12 cables for a light fixture?

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Old 09-15-15, 10:11 AM
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Question 12 cables for a light fixture?

Hi all, I'm at bit of a loss here.. This is in a brand new condo in Toronto, Canada (not sure if color coding is different than the US). And I basically have a bunch of green ones, a bunch of white ones, 2 oranges and 3 red. Here's a picture of it all:

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I'm tempted to say green is ground because one of them connects to a metal piece directly (can barely see on the picture)

But on my fixture I have:

White (which I guess is neutral)
black (should be hot)
and a copper wire (obviously ground)

I know I should get a multimeter and make sure either way, but any initial guesses at which one is which?

I'm wondering if red or orange could be for the fire detectors that are mounted in the ceiling close by?

Thanks!
 
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Old 09-15-15, 10:34 AM
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I don't see any black wires so I assume the red is your feed. Is that white wire pair dirty or is that an orange marking signifying it may be a hot wire?

And yes definitely do a meter check. With the power on carefully remove cap nuts or try to probe the wire with them on if possible. From the meter contact black to red and red to white. Then do black to the orange (?) and red to white. Then you'll know if those orange marked ones are hot or not. Be sure you meter is set to AC and at 250v.
 
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Old 09-15-15, 10:39 AM
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Just for reference, those are wires, cables are groups of wires inside another sheath - Romex is a common brand of cable.

That orange has me confused but I would certainly think green = ground and white = neutral. I suspect both the orange and red are hots, as I have a similar arrangement in a lot of my ceilings (though I have black wire where you have orange) intended for multiple switched hots for a ceiling fan with light kit.
 
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Old 09-15-15, 10:48 AM
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Aha, sorry for the mixup, I'm european and were I come from we say cābles for wires so I got those mixed...

And thanks for the answers stickshift and Norm201!
So possibly orange and red could be hot ones, I guess if they're both hot I should check to see which one of those 2 is triggered by the switch? If for some strange reason they're both triggered by the same switch I guess there's no reason why I should prefer one over the other?
 
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Old 09-15-15, 10:56 AM
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I would still like to see you verify that those "orange" wires are in fact marked that way or just dirty. They should've did a better job of marking a greater amount of those wires. Looks like paint was used without a cover on those wires.
 
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Old 09-15-15, 10:59 AM
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The bunch of wires on the very far right of the picture (with the yellow cap covered in paint too) are definitely orange all the way. They're just almost entirely covered in white paint (pretty poor job they did indeed)
 
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Old 09-15-15, 11:03 AM
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What does the wiring look like in the switch box(es) on the wall that controls this?
 
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Old 09-15-15, 08:49 PM
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That's what we call maxing out a box.

You have three red wires and two orange wires. It would make sense for the red to be always live and the orange ones are switched. It would appear that there are two things being switched by one switch. One orange from the switch and one going to a second location.
 
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