I need some help

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  #1  
Old 11-21-06, 05:50 AM
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I need some help

Would like to install a new light fixture in my living room. The light fixture is your basic wiring (1 black, 1 white, 1 ground). The wiring in the ceiling is a bit different. I believe it is set up for as a four switch. It has 4 white, 4 black, 1 red and the ground(s). How should I wire this light fixture?

Thanks in advance!

DoinItAllMyself
 
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  #2  
Old 11-21-06, 05:56 AM
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How was the old fixture wired?
 
  #3  
Old 11-21-06, 06:22 AM
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There wasn't a fixture previously there...just a cover plate.
 
  #4  
Old 11-21-06, 06:31 AM
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How are the wires in the ceiling presently connected?

You need to do further investigation.

You need to examine the wiring at the switch and/or you need to do some testing with an analog voltmeter.

The most likely scenario is that the red wire is switched. This would mean connecting the red wire and the group of white wires to the light. However, I do NOT recommend simply connecting this to your light and testing it.
 
  #5  
Old 11-21-06, 06:41 AM
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All of the black wires are capped together, all the white are capped together and then there is a single red wire and ground. On the wall switch, there are three light switches which have the red wire too. Does this help?
 
  #6  
Old 11-21-06, 06:54 AM
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What is important is the switch that controls the ceiling light. The other switches are not important.

The most likely scenario is that the red wire is switched. This would mean connecting the red wire and the group of white wires to the light.

Using an analog voltmeter or a simple two wire tester measure the voltage or check for power between the red wire and the group of white wires.

Assuming you have power when the switch is on and not when it is off, connect the light to the red, white and ground wires. Use a new wire nut on each connection.
 
  #7  
Old 11-21-06, 06:57 AM
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And I assume it's red to black, white to white and ground to ground? Haven't had much experience with the red wire before, so I apologize for my ignorance.
 
  #8  
Old 11-21-06, 07:17 AM
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Yes, that is how you would wire it.

In the US black is the most often used color for indicating hot wires. Other often used colors colors include red and blue. However, most any color can be used for a hot wire except green, white and yellow.

Colors other than black are used when a black already exists in the cable. When a switched hot exists it is usually placed on the red wire.

Note that you can use a white wire in a cable if you identify the wire as hot by marking it with black (or red or blue, etc.) tape or marker. This is would be done in a switch loop using NM type cable, or any pre-assembled cable.

White is used for the neutral or return wire.

Green or bare is used for the ground.

In your light the black wire is the hot wire, the white is the neutral wire, and the ground (bare or green) is the ground.

In the ceiling the black wire are most likely always hot, the red wire is the switched hot and the bare wires are the ground.
 
  #9  
Old 11-21-06, 07:21 AM
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Thank you very much. You've been quite helpful and it'll make the wife happy!
 
  #10  
Old 11-21-06, 09:13 AM
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When in doubt, all DIY'ers should verify the correct connection, and correct switch-control function, at a fixture-outlet by connecting a test-lamp socket, or a "pig-tail" socket, to the wires at the fixture-outlet before connecting the fixture-in-place.
 
  #11  
Old 11-21-06, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft
However, most any color can be used for a hot wire except green, white and yellow.
Point of order for USA NEC color codes, I recall:

White and grey (aka gray) are used for neutral (aka grounded).

Yellow can be used for hot (aka ungrounded).
 
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