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jennandbrendan

07:53AM | 04/02/05
Member Since: 04/01/05
5 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I have a 2 bulb ceiling fixture that has 2 sets of wires and a ground. I am trying to connect it to my ceiling box that also has 2 sets of wires and a ground. This fixture will be controlled by 2 switches. We have tested both sets of the ceiling box wires and only ONE has power. Additionally, when we flip the 2 wall switches the power shuts off and on to this one set of live wires in the ceiling. We have been trying for several days to get this light working and have had no such luck. Any ideas?

househelper

11:03AM | 04/02/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
What color are the wires in the ceiling? Are you replacing an existing fixture? If so, how was it wired? Are there any other fixtures controlled by the same switches?

jennandbrendan

12:14PM | 04/02/05
Member Since: 04/01/05
5 lifetime posts
There is a black and white wire in each of the 2 sets coming from the ceiling. One of the sets has a ground wire. This light was previously there, but was taken down by painters, who now can't remember how it was previously wired. There are no other fixtures on these switches.

househelper

05:40PM | 04/02/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
Sorry to ask more questions, but more info is helpful. How old is the house/wiring? Can you check the number and color of wires at each switch that controls this light?

jennandbrendan

06:09PM | 04/02/05
Member Since: 04/01/05
5 lifetime posts
The house is 30 years old. The switch closest to the fixture has 1 Red and 2 Blacks connected to it. The switch furthest away has 1 Ground, 1 Red, 1 White and 1 Black connected to it. It also has 1 Black wire placed inside a small hole on the back of the switch.

househelper

01:59PM | 04/03/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
Confused a little about that white wire connected to the switch. What other wires are in the box either connected together loose?

If you connect a light to the wires in the ceiling you say are controlled by the switch (black to black, white to white) will it work?

jennandbrendan

03:02PM | 04/03/05
Member Since: 04/01/05
5 lifetime posts
It's hard to decipher all the wires as there are 2 other switches residing in the same box.

Light does not work when you connect the white to white and black to black.

This light has worked before, it's just that since the painters took it down, it has not been operable.

HomerS

04:06PM | 04/03/05
Member Since: 03/20/04
24 lifetime posts
I see in the original post that the 2 switches seem to toggle power at one set of black/white wires at the fixture.

If that is the case then you should be able to connect the fixture to this pair. If you can't figure out where the other pair goes and there's nothing else that's not working, just cap those off.

Or am I missing something here? When you measured powered at the fixture were all 4 of these wires disconnected from each other?

I'm also confused by a white wire connected to only one of the two switches. Are you sure about this?

Homer

househelper

05:19PM | 04/03/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
It's possible you have the hot fed from one switch and the neutral fed from the other box. Or there may be some other wierd combination. The only way to know for certain is to trace each wire. Trying to walk you thru that online wouldn't be easy. How comfortable are you with dealing with electricity and test equipment? Or do you have a friend/relative/neighbor that can help? Better yet, call an electrician.

MistressEll

08:37AM | 04/04/05
Member Since: 01/30/05
361 lifetime posts
Okay, from what I'm getting here, you have 2 switches, each in seperate locations, that from either location you can turn on or off this fixutre, yes? If yes, then those switches are not "regular" switches, they are 3-way switches, and the wiring is different.

Now, if you have a situation where you turn on switch A and you have turned it on, and then you go to switch B and and can turn it off, then return to switch A flip it once and nothing happens, and switch B flip it and nothing happens, so your control is intermitant based on BOTH switch positions, then you've wired your 3-way switch circuit wrong when you wired in your fixture. Your 3-way switch circuit has to loop completely then return to your fixture on the switch wire not the hot wire. then pigtailed to the fixture. I just realized that this is too difficult for me to explain, but easier to understand diagrams, Check out wiring diagrams for 3-way switches in any common wiring book you can look at in the local library.
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