Replaced ceiling light


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Old 04-04-17, 06:25 PM
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Replaced ceiling light

My garage has two wall outlets, one ceiling outlet with a garage door opener and two fluorescent lights plugged into it, and a ceiling light with two wall switches. These are all supposed to work independently.

I removed my ancient incandescent ceiling light and replaced it with a new LED fixture. The new light turns off and on properly at either wall switch. But now none of the outlets work unless I turn on the light. And even then, the garage door opener still doesn't work, the fluorescent lights aren't bright, and when I turn on a floor fan plugged into any of the wall outlets, the LED ceiling light and fluorescent lights all become dim.

My breaker is functioning properly and didn't trip. The breaker and outlets all still deliver 120 volts + -.

The house was built in 1978. The ceiling light box is plastic and ungrounded. I can identify the red runner wires but the black and white wires have faded to a uniform brown color. I connected the light fixture wires to the two wires that were previously connected to the old light, but I couldn't positively identify which ceiling wire is black and which is white, but that shouldn't matter anyway, should it?

Help!
 
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Old 04-04-17, 06:33 PM
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No, swapping black and white to the fixture wouldn't cause the problems you are having.

Sounds like a neutral wire became disconnected. I suggest you look in the box where you were working and redo any wire nuts or splices you find in there. Just moving the wires around may have loosened a connection.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 06:42 PM
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The neutral wire should be white, correct? How many should there be and they should connect to what?
 
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Old 04-04-17, 06:45 PM
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The neutral wire should be white, correct?
Correct. White if cable. (In rare cases in conduit may be gray.)

Did you touch any wires other than the two connections at the original light? Color and number of wires in the ceiling box.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 06:49 PM
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Afraid so. I really stuffed them into the box because the new light base is flush with the ceiling. A lot of wires in the box. Looks like a drunk spider's web. Double and triple wires in the wire nuts. They're all stiff solid copper. Difficult to bend into place.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 06:54 PM
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Unfortunately, it's impossible to say how many there will be as it depends on how many and what things are on the circuit and how the electrician decided to run all the wires between the various boxes.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 06:57 PM
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The light box is accessible from the attic three feet from the ceiling hatch ladder. Would it be helpful to try to access it from above?

The box has four access ports and each has a cable, so it's a bit crowded inside the box.
 

Last edited by Stolizino; 04-04-17 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 04-05-17, 01:45 PM
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I give up.

Tried every possible permutation and I get the same results. Calling an electrician.
 
 

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