ceiling fixture with red wire

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Old 01-13-06, 06:22 AM
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ceiling fixture with red wire

Hi,

I have a ceiling light fixture that has a red light coming into the box ( assume this means 30amp breaker). My question is, there are two black wires, two white wires, and grounds coming in also in addition to this one red. The one red, and one black is attached to the ceiling light. The rest are twisted together (black black, white white, ground ground). What is the red wire for and why isn't a white and black feeding the light, instead of red and black?

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Old 01-13-06, 07:54 AM
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I have a ceiling light fixture that has a red light coming into the box ( assume this means 30amp breaker).
A completely unwarranted, and very odd, assumption.

The red wire is the switched hot. The black wires are unswitched hots. And the white wires are neutrals.

If you had black and white feeding the light, the light would always be on and you would not be able to turn it off with the light switch.

The reason that this looks odd to you is that the power feed comes first into the fixture box. You are probably more familiar with wiring where the power feed comes first into the switch box. One of the confusing things about home wiring for many people is that there are multiple ways to accomplish the same goal. That's also one of the reasons we usually need a lot of information to diagnose problems.
 
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Old 01-13-06, 09:22 AM
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As long as it work leave alone. But there is supposed to be a white wire going to the light. In your case it should probably be a red and a white. Someone has used the wire colors incorrectly. But like I said as long as it is working leave it alone.
 
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Old 01-13-06, 09:24 AM
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thanks John it's clear now. My incorrect assumption was a throwback to when I was changing plugins in my kitchen. Each one had a red wire coming into it when I asked the know-it-nothings at HD they told me this was because it is a 30 amp cicruit needed for kitchen appliances. Your explanation clears things up for me and also explains the power to the box first idea. I was wondering how that worked!
 
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Old 01-13-06, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by the_dude
Each one had a red wire coming into it when I asked the know-it-nothings at HD they told me this was because it is a 30 amp cicruit needed for kitchen appliances.
lol.......yet another incorrect statement by the HD Pro Department. The sad thing here is that they are giving advice at all in those stores.
 
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Old 01-14-06, 08:57 AM
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To be fair to some of the Home Depot employees that might be quite knowledgeable (and I'm not saying that this is the case here), sometimes the information given is correct, but it is not interpreted correctly by the customer.

Please note: I am not intending to start a debate on the competence of HD employees. I think we all know that some are better than others, so I don't want to paint them all with the same brush. As in all aspects of life, there is some responsibility of each person to make a judgement about the validity of the each bit of information they receive.
 
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