. At the very least buy and read one or two books on electricity and home wiring.

Originally Posted by mrjimmy
I do everything with the power off. Are you refering to a fire risk?
There is a fire risk and an electrocution risk. Yes, you may do your work with the power off, but then you turn it on again to test your theory. If you had a tester and used it you would be done by now.
 
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