Problems with wiring changing a ceiling light

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-09-10, 09:04 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Problems with wiring changing a ceiling light

Hello. We were changing a florescent light fixture to a chandelier and didn't write down what wires went where before disconnecting (thought we'd remember). There is one switch that operates the fixture. From the ceiling are 3 sets of wires, 2 that have a black, a white and a bare wire, and 1 that has a black, a white, a bare and a red wire. The chandelier only has 2 wires (no colors wiring is like an extension cord) and a bare wire. We have tried every combination that we think would work. It either does nothing or it comes on with the breaker but switch won't work to turn it off. We have tried all black to one wire on chandelier and all white to other wire on chandelier and all grounds together, left red unhooked, light comes on switch won't work. we tried to hook the red with the blacks, same thing. We have found that when 1 certain black wire is connected is when it comes on but switch won't work, when that wire is not connected it won't come on at all. so we know that's the hot wire, but we can't find the right combination to make the switch work. We are pretty sure all the wires were connected to the florescent light and it only has a black a white and a bare. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-09-10, 10:16 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Do you have switches at two locations? Tell us all the wires at the switch or switches and how they are connected. Do you have a multimeter or test light? A multimeter would be more useful.
 
  #3  
Old 10-10-10, 06:54 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,913
Received 24 Votes on 20 Posts
Have you tried the fixture black to the ceiling red? all whites together.
 
  #4  
Old 10-10-10, 07:51 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Not sure what all we've tried but will try that. thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 10-10-10, 08:00 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
There is only one switch to the fixture. I had someone else try to explain to me over the phone what wire are where on the switch so hope understood correctly what they told me. There are 2 sets of wires into the switch box, 1 has black, white, ground, and a red wire. The red wire is going to the top right whole in back of switch, the black is going to the green ground screw on switch, the ground appears to be cut off and not attached to anything, the white is attached to the other white coming from the other set of wires, which has a white, black and ground wire. The black on the second set of wires is going to the bottom right whole on back of switch (under the red) and the ground is twisted around the black wire going to the grounding screw. Hope that helps but we will try the suggestion above in the meantime from pcboss. thank you both for your help.
 
  #6  
Old 10-10-10, 08:05 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
what do we do with the black wires, just connect them all together but not to the fixture? or cap them all separate attached to nothing?
 
  #7  
Old 10-10-10, 08:17 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,913
Received 24 Votes on 20 Posts
Originally Posted by tammyjo70 View Post
There is only one switch to the fixture. I had someone else try to explain to me over the phone what wire are where on the switch so hope understood correctly what they told me. There are 2 sets of wires into the switch box, 1 has black, white, ground, and a red wire. The red wire is going to the top right hole in back of switch, the black is going to the green ground screw on switch, the ground appears to be cut off and not attached to anything, the white is attached to the other white coming from the other set of wires, which has a white, black and ground wire. The black on the second set of wires is going to the bottom right whole on back of switch (under the red) and the ground is twisted around the black wire going to the grounding screw. Hope that helps but we will try the suggestion above in the meantime from pcboss. thank you both for your help.
The ground should not have been cut off and the black should never be used as a grounding conductor. Doing this has the potential to put 120 volts onto part that are supossed to be grounded for your safety. The connection method is also not correct.

I think it might be time for a professional to be called to sort this out and make corrections.
 
  #8  
Old 10-10-10, 08:27 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
That's kinda what I thought when they were explaining it to me over the phone but they said they have never done anything to the switch except to pull it out to explain the wiring to me and it has never been a problem. He didn't really act like he knew what he was talking about even tho he was looking right at the wires, could it be that the black wire is cut off and the ground is actually connected to the ground wire. would that make nore sense? or would that still be a problem? And also in trying your sugeestion below with connecting the red to the black on the fixture and all whites together, what do we do with the blacks in the box, cap them all together (not connected to fixture) or separate? Thanks again for your help.
 
  #9  
Old 10-10-10, 11:10 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,913
Received 24 Votes on 20 Posts
Aside from the problem with the grounds, I think what you have on the blacks is power in, power out x2. I think the red would be the switch controlled hot. Leave all the blacks, except the one on the green screw, connected together.

I think the black is being used as a ground due to the true ground being cut too short. If so, while a code violation, I would re-identify it with green tape on both ends to avoid future confusion. How short is the cut off ground? It might be possible to extend it with a certain type of connector. Maybe you could post a pic of theceiling box showing the cut off conductor.
 
  #10  
Old 10-11-10, 04:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hello again pcboss. I am happy to let you know that your suggestion on how to connect the chandelier worked perfect. (The red to one wire and all whites to the other and ground to ground and we hooked all blacks each other but not connected to the chandelier). And also as I suspected my brother-in-law didn't know what he was talking about when he tried to explain how the wires were hook where on the switch. I looked at it first thing when I got there before trying to hook up the chandelier and there were 2 sets of wires into the box one with black, white and ground and one with black white ground and red. The red was connected to the top of the switch, both blacks to the bottom of switch and both grounds to the ground screw and both whites were connected together but not to the switch. No wires were cut or missing. I have no idea what he saw but it wasn't what he explained to me over the phone. But anyway it is fixed and working great. Thank you very much for your help.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: