Replacing Ceiling Light

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  #1  
Old 03-09-02, 09:02 AM
GinnyLR
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Lightbulb Replacing Ceiling Light

I'm replacing a double spotlight on the ceiling over the bar in my kitchen. Just want to make sure I'm connecting wires correctly since what I've got looks nothing like the diagram which came with the fixture. Out of the ceiling are 4 black wires, 4 white wires and the grounding copper wire. On the fixture, which is identical to the one being replaced, are a black wire and a white wire on each side, plus the grounding wire. I know how to connect but need to know WHAT connects to WHAT. Thank you.
 
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Old 03-09-02, 09:47 AM
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The safe and simple explanation is to simply connect the new fixture to the same wires that the old fixture was connected to. This is the only algorithm guaranteed to work without further investigation.

If for some reason the above is not possible (e.g., you don't remember how it was connected before), then we're going to need more information (and maybe a lot more information). There are many, many possibilities. For a start, tell us what you see at the wall switch that controls this light.

Also if you have already connected it incorrectly and it didn't work, then fess up. Tell us what you did and what happened when you did it. This can provide important clues.
 
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Old 03-09-02, 10:50 AM
GinnyLR
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I don't remember how the old fixture was connected because it fell when I took the plate off and disconnected wires. This is a 5-year old home and has modern wiring. Instructions that came with fixture had only one white and one black wires coming from ceiling and said connect black to black and white to white, but it looks like there's one white wire in with three blacks and one black in with three whites. I'm baffled. Do I have to remove switch plate or is this enough information? Thanks a million!
 
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Old 03-09-02, 03:01 PM
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Let's try the easiest thing and hope that works.[list=1][*]Shut off the breaker.[*]Using a wire nut, connect the black from the light to all the blacks from the ceiling.[*]Using a wire nut, connect the white from the light to all the whites from the ceiling.[*]Using a wire nut, connect the bare from the light to the bare from the ceiling.[*]Make sure the wall switch is in the off position.[*]Turn on the breaker.[*]If the light is now on, even though the wall switch is in the off position, then post back -- you have some work to do. Do not turn on the wall switch. Shut off the breaker again and disconnect the wires.[*]But if the light is now off, turn on the wall switch. If the light now comes on and the breaker doesn't trip, then you're lucky and you're done.[/list=1]
 
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Old 03-10-02, 08:15 AM
GinnyLR
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Okay, this morning I got my nose right up in the opening. There are three black and one white with wire nut, three white and one black with a wire nut, and the grounding wire. This is the way it was, I didn't do it, but when I removed the old fixture, the wires to ceiling came detached and now I don't know what goes where. The ceiling wires are okay, but on the fixture there is a black and a white wire for each of the two lights. I didn't try your last suggestion of putting all black together and all white together because of the existing setup. Does this give you any new ideas? I've got to tell you, even if we don't get this done, thank you so much for your time and thoughts.
 
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Old 03-10-02, 04:35 PM
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Well, you were wise not to follow my earlier advice, given what you see now. Unfortunately, what you have now does not make any sense in any situation.

Let me make sure I understood correctly. You have exactly two wire nuts in the ceiling (no more, no less). One wire nut holds three black wires and one white wire. The other wire nut holds three white wires and one black wire. There are no wires not in one of these two wire nuts (except the copper grounding wire). And there is one and only one copper grounding wire. There is no wire nut on this copper wire. Given that there are no other wire nuts in the ceiling, we must assume that your old fixture had one wire connected to one of the two wire nuts and the other wire connected to the other one.

If all of the above is correct, then there is no logical explanation for it. I suggest that it might be time to call in an electrician who should be able to quickly diagnose this.
 
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