Fluorescent light wiring

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Old 03-05-13, 10:19 AM
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Fluorescent light wiring

Hi,

I'm trying to install a new fluorescent light system in my room which has a white and black wire on it.

My current light box has the following :
  • One hot wire
  • One white wire from the switch
  • One white wire from the breaker
  • One ground

I was wondering how I can connect everything together and have everything functional.

Thanks for your help,

Poupli
 
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Old 03-05-13, 10:28 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

First off you should not have a white wire on a breaker. The white wire is the neutral wire and should be connected to the neutral buss in the panel. The hot wire (black) should be connected to the breaker.

It sounds like you have a switch loop. To verify this, look in the switch box. You should have only one cable with a black, white and ground wire with all connected to the switch. IF you do, you have a switch loop.

To wire a light with a switch loop, the white going to the switch should be connected to the hot in the light box. The black coming from the switch will be your switch leg and is connected the the black of your light fixture. The white in the light box will be connected to the white of the fixture. The ground(s) are also bonded to the ground wire of the fixture steel.

If any of the above is not what you have, please post back, or take pictures of your boxes and post them here and we can figure them out.
 
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Old 03-05-13, 10:59 AM
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Here is a picture of what the whole setup looks like right now.
 
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Old 03-05-13, 11:44 AM
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In your picture you show two wires connected to the breaker but a 120 volt breaker will have only one wire connected to it. As Tolyn wrote:
The white wire is the neutral wire and should be connected to the neutral buss in the panel.
Is that a mistake in your diagram?
 
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Old 03-05-13, 11:48 AM
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Is there a light there now (or was there)? How is (was) it wired?
 
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Old 03-05-13, 11:58 AM
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@ray2047 My white is not connected to the breaker, the purpose is to illustrate the direction of the wire.

@mitch17 : The diagram that you see is the light that is there right now. I want to change it for a fluorescent system.

Thanks,

Poupli
 
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Old 03-05-13, 12:10 PM
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If the light that is there now works, then I would think you would want to hook up the new one the same way.
 
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Old 03-05-13, 01:05 PM
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The problem, as explained is that on the current light, there are two white wires and a red one connected on the light. My fluorescent light has two wires only, a black and a white wire, so I can't connect all the wires because I'm missing one.
 
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Old 03-05-13, 01:32 PM
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The current light fixture has three wires coming out of it? And it's just a light, not a fan/light combo?
 
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Old 03-05-13, 01:39 PM
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Since you only have one cable going to the switch, the white is likely caped off if it is a normal single pole switch. You should confirm this. If this is a motion switch it might not work with a fluorescent.

Your black is the hot, red is your switch leg (connect to black of fixture) connect all the whites together, including the white to the fixture.
 
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Old 03-05-13, 01:58 PM
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What I think you have is a switch loop for a ceiling fan with a light. The white wire of the three conductor cable should have by code been relabeled hot and was originally intended to carry power to two switches in the switch box. It would have provided power to both switches. Then the red would have returned power to the ceiling box from one switch and the black returned power from the other switch. The simplest way to do this would be to cap the red wire on both ends. And use black and white as your switch loop. In that case The white of the light fixture goes to power in white and the black of power in goes to the white (remarked hot) from the three conductor cable and red to the light black.

However best practice I would wire it by 2011 NEC.
At the ceiling:
  • White of power in to white of 3-conductor cable and white of light.
  • Black of power in to black of 3-conductor cable.
  • Red to black of light.
At the switch:
  • White capped off, not used.
  • Black to one side of the switch.
  • Red to the other side of the switch.

Edit: Tolyn types faster. His way is what I detailed in the last half of my reply.
 
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Old 03-06-13, 10:36 AM
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Connecting all white and the red with the black of fixture work out great.

Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 03-06-13, 01:58 PM
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Excellent. Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
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