Wire diagram help

Old 03-25-14, 10:10 AM
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Wire diagram help

my wife recently bought a 5 light track light to replace the 20 year old fluorescent light that was in the kitchen, the light is controlled by two switches. As i took the old light down I noticed that the wiring set up is not like I've seen before. The box has two cables coming into it. Theres two white wires capped and taped. two reds capped and taped, two bares twisted together and capped and two separate black wires that where connected to the old light.

The light fixture has 1 black, 1 white, 1 ground.

any help on the proper way to hook the light up would appreciated. Thanks.
Old 03-25-14, 10:53 AM
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Test for voltage between the two Black conductors and the "bare" ( Grounding ) conductors . The Black conductor that has a voltage indication to Ground is the "live" circuit conductor. This conductor should have a voltage-to-Ground indication only when a switch is operated. Constant voltage-to- Ground is not an acceptable wiring connection.
Old 03-25-14, 04:49 PM
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You mentioned the light is controlled by 2 switches. This would be done with 3 way switches (the 2 switches you have). The white and the red wires may be the travelers between the 2 switches. The 2 blacks may have been used as the hot and neutral.

Test the wires like Pattbaa said to determine which black wire is which (hot or neutral). 1 of those wires should only become hot when switched on. Then turn the switch off and make sure the same wire is not hot after switching it (just to double check). You need to do this with the same switch when checking for the hot wire. Once you figured out which wire is becoming hot with one switch, then try the other switch just to make sure it's doing the same thing.

The 2nd black wire should not be hot or become hot anytime. That would indicate your neutral wire.

Be very careful while testing. ALWAYS treat any wire as if it is a hot wire.

If while testing you find that the above isn't the case, then something else is going on and you should have someone look into it.

For reference on the light; black is the hot, white is the neutral, bare or green is the ground.

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