Ceiling light question

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Old 09-10-16, 10:02 AM
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Ceiling light question

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Hi, I removed the light from our 1950 house. I'm an idiot when it comes to electricity. The extent of my ability is changing light flixtures. The attached picture is what I saw after taking the light off. Why are there three wires twisted together? The twisted wires and the other both gave a hot read with a non-contact tester. Would this be an open neutral? Is this something to be concerned about and should I call an electrician?
 
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Old 09-10-16, 10:59 AM
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The twisted wires and the other both gave a hot read with a non-contact tester
Useless for real testing. For reliable testing you need a multimeter, preferably analog (or a neon test light or a solenoid voltage tester).

Do not disconnect any of the wires just connect the new light the same way as the old light. The real problem here is that wire is only rated for 60 and most lighting fixtures you buy require 90 rated wire.

The real mystery is which wire is neutral. To determine that you will need a multimeter and an extension cord with ground plugged into a known correctly wired grounded receptacle. Using a multimeter you will measure first the single wire then the group of three to the wide slot of the extension cord. Either the single wire or group of wires should measure ~120 volts. That will be your hot.
 
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Old 09-10-16, 11:03 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

I see three white neutrals twisted together with way too much exposed wire.

A non contact test pen is good for one thing only..... to tell you if you have high voltage in the area. You have other hot wires in that box so sure.... you're going to get a high voltage positive indication.

Are you checking for voltage for a particular reason ?
You should invest in an inexpensive meter for voltage testing purposes.
 
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Old 09-10-16, 11:39 AM
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Thank you, I will go pick up a multimeter and give it a try and let you know what I find. For the over expose wires, would electrical tape be the best way to cover these.?

Out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on the week rewiring the house. This is the regional wiring from the 1950s house. And what time should a homeowner consider re-wiring a house like this?
 
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Old 09-10-16, 11:45 AM
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what are your thoughts on the week rewiring the house.
No idea what that means.

You can use tape. We as electricians use heat shrink tubing.
 
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Old 09-12-16, 05:13 PM
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I used a voltage tester. You're right, the three twisted are neutral.

Sorry, i had a typo. At what point should a older house be rewired?
 
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Old 09-12-16, 07:01 PM
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At what point should a older house be rewired?
If things start failing, or the current electrical no longer suites your needs/is inadequate.
 
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