Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Electrical, AC & DC. Electronic Equipment and Computers > Lighting, Light Fixtures, Ceiling and Exhaust Fans
Reload this Page >

Replaced Ceiling Fan with Light Fixture: Outlets & New Light Always or Never Hot

Replaced Ceiling Fan with Light Fixture: Outlets & New Light Always or Never Hot


  #1  
Old 02-28-16, 10:38 AM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Replaced Ceiling Fan with Light Fixture: Outlets & New Light Always or Never Hot

I recently took down a ceiling fan and installed a new light fixture in my study. There are three wires in the ceiling: black, white, and red (see attached picture for how the wires are set up coming out of my ceiling).

My initial problem was that if I wired the black to the black and the white to the white at the fixture - the light would remain on at all times. The same thing would happen if I did black and red together to the light's black and white to white. If I did black to red at the fixture - the light would not work at all.

My father in-law then informed me that the issue was probably with the wiring at the switch (see attached picture for how the wiring at the switch was initially set up; please note the color labels I have provided for the wiring at the switch are arbitrary - I just put different color tape on the 5 different wires to keep track of them).

However, even after trying every wiring combination I can think of at the switch and at the light (see image for combos tried and corresponding results) - I am unable to find the right wiring combination that would enable me to turn the overhead light on / off at the switch while keeping the outlets hot at all times (a necessity b/c I have to keep my modem, printer, etc. in the study).

Based on what I have read, I have left the blue and white wires at the switch alone (as I think those are the neutral), but I am honestly at my witts end and I don't know what else to do!

Does it matter whether the wires go into the top or bottom screw at the switch? I have deduced that the green wire at the switch ties to the light and that the yellow wire ties to the outlet. I have also deduced that the red wire in the ceiling is always hot and I think that the black wire in the ceiling may be related to closing the loop for the outlets in the room.

There are only two wires in each outlet receptacle and only two outlets total. Any help or guidance folks might be able to provide would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!!

Name:  1.jpg
Views: 586
Size:  35.4 KB

Name:  1a.jpg
Views: 222
Size:  17.8 KB

Name:  1b.jpg
Views: 245
Size:  39.6 KB
 

Last edited by PJmax; 02-28-16 at 10:58 AM. Reason: reoriented pictures
  #2  
Old 02-28-16, 11:01 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,666
Received 4,093 Upvotes on 3,676 Posts
You are showing three cables in the ceiling box..... 1) three wire cable and 2) two wire cables... is this correct ?

You opened all the connections at the ceiling.... correct ?
 
  #3  
Old 02-28-16, 12:30 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Hi PJ- to answer your questions:

You are showing three cables in the ceiling box..... 1) three wire cable and 2) two wire cables... is this correct ?

Yes - that's correct; there are 3 holes in the ceiling / light fixture receptacle. One of them has 3 wires coming out of it (red, black, and white) and the other two have two wires each coming out of those (one white and one black).

All 3 black cables are tied together with a wire nut and then extended with a black pigtail; all 3 white cables are tied together with a wire nut and then extended with a white pig tail. There is only one red wire (or at least I believe it's red since it had a red pig tail on it and it appears to always be hot); I removed it's pigtail as I didn't think it was adding anything but length to the wiring (but let me know if that's not the case).


You opened all the connections at the ceiling.... correct ?

I'm not entirely sure what you mean when you ask this, but I'm assuming that you're asking whether I have undone some of the wires coming from the ceiling that are tied together? If that's the case - then no, I have not done that.

If you're asking whether I have taken the light and everything else out at one point that might be covering wiring up to ensure that I'm getting a full picture of the wiring coming from the ceiling (and not missing any) - then yes, I have done that.
 
  #4  
Old 02-28-16, 12:41 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,666
Received 4,093 Upvotes on 3,676 Posts
Red... wow.

The wiring at the ceiling looks classic. A two wire feed in, a two wire feed out and a three wire to the switch. This is actually the ideal setup as you have neutral at the switch box.

The black connection will be always live.
The red connection should be switched.
The white is the neutral connection.

If the red is not switched then you will need to open the switch box and ID wire colors there. Don't remove any wires at the switch yet.

When checking.... a meter or voltage tester must be used. A non contact tester WILL NOT work here.

Name:  1a.jpg
Views: 192
Size:  29.5 KB
 
  #5  
Old 02-28-16, 02:07 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks for getting back to me Pete. I really appreciate your help. I'm a bit confused though and still do not understand what I need to do in order to solve my problem.

If I wire the light to the red wire from the ceiling and keep the wiring at the switch the way it was initially (see one of the initial pictures I posted) where I've got two wires tied together going to the top screw on the switch and one going to the bottom screw on the switch - neither the light nor the outlets work at all.

If I wire the light to the black wire from the ceiling and keep the initial wiring that I had at the switch the way it was (as shown in the initial picture of the switch wiring) the light stays on constantly (as do the outlets) and the switch does not turn anything on or off.

I think the "green" wire at the switch (it's not actually the green or the ground - I'm just calling it that b/c I marked this wire w/ green tape since they're all black) corresponds to the light, the "yellow" wire at the switch corresponds to the outlets (again - not actually yellow), and the "red" wire at the switch (again not actually red - just calling it that b/c I used red tape to label it) is the neutral.

I just have no idea what the heck I'm supposed to do in order get it so that the light turns on / off w/ the switch and the outlets stay on all the time. Any re-wiring I've done at the switch and at the light has resulted in either nothing working, the light / the outlets turning on / off w/ the switch, or the light turning on / off but the outlets not working at all (see initial post for all of the different wiring combinations that I tried).

What am I missing!?!?!?! Thanks again for your help.
 
  #6  
Old 02-28-16, 02:22 PM
P
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Pete- never mind! You just helped me figure it out! I needed to put the red pig tail back on the wire for some reason and now it works (I have no idea why)! Thank you!!
 
  #7  
Old 02-28-16, 03:14 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,666
Received 4,093 Upvotes on 3,676 Posts
I was just getting ready to respond but I see you located the issue. Good work.
 
 

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