Not able to turn light off after replacing light fixture

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Old 10-27-07, 01:56 PM
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Not able to turn light off after replacing light fixture

Just replaced the light fixture in the bathroom. After putting the fuse back in the fusebox, the light turns on but the light switch has no effect on turning the light off or on. The light switch works because I switched it with a known working light switch and it turns another light fixture on and off. I replaced the old light fixture back but the light switch no longer works with it either. The wires are properly connected. The wall box has 5 wires in it - 2 set of black and white wires and 1 ground (copper) wire. The light fixture has 2 set of black and white wires and 1 copper wire. The old light fixture didn't require a ground wire nor was 1 set of the black/white wires connected. The set of wires in the wall box that was not used doesn't work. We also placed both set of wires on the light fixture using 2 black wires on the black wire in the wall box and 2 white wires on the white wire in the the wall box. The ground wire is also connected to the ground wire in the wall box. What could be the problem?
 
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Old 10-27-07, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ksm_1973 View Post
The wires are properly connected.
*grin*

But seriously, I think your problem is here:

The old light fixture didn't require a ground wire nor was 1 set of the black/white wires connected.

We also placed both set of wires on the light fixture using 2 black wires on the black wire [...]
That extra pair of wires sounds like it was live. Why did you decide to hook them up when they weren't that way before? Disconnect and cap them like they were and you might be in business.
 
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Old 10-27-07, 02:56 PM
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No, it is not properly connected, despite your assertion that it is. The same two wires that were connected to the old fixture should have been connected to the new one.

If you connected wires to the light that were not connected before you may very well have created a serious fire hazard. Make the wiring the same as it originally was.
 
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Old 10-27-07, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
you may very well have created a serious fire hazard.
Now you've got me wondering... what kind of scenario did you have in mind?
 
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Old 10-27-07, 05:39 PM
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Connecting two circuits together.
 
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Old 10-28-07, 02:19 PM
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Follow ups to some of the post

I decided to use the two extra wires in the wall box because the new light fixture had two set of wires whereas the old light fixture only had one set. I didn't think that would be a problem. The extra set of wires didn't seem to be "live" because one of the lights didn't work when it was connected. I put everything back like it was with the old light fixture and also recapped the set of wires that wasn't being used at first. The light switch doesn't function even when I reconnected the old light fixture.
 
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Old 10-28-07, 02:25 PM
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If the switch worked before and put it back the same as before then the switch is bad.
I suspect you didn't put back the same as before or it would have worked. Tell us all the connections in the fixture box and the switch box. Did you make any changes in the switch box?
 
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Old 10-28-07, 02:33 PM
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The switch works because I tested it by switching it with the one in the hallway. It turns the light in the hallway on and off. I also know for sure that I reconnected the wires exactly like it was before. In the wall fixture there are 5 wires (1 set contains a black wire and a white wire the other has a black wire and a white wire and then there's a bare cooper wire that's capped). The light fixture has 2 sets of wires on one side there a black wire and a white wire. On the other side there's a black wire and a white wire with a bare copper wire attached.
 
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Old 10-28-07, 03:40 PM
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Out of the 5 wires in the wall box, you originally found a black and white wire that were not connected to any switch terminal -correct? They were just in the box, not even with wire nuts on them?

How many wires (and what their colors) are in the ceiling BOX. My understanding is your original light FIXTURE just had one black and one white wire. But your new light FIXTURE has a pair of each, right?
 
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Old 10-28-07, 03:49 PM
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By using a tester or an analog meter, find out which pair of black and white wires in the ceiling is switched. Connect those two wires to the fixture wires.
 
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Old 10-28-07, 03:55 PM
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Response to ecman51

Out of the 5 wires in the wall box, you originally found a black and white wire that were not connected to any switch terminal -correct? They were just in the box, not even with wire nuts on them?

Correct to the first question. And there was a wire nut on them orginally, which I returned to its previous state.

How many wires (and what their colors) are in the ceiling BOX. My understanding is your original light FIXTURE just had one black and one white wire. But your new light FIXTURE has a pair of each, right?

There are 5 wires in the ceiling box. Correct regarding the light fixture.
 
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Old 10-28-07, 04:01 PM
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Response to racraft

By using a tester or an analog meter, find out which pair of black and white wires in the ceiling is switched. Connect those two wires to the fixture wires.
__________________

How can they be switched when the two set of wires are obviously separated? I have the wires connected to the new light fixture that were once connected to the old light fixture. I also recapped the two wires that were not being used. I also connected the copper wire from the light fixture to the copper wire from the ceiling box.
 
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Old 10-28-07, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ksm_1973 View Post
Correct to the first question. And there was a wire nut on them orginally, which I returned to its previous state.
One wire nut total, where they nutted the wires together?, or a wire nut on each wire separately?

And what about the EXTRA wires in the ceiling BOX?: Were these also wire nutted -separately, or together?
 
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Old 10-28-07, 04:23 PM
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One wire nut total, where they nutted the wires together?, or a wire nut on each wire separately?

And what about the EXTRA wires in the ceiling BOX?: Were these also wire nutted -separately, or together?


There must have been miscommunication in one of my post. The EXTRA wires in the ceiling box were capped together. There are only 5 wires in the ceiling box. the two that were connected to the old fixture and the two that were capped together and the bare copper wire, which was also capped.
 
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Old 10-28-07, 04:43 PM
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You keep refering to the WALL BOX. Is that the fixture box or the switch box?
You didn't tell us about the wires at the switch and you didn't tell us how the wires in the ceiling are connected.

I guessing that a black and white from different cables were connected together and not the two wires from the same cable. The not working set of wires probably goes to the switch. If you can verify this then here is your connections. Connect the white wire from the dead cable to the black wire from the working cable. Connect the fixture to the remaining black and white wire.
 
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Old 10-28-07, 04:45 PM
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Okay. In review of what I know so far:

You had two additional wires in the WALL box that were just in there doing nothing, not capped off, just in there not connected to anything.

And you also had two additional wires in the ceiling box that were capped with only one total cap, being capped to each other. And which color wires were these two, and were these wires stripped so that the wire nut nutted copper ends together?

Is this correct?

Be sure to carefully read every word I just asked to answer it correctly. Reread to be sure.

If you answer everything correctly, any electrician can scratch out a wiring map of your circuit in minutes, if not seconds.
 
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Old 10-29-07, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
You keep refering to the WALL BOX. Is that the fixture box or the switch box?
You didn't tell us about the wires at the switch and you didn't tell us how the wires in the ceiling are connected.

I guessing that a black and white from different cables were connected together and not the two wires from the same cable. The not working set of wires probably goes to the switch. If you can verify this then here is your connections. Connect the white wire from the dead cable to the black wire from the working cable. Connect the fixture to the remaining black and white wire.

I guess I'm confusing everyone with my limited terminology. I say wall box because it's the light over the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. There are only two wires in the switch - one black and one white. The wires in the box over the medicine cabinet are not switched because they are on separate sides. On one side there is one black wire and one white wire. On the other side there is one black wire and one white wire. And then there's a copper wire. I did recheck to make sure, and they are not switched. The wires that are not working has one black and one white. I reconnected and recapped them as it was orignally.
 
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Old 10-29-07, 07:56 AM
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Here is how to wire it up:

You originally had a black wire and white wire wire nutted together up in the ceiling box. The black wire was the incoming hot wire. The white wire in that nut goes down to the switch terminal. Coming out of the switch on the other terminal is a black wire. That same black wire (coming back from the switch) would be the loose wire up in the ceiling box that gets wire nutted to BOTH of your new light FIXTURE black wires. Then the two light FIXTURE white wires get wire nutted to the remaining white wire in the ceiling box (this is the return neutral wire).

I am absolutely positive of this.

.......

What is with those other wires that are in the switch box that are just loose in there and not even nutted off, you might wonder ?: Something was wired different once and someone changed their mind and wired up the light by the way I just said above. They made a switched loop circuit, with the black wire up in the ceiling box being the power feed.

If you followed my post above, the original black and white wires that were nutted together STAY nutted together, with nothing else connected to them.
 
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Old 10-29-07, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Here is how to wire it up:

You originally had a black wire and white wire wire nutted together up in the ceiling box. The black wire was the incoming hot wire. The white wire in that nut goes down to the switch terminal. Coming out of the switch on the other terminal is a black wire. That same black wire (coming back from the switch) would be the loose wire up in the ceiling box that gets wire nutted to BOTH of your new light FIXTURE black wires. Then the two light FIXTURE white wires get wire nutted to the remaining white wire in the ceiling box (this is the return neutral wire)..

I am absolutely positive of this.
OK, as of right now your first paragraph is exactly how the light fixture is connected.

Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
.......

What is with those other wires that are in the switch box that are just loose in there and not even nutted off, you might wonder ?: Something was wired different once and someone changed their mind and wired up the light by the way I just said above. They made a switched loop circuit, with the black wire up in the ceiling box being the power feed.
These wires were capped and after I noticed they didn't work I put them back together and recapped them and left them alone.


Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
If you followed my post above, the original black and white wires that were nutted together STAY nutted together, with nothing else connected to them.
So with everything setup the way you posted why is the light switch still inactive?
 
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Old 10-29-07, 09:38 AM
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Because you don't have the correct black and white connected together. The black and white that are connected to each other but not the the fixture need to be from different cables. You'll need a tester to figure out which cable should supply the black and which cable should supply the white. The black wire should come from the cable with the power.

Then the remaining black and white (also one from each cable) are the ones that connect to the fixture.
 
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Old 10-29-07, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ksm_1973 View Post
OK, as of right now your first paragraph is exactly how the light fixture is connected.



These wires were capped and after I noticed they didn't work I put them back together and recapped them and left them alone.


So with everything setup the way you posted why is the light switch still inactive?

You didn't read my post close enough.

You take the black wire from the cable that makes the light come on and connect it to the white from the other cable. Did you get that FROM THE OTHER CABLE. Then take the remaining black and white wires and connect them to the fixture.

Here is a picture that might help

http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/switc...htswitchsl.htm
 
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Old 10-29-07, 04:26 PM
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If I had hair on top I'd.......

Is your light staying on now still, or doesn't it even come on. -IF- it isn't on any more, at all, be sure to check your breaker because if you wire nutted the black hot wire up in your ceiling box to the wrong white wire (the return neutral wire), you'd have created a dead short and would have blown a fuse or breaker. Just thought I'd mention that. There should be a prize awarded on this thread for the person who.....
 
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Old 10-30-07, 07:48 AM
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I am surprised nobody responded over night.

If the story has been told right, there are only 6 wires (not counting FIXTURE wires, involved: 2 at the switch (the others in that box are just deaded off) (if this is true, the switch area cannot be the power source) and 4 up in the ceiling box. This means the possible combinations and where the feed is coming from is VERY limited and there can be only a couple combinations that can make this not work (one will cause a dead short and blow breaker or fuse), and there is even a combination that should work, only backwards.

If certain combinations have been tried and say the switch does not operate it and the breaker or fuse is working, then it would come down to the switch not working.

This is too easy not to be able to solve sight unseen. Personally I have solved complex ones for people correctly over the phone where neutrals are missing, multiple fixtures, etc. This problem ranks as 1 on a scale of 1-10! It can too easily be mapped out by someone at the kitchen table in seconds.
 
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