red, white & black


Old 03-03-02, 06:00 AM
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Question red, white & black

Sorry for asking such a basic question...

I'm attempting to replace a hallway fixture. There are 2 bundles of white and black wires (kept separate, of course) and one red wire. The old fixture was wired as follows: red wire was attached to the fixture's black wire, white to white, the black wires in the ceiling weren't used, and the green wire attached to the fixture was secured to the crossbar with the green grounding screw.

The fixture I'm attempting to replace has just a white & black wire (no green wire). I'm unsure whether I connect the red wire with the black wire attached to the fixture, white to white & leave the black wires alone or...shall I connect white to white, black to black and secure the red wire to the crossbar with the green grounding screw? The old fixture was installed by an electrician (though the light - a halogen fixture - only lasted a/b 2 weeks before blowing out & I'm too afraid to continue using it so I'd like to change to a conventional light fixture). Thanks in advance for any assistance!!
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Old 03-03-02, 08:36 AM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Calgary Canada
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Wire using the same wires that were used before the ground if there is no ground terminal on the fixture can be grounded to the box ground screw. You can't connect the ground to the fixture unless there is a place to ground it too most likely it is plastic so there is no place for grounding.
Good luck
Old 03-04-02, 06:22 AM
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follow-up Q

thanks for the info but I just want to be sure I understand the response. I should wire the red wire to the fixture's black wire, white to white and leave the black wires in the ceiling alone (and throw away the green grounding screw that came w/ the fixture b/c there is nothing to attach to it). What has thrown me is that there is no bare copper wire or green wire in the ceiling for grounding purposes. My place is just over 20 years old - is it possible that the wiring is just that old not to have this basic safety feature? Is that a problem for a fixture w/ a 60-watt bulb - my guess is that it shouldn't be since my place is still standing after 22 years.

thanks for any add'l advice.
Old 03-04-02, 06:41 AM
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Most houses that are only 22 years old do have grounding wires. However, some areas that require conduit (not sure if DC is one) use the conduit as grounding. So yes, your plan is correct -- you do not need to attach anything to the grounding screw (but don't throw the screw away).

By the way, it's good that you didn't go with your original guess in your first post. It could have been fatal. When it comes to electricity, don't guess!

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