Mystery wiring in kitchen ceiling


Old 07-05-14, 06:56 PM
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Mystery wiring in kitchen ceiling

Today out of curiosity I took down an old kitchen ceiling light fixture. (I've been thinking about putting in some LED recessed lighting.... just checking to see how difficult that might be to do.) The light fixture is controlled by a single switch on the wall and the fixture is the only thing controlled by this switch. The kitchen ceiling has another fixture a few feet away, but it is controlled by a different switch on a different wall.

Anyway, the wiring in the box above the fixture didn't look like what I expected.
I'm a novice with household wiring so I need some help understanding what's going on. It appeared that there were three cables coming into the box. See attached photo... the cables are labeled #1, #2, and #3. #1 black went to the light fixture while #1 white was tied to the blacks from cables #2 and #3. The whites from #2 and #3 went to the light fixture. The ground wires from all three cables were tied together and to the box.

Can someone help me understand what's going on here? I only expected to see one cable.

Many thanks.
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Old 07-05-14, 07:04 PM
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Yes, you have a switch loop. One 2-conductor cable goes to the switch. It carries poer for the light down to the switch on the white* wire and back up to the light on the black wire of the cable.

*By national code the white wire of the switch loop cable was supposed to be remarked black, red or any color but green or gray on both ends. Usually done with bands of colored tape or felt tip marker.

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Old 07-05-14, 07:27 PM
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Thanks so much. It makes perfect sense.

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