Pull chain light fixture wiring mismatch


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Old 11-24-16, 04:31 PM
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Pull chain light fixture wiring mismatch

Hello. I had to replace a pull-chain light fixture in the ceiling of a closet.

I undid the old one, and went to Home Depot and bought a new one, but just realized the wires don't match. There are two white wires and two black wires in the ceiling, and two copper wires attached together. The new fixture seems to only have connections for one white wire and one black wire.

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I didn't see exactly how the old pull-chain assembly was connected, and now I'm not sure how to connect a new one.

Thanks for any help!
 
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Old 11-24-16, 05:01 PM
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It appears that the two blacks were under one screw and the two blacks under the other screw.

The best move would be to wire nut the blacks with a pig tail and do the same for the whites,
Then hook the white and black pigtails to your fixture.
 
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Old 11-24-16, 05:09 PM
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Thanks. I got concerned about risk of fire/overloading with a double connection, and couldn't find a reason to put two blacks under one screw and two whites under another. That's not a concern here?

All seem active - combinations of either black with either white test hot with my simple circuit tester.

Curious why there would be two sets of wires - probably a legacy of another set-up in this old house, or does it actually serve a purpose? And is it ok that the copper wires are tied to each other in the plastic cap, or should they be connected independently as grounds?

Thanks so much!
 
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Old 11-24-16, 05:51 PM
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It's common for a box containing a device like a receptacle or a light fixture to also be used as a junction box...power comes in on one cable and then continues on to another device in another box...and so on.

It's not code or good practice to put two wires under one screw (even though it's seen fairly often) hence Woody's good recommendation to use wire nuts and short pigtail wires.

The ground wires are connected properly. If the box was metal they would need to be tied to the box as well, and if the device in the box had a ground connection (such as a receptacle) they would also be pigtailed and connected to the ground terminal on the device.

Since your box is plastic and the light fixture does not have a ground terminal, the two ground wires only need to be tied to each other so the ground is continuous to the next part of the circuit.
 
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Old 11-27-16, 12:50 PM
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Thanks, again - I really appreciate it, and have enjoyed spending a bunch of time this weekend learning more and making sure I understand everything. When I went to Home Depot to get wire for the pigtail, the sales guy gave me what he said is the appropriate size, but when I got it home I confirmed an in-store suspicion that it looks a size smaller/thinner. Is it ok to have your pigtail wire be a different size (14 instead of 12)?
 
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Old 11-27-16, 01:03 PM
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Yes... #14 wire is fine for that application and actually easier to use to attach to the fixture.
 
 

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