New Ceiling Fixture, Old House, Help!

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Old 03-22-08, 04:43 PM
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New Ceiling Fixture, Old House, Help!

I'm installing a ceiling light fixture in a 100 year old house. The old light fixture works, I'm simply updating. It's controlled by a wall-switch which also works. When I unscrewed the old light from the ceiling, I saw it has cloth wiring (and the fixture must be pretty old too as the fixture itself doesn't have white or black connecting wires either). Both wires are connected via the same black electrical tape. One of the cloth wires appears to be dark brown, the other appears to be black--not sure if that's by coincidence or not (I'm hoping not).

How do I find out which wires to connect the white and black wires on my new fixture too? Also, my new fixture has a third wire for grounding. The old fixture doesn't have a grounding wire. What do I do? From what I can see, I don't think there's a box. I think it's just mounted into the plaster.

One more (hopefully easy) question. The new light has a 60-watt bulb maximum. I use florescent bulbs, so am I able to use a 100-watt equivalent (24 actual watts) in this fixture?

Thanks!
 
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Old 03-22-08, 05:18 PM
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The fixture will function just fine even if the black and white are reversed. To determine the hot wire use a tick tester. Turn the light switch on and see which wire is the hot one.
 
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Old 03-22-08, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by joed View Post
The fixture will function just fine even if the black and white are reversed. To determine the hot wire use a tick tester. Turn the light switch on and see which wire is the hot one.
Sorry for being confused. What's the point of testing to find the hot wire if the fixture will function fine even if the black and white are reversed?

And what should I do with the ground wire on the new fixture?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 03-22-08, 07:42 PM
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It is a safety issue. The hot wire should be connected to the button in the bottom of the socket and not the shell. If the hot is connected to the shell and you unscrew the bulb with the power on the threads on the bulb are hot and can shock you.
If there is no ground present in the box then just screw the green wire to the box if metal or leave disconnected.
 
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Old 03-22-08, 08:05 PM
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However Joed is right with the safety issue espcally with older wires [ this is true with T&K wires] some of older wires some were switched netrual so it get little more trickier to find which one is hot or not.

useally most ceiling luminaires if you can tell the differnce of shade of colour if look like very dark brown it possiblty it used to be white but got warm a bit over the years due the heat from luminaire socket [ heat always rise ] and get the colour faded out.

as Joed mention it will be wise to invest a NCV [ Non Voltage Concat ] tester it will tick which one is hot or not but some of them can be little oversenstive so you can able tell which one is hot or not by telling by the sound or the NCV's light up.

Merci, Marc
 
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