Installing New Ceiling Light - Need Help Identifying Wires


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Old 04-09-14, 10:25 PM
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Installing New Ceiling Light - Need Help Identifying Wires

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I'm installing a new ceiling light fixture in my condo (in a high rise building). The electrical box and wires were already installed, but there hasn't been a light fixture until now. I attached a photo of the electrical box and the wires. As you can see, I have 3 wires in the box but only one of the wires has an exposed end. The other two wires enter the box on one side and exit on the other side. Am I missing a wire? Thanks for any help/guidance!
 
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Old 04-09-14, 10:36 PM
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You have only shown us half the circuit. The other half is at the switch box. Pull the switch(es) out so we can see all the wires. I color corrected your image and there seems to be a yellow wire in the bottom of the box. Is that correct?

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Old 04-09-14, 10:48 PM
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It actually looks like the wire you're pointing to is red. The one with the bare end looks yellow.

I'm going to venture a guess here and say whoever pulled that wanted to save a few seconds of labor and a few pennies on a wire nut, and simply left enough slack in the neutral that you can cut it, strip it, and nut it back together when you install the light.. I betcha the red (or whatever color that wire in the back of the box is) is the hot to the switch, and the yellow is the switch leg..
 
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Old 04-09-14, 10:58 PM
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You guys are correct on the colors. There's a short red one at the top, a yellow one (with the end exposed), and a long white one. I pulled on both ends of the red one and the white one but neither wants to come out any further.

So you think I should connect my light to the red and the yellow wires? Any thoughts on what that long white one might be? Is there any easy way to confirm that the red and yellow wires are the right one?

Thanks for your guidance!
 
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Old 04-09-14, 11:55 PM
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No. First of all as Ray said you have to pull the switch out and see if my suggestion is on the mark. More than likely you will find the red and yellow attached to the switch, and the white capped off. If power comes in at the switch box, it will be wired a bit different but the yellow is still going to be connected to the switch.

So basically you'll leave the red wire alone, and connect the light to the yellow and white.
 
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Old 04-09-14, 11:55 PM
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So you think I should connect my light to the red and the yellow wires?
No, we are saying cut the white wire in the middle and wire nut it to the white of the light. Wire nut the black of the light to the yellow. Don't touch the red.
 
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Old 04-10-14, 10:12 AM
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Thanks! Cutting the white worked like a charm!
 
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Old 04-10-14, 10:30 AM
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So it worked? Thanks for letting us know.
 
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Old 04-10-14, 11:19 AM
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Yep, it worked. Cutting the white wire temporarily caused another light to not turn on, but once I reconnected the two ends of the white wire that other light worked again. Then I connected the white wire from the new light to the copper that I exposed on the white wire in the ceiling that I cut and reconnected. Now everything works.
 
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Old 04-10-14, 11:35 AM
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Good to hear!
...............
 
 

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