removing fixture

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  #1  
Old 10-26-07, 10:07 AM
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removing fixture

I removed a hall ceiling fixture to make way for cutting a hole to install folding stairs to finished attic space (did not label wires). Reportedly (this is a friend's house built in the 1920s), this fixture was operated by nearby kitchen wall switch that also operated adjacent bath light. They also say a nearby bedroom light operated the hall light but not the bath light. I cannot get the switch to operate the bath light anymore now that the hall ceiling fixture is gone.

Here's the layout: Three wire came into hall fixture from direction of bath light with black hot (didn't have tester with me but bl/wh wires made a circuit to power my shop light) and red sending power back to bath light. Two wire down to kitchen switch and two wire headed off in direction of two bedroom switches, one known to provide power to bedroom light and outlet and the other reported to power hall light only but not the bath light.

The kitchen switch is the one they would like functioning again to control the bath light (which also has a pull chain and is operative now by having wired the black and red from that three wire together). The kitchen switch appears to be a three-way altho I have not determined where the red wire from it goes -- it is ganged with another switch that operates the kitchen ceiling light. Can I simply pull the red wire from that switch (likely pigtailed in the box) and be sure the black is on the common terminal? Or replace it with a single pole, again ignoring the red wire? I don't see where that red wire plays into the circuit I'm trying to repair since it is a two wire conduit coming up from that switch, as far as I can tell.

Then at my new junction box next to the new stairwell, I'll wire incoming power black to the black to the kitchen switch and white from the switch to my red to the bath light, right? My incoming power black will also go to the black wire to the bedroom and my white from the power feed will bypass the kitchen switch and go on to the bedroom white. Right?

I'm headed there again tomorrow -- with my wiring tools this time -- to try to correct the mess (this was supposed to be a stair install project, not a wiring project!). Thanks for any advice.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-26-07, 11:53 AM
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did not label wires
Short of electrocuting somebody or starting a fire, this is one of the worst mistakes you can make.

Three wire came into hall fixture from direction of bath light
"from direction of" usually doesn't mean much.

red sending power back to bath light
That sounds like a pure guess. Is it?

Two wire down to kitchen switch
How do you know that this is where they go? Did you do some sort of test?

two wire headed off in direction of two bedroom switches, one known to provide power to bedroom light and outlet and the other reported to power hall light only but not the bath light.
That's not possible. There's not enough wires in this cable to make this statement true in any way.

You've made way too many speculations, and you've speculated on top of other speculations. Your picture of what you have is probably completely incorrect. I think you need to do a lot more testing before you will have the correct picture.

As you undoubtedly know by now, you made the job ten to a hundred times more complicated by not spending an extra two minutes before you took the old fixture down.

Good luck. This will be a long process. If you cannot figure it out by yourself, we can walk you through it step by step, but there may be a hundred posts in this thread before we're done.

The most important rule is, "don't guess." And don't make assumptions or speculations. Test out every single theory you have with your test equipment before proceeding. Never assume you know where a wire goes or what its pupose is without testing it. Build yourself a circuit diagram as you go. Then when you get all done, test everything again to verify that the diagram is correct.
 
  #3  
Old 10-26-07, 12:13 PM
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removing fixture

I've already beaten myself up over not labeling the wires, but probably needed a bit more, thanks. I'm actually really beating myself up for not walking away when the stair install project turned into an electrical project.

The red of the three wire "from" the bath light turns on the bath light when connected to the black in that same three wire. That's why I think the red goes to the bath light.

I reported what the owner told me about the bath and hall lights being controlled by one switch but the hall only being controlled by the other, not believing it myself.

No, I'm not sure the two wire goes down to the switch. I had no testing tools with me -- I will when I go back tomorrow. I thank you for your offer of walking me thru -- maybe I'll have computer access there, not sure.

thanks.
 
  #4  
Old 10-29-07, 08:54 AM
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removed fixture from three way circuit

All set. An easy fix once I had my testing tools.

Ridicule is not an effective teacher. Sorry I bothered to register and ask for help rather than stick with my trusty "wiring simplified."
 
  #5  
Old 10-29-07, 09:28 AM
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If you felt ridiculed, then clearly I did not choose my words wisely, for which I apologize.

Glad it all worked out well in the end.
 
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