Confused a little bit.

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Old 12-18-13, 06:50 PM
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Confused a little bit.

Evening folks,

Replacing a light in my daughters room that i think is from the 70's. Hooked up a new double bulb fixture, hit and the switch and....nothing, I hooked up white to white, black to black and ground wire from fixture to box in ceiling.

White wires have no current, no current for black wires unless hooked together, then the light switch doesnt turn off the light.

Obviously i'm missing something here, i've replaced 3 lights already in the house and had no issues with them working. Any ideas out there?
 
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Old 12-18-13, 07:01 PM
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Welcome to the forums, and the world of switch loops. In the absence of hooking it up as it came down, which many of us fail to do, you are in the right place. You have two cables in the ceiling box. One cable is a current carrying cable from its source. Can you identify that cable? Do you have a multimeter?

One cable goes to the switch and the white wire on both ends of that cable, both at the switch and the ceiling box should be marked with black tape. Since you don't switch neutrals, it becomes a black wire, which is "broken" at the switch.

Once you determine the hot cable, then you will connect the white wire from the other cable to the black on the hot cable, the white on the hot cable to the white on the light fixture, and the black from the switch to the black on the light fixture. This will complete your switch loop, and will allow you to break at the switch. Let us know how it goes.
 
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Old 12-18-13, 07:01 PM
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Was there a single black or red in the ceiling box? It sounds like you connected to the constant hot instead of the switched hot.

Was there a black spliced to a white at the ceiling that you changed?
 
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Old 12-18-13, 08:02 PM
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I probably should have clarified that i have 2 white wires and 2 black wires. If i hook up the new light going white to white and black to black, it trips the breaker. If i hook the two black wires from the ceiling together with the black wire from the old light and 1 white wire from the ceiling to the fixture, thats when it works, but will not shut off at the switch.

I have a multimeter, when i tag the wires with breaker on, i get no current at the switch or the ceiling box without both black wires being hooked together?

Maybe i should have trained as an electrician rather than a welder, heh. this would be a little easier to figure out.
 
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Old 12-18-13, 09:57 PM
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I have a multimeter, when i tag the wires with breaker on, i get no current at the switch or the ceiling box without both black wires being hooked together?
Check again. It sounds like you have the panel feed coming to the ceiling outlet and a switch loop going to the switch. If so, the hot feed from the panel should be sent down to the switch on its white wire and returned on its black wire. Whoever wired it originally may not have followed that convention.

Kill the power and separate the four wires. Turn the power on and use your multimeter to test for 120V from each black wire to the white wire that enters with it. One of the pairs should show 120V and the other should not. The pair that has power with all of the wires apart is the panel feed. The other pair is the switch loop.

Turn the power off. Put a bit of black or red or any color except gray or green on the white wire going to the switch. Splice that wire to the black wire coming from the panel and push that splice up into the box. That will leave you with one black, one white and a couple of ground wires.

Bond a ground to the box if it's metal. Twist the grounds together. Attach your new fixture color-to-color.
 
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Old 01-15-14, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for the help. Got it fixed and new light put in. Been a little busy around here, so havent been able to post my thanks for a little bit.
 
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Old 01-15-14, 07:19 PM
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Glad you got it working, and thanks for letting us know.
 
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