Ceiling elect. light wireing

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  #1  
Old 04-02-11, 02:09 PM
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Ceiling elect. light wireing

Sorry for running it all together...

I have a ceiling light I am going to replace with a fan/light, the existing light works fine, this was a car port turned into a bedroom, the light has two switches, one outside the door and the other at the rear of the room, when the switch outside the door is in the correct position both will turn the light on/off but I have tried to turn the light on with the one inside the room and then the one on the outside doesn't work correct.

When I took down the light, it has three romex type elect wires in the ceiling box, two have the white wire cut off and the two black wires and the ground from the light were connected together (wire nut) the other romex wire was wired white/white and black/black to the light, I unhooked the light, removed the ground from the two black wires and put the two black wires back together, and now no matter what position I put the switches at there is power to the romex wire being used for the light according to my meter, the only thing is the ground from the light is not hooked in to the circuit.

With the breaker back on, only the main romex wire has power, the other two wires don't seem to by checking the black of each with the main ground in the box.

Hope this explains it better.

Now, how should I hook up the fan with lights?
 

Last edited by cyber-junkie; 04-02-11 at 04:01 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-02-11, 03:05 PM
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You're gonna have to buy a box of punctuation I can't follow your sentences. Slow down and give us one sentence at a time, please.
 
  #3  
Old 04-02-11, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
You're gonna have to buy a box of punctuation I can't follow your sentences. Slow down and give us one sentence at a time, please.
Well put!

Also please tell us exactly what wires are each box you are working in. Not cables, you stated you have three wires and then go on to say there is three blacks???
 
  #4  
Old 04-02-11, 05:19 PM
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One ceiling elect box.

Three romex wires, two have the white cut and capped off and the two black wires wired together along with the ground from the light with a wire nut.

The third is wired to the light.
 
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Old 04-02-11, 05:32 PM
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the light has two switches, one outside the door and the other at the rear of the room... two have the white cut and capped off and the two black wires wired together
Sounds like a bootleg 3-way. Do the two switches have two brass and one dark screw plus a ground?

To help us help you we will need to know the wiring in the switch box.

Terminology Note: Romex is cable not wire. A cable is a plastic or metal sheath containing two or more wires.
 
  #6  
Old 04-02-11, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Sounds like a bootleg 3-way. Do the two switches have two brass and one dark screw plus a ground?

To help us help you we will need to know the wiring in the switch box.

Terminology Note: Romex is cable not wire. A cable is a plastic or metal sheath containing two or more wires.
That's what I was trying to say...there are 3 romex cables for a total of 6 wires (a black & white in each cable) in the box.

And I did pull one switch out, was going to replace it with a standard switch but the switch is different and I am pretty sure you are correct that it has 3 screws (2 brass and one dark on the other side) and a ground.

There are 2 switches, the one outside the door, if it's off I think the other is dead, but with it on you can turn the light on/off with the other.
 
  #7  
Old 04-02-11, 06:52 PM
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Are you OK with just getting one of those switches to work? Do you have a multimeter? If so We can get this up and running. Otherwise we would need to rewire because you current wiring does not seem to be code compliant. It seems they used two 2-conductor cables instead of a 3-conductor cable.

From what you wrote I suspect you have an always hot cable at one of the two switch boxes. We will need to know which switch box that is.
 
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Old 04-02-11, 07:37 PM
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The switch with the odd colored terminal is a three way used to control something from 2 locations. You should have used a single pole.

Are you saying a ground is spliced along with the 2 blacks?
 
  #9  
Old 04-03-11, 09:13 AM
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Yes the ground from the light is spliced/connected to the 2 black wires, that's what I did not like, they were all three together using a wire nut.

I just did not want to re-hook un the new fan that way.

And yes I have a volt meter, that's how I can tell the main romex seems to have power all the time, no matter what I do with the switches and the other two cables seem to be with out power and somehow hooking the ground to them makes it possible to turn the light on/off.
 
  #10  
Old 04-03-11, 01:06 PM
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Do you want to use one switch only? If so since power comes in at the light you can just use one of the cables to one of the switches as a switch loop.

To determine which cable goes to which switch turn off the breaker. Check both cables that are not the hot cable to make sure they are dead.

Open the switch. Be sure the bare wire is only connected to the green screw. Connect the white or black wire to one of the brass screws and the other wire to the dark colored screw. The remaining brass screw is not used.

Using the OHM scale of your multimeter measure between the black and white of a cable. Have a helper flip the switch repeatedly off and on while you measure. The cable that fluctuates between continuity and open is to the switch being flipped. Use that one for your switch loop.
 
  #11  
Old 04-03-11, 02:45 PM
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Thanks Ray...

I have opened both switches, both are the 3 way, 1 brass, 1 silver and the dark, switch 1 I am going to call it has 2 black wires being used only, going to the brass and silver and the white is capped off...switch 2 has the 2 black and the white being used.

Can we make code or similar and still use both switches?
(this is a fixer-upper and will not be inspected)
 
  #12  
Old 04-05-11, 03:46 PM
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If I have to use only one switch, so be it, I need to get this fan installed where the wiring is safe.

It would be nice to use both switches as they are already there, but don't want to hook it back up the way it was with the two blacks and the ground hooked together, I an only an amateur but did not like that and have never seen wiring like that before, apparently it works of as it's been that way for a while with no problems.
 
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Old 04-05-11, 04:19 PM
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You can use both switches but you will need to run a 12-3 or 14-3 cable between the switches and the light. Or, if easier, you can run 12-3 or 14-3 between just the switches.

Whether it is 12-3 or 14-3 depends on breaker size.
 
  #14  
Old 04-08-11, 07:32 AM
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Do I have to run new wire to make this safe? This is a 1950's flat roof house, I don't see any way to run new wire except on the outside of the wall which will look tacky IMO, most or all of the cables in this house are 2 wire.

If just using one switch with the 2 wires will be easier and be hooked up like all the others in the house then I will go that route.

I wonder if all the lights have power coming in at the ceiling box and the switch just acts as a break in the power loop to turn them on/off?
 
  #15  
Old 04-08-11, 08:01 AM
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Yes. What you have was not code compliant even when installed. Power can come in either at the switch or light. Either is acceptable.

At the switch you use change to a regular switch. At the other remove the switch and use a blank cover plate.
 
  #16  
Old 04-08-11, 10:22 AM
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Thanks for all the help, all of you.
 
  #17  
Old 04-08-11, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
You can use both switches but you will need to run a 12-3 or 14-3 cable between the switches and the light. Or, if easier, you can run 12-3 or 14-3 between just the switches.

Whether it is 12-3 or 14-3 depends on breaker size.
There is a 14 or 16-2 wire between the switches, can that be used? or does it have to be a 3 wire?
 
  #18  
Old 04-08-11, 04:27 PM
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Pretty sure it is not code but should work. Connect the black and white of the cable between the switches to the traveler screws on each switch. The traveler screws are the brass screws. Recolor the white wire black or red or blue or any color except green or gray. Colored tape or marker is fine.

At each switch connect the black of the cable from the light to the common screw. Common is the dark colored screw. Cap the white wire of that cable.from the light.

At the light connect the black of the power cable to the black of one of the cables to the switches. Cap the white of the cable to the switch.

Connect the black of the cable from the other switch to the black of the light. Cap the white of that cable.

Connect the white of the power cable to the white of the light.

This would end up with the two wires of the switch loop not being in the same cable. That is probably a code violation but is how it was previously wired.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 04-08-11 at 08:22 PM.
  #19  
Old 04-09-11, 02:52 PM
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I have see that before and some peoples used one set of 12or 14-2 NM for shuttle { traveller } and other set for power et netural so it will get little tricky to sort it out but basically when you ring out one pair that is the shuttle conductors.

I know few electricians still doing that and couple homeowner as well but I don't use that route not very much at all for few reason.

Merci,
Marc
 
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