Old Light Fixture

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  #1  
Old 08-20-06, 11:37 AM
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Old Light Fixture

I will preface this question by saying how very novice I am at doing electrical things. I have read several posts saying that if you do not know enough about electric circuts then don't try. I would be happy to oblige at this point (since I didn't find this website until after my "playing around" with the breaker off). Still, maybe someone can tell me what to do with my problem, since I think the former owner was not much better suited than I am when they did the work...

I just moved into a new mobile home and there was/is a place for a light fixture that the old owner informed me is connected to a dimmer switch in the room, but had no acutal light fixture attached to it. When I removed the cover, I found 3 x 110 cables inside. I didn't know what to do. I played around with it for a good while (breaker off, and before I read these forums) and learned a few odd things that may help someone more knowledgable solve my problem. At least, I hope so.

One 110 cable's black wire is always "hot" no matter if the switch is on or off.

This "hot" cable was wire-screwed to a second cable (white to white, black to black, ground to ground) that seems to be responsible for lights in an adjacent room, since when i removed the wire screws and disconected the two 110 cables, the lights in the other room stopped working.

There is a third cable, like I said earlier, but for fear of burning down my trailer I did not do too much messing around. I think.

Any help for getting my ceiling light to work would be great. Other advice is wecome too.
 

Last edited by MarvinO; 08-20-06 at 12:04 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-20-06, 01:38 PM
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Is the third cable hooked to anything in that box? It could be a switch loop down and back to the switch.

Do you have a continuity tester?

With the power off, and the white and black wire from the third cable unhooked at the light box, test for voltage first. There should be none. Next test for continuity. You should have continuity with the switch on, and none with the switch off. Since it is a dimmer, you may never get 0 ohms. This is one time when a digital tester may actually do a better job.

If the dimmer is in box, you could remove it and just touch/untouch the wires to see if you get continuity. If it is a trailer dimmer with no box, then I would advise against taking it out. They are a pain to get the wires stabbed back into.

If you believe that this is a switch loop, then use a bit of black electrical tape to re-identify the white wire from this cable as black at both ends. then wire the blacks from the light box to the black in the third cable. Wire the white from your light fixture to the other whites (cable one and two). Wire the black from your light fixture to the re-identified wire from the switch loop. Wire the ground from the light fixture to the all of the grounds in the light box.

Hope that helps.
 
  #3  
Old 08-20-06, 03:29 PM
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One more question....

I did think it was a switch loop. So: I followed your instructions to wire the light. It worked the first time! However, as I said in my first post the switch that operates it is a dimmer switch. The light doesn't dim - it is on or off. I do not mind it being a "normal" light but wanted to make sure that it was safe. Also, if their is a simple way to make it dim-able then I might try that.

You have already been a great help! Thank you.
 
  #4  
Old 08-20-06, 03:56 PM
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You are saying that it is connected to a dimmer. That dimmer will turn it on or off, but not dimm the light.

If so, just buy a new dimmer and install it there.
 
  #5  
Old 08-20-06, 04:18 PM
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Dimmer switches can and do break. Usually it's a power surge or an overloaded circuit or something that ruins them. Sometimes they stop dimming but still turn the light on and off, sometimes they quit working altogether.

Even if you don't want a dimmer, I would still replace the switch.
 
  #6  
Old 08-21-06, 03:40 AM
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What kind of light there is incandesent or neon lamp.Most dimmers do not work on neon lamps because of kickbacks from fixture. The TRIAC OR SCR must be hi voltage and hi amps otherwise they blow up by emitter crowding.
 
  #7  
Old 08-21-06, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by neon
What kind of light there is incandesent or neon lamp.Most dimmers do not work on neon lamps because of kickbacks from fixture. The TRIAC OR SCR must be hi voltage and hi amps otherwise they blow up by emitter crowding.
Where did this off the wall post come from?

Who uses neon lamps for lumination in thier home?
 
  #8  
Old 08-24-06, 04:10 AM
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Thumbs up Replacing the switch

I will replace it right away. Thank you guys for all your help!
 
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