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lg4506

03:50PM | 07/16/07
Member Since: 11/27/06
3 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I have run into a problem trying to install a new kitchen light fixture. There are 6 wall outlets (running from the kitchen to the living room, dinning room and hallway) and 4 light switches (including the one to the ceiling kitchen fixture). The junction box in kitchen ceiling has 4 pairs of wires. I tested each wire one against the other and found out that there is only one hot wire in the entire group. (I hope I'm making sense.) The reason I say there is only one hot wire is because if I touch any of the other wires w/o including the "hot" one, I get nothing on my neon light tester. I have wired up all the connections as follows: 4 black (the 1 hot one included) wires have one connector/cap, 3 brown (they could have been white at one time -- don't know) wires have one connector/cap and one white wire by itself. This was the original connection on the old light fixture. When I completed the connections, all the outlets and light switches work. But when I connected the light fixture to the ceiling wires (black to black and white to brown -- I also reversed it), the light stays on and the wall switch/dimmer has no affect when I turn it in the off/on position. The remodeling of my kitchen is done and I cannot seem to get this light fixture to work. NOTE: I am somewhat of a novice. I have been talking with co-workers and workers at homedepot. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Billhart

06:44PM | 07/16/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1918 lifetime posts
"The reason I say there is only one hot wire is because if I touch any of the other wires w/o including the "hot" one, I get nothing on my neon light tester."

You should be testing Hot (black) to Neutral (white {bronw?}) for each cable.

"don't know) wires have one connector/cap and one white wire by itself. This was the original connection on the old light fixture."

What was the orginal connection for the old fixture?

There was a white wire in the box that was just capped off and not connected to anything?

Look at the box with the switch.

Only interested in the switch for the kitchen light.

My guess is that the switch is connected to only one cable.

If so they what you have is SWITCH LEG WIRING.

See.

http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/switchoutlet/basiclightswitch/basiiclightswitchsl.htm

With switch leg wiring the white wire is supposed to be remarked under current codes. That is done by putting a black tape on each end.

And the remarked white is supposed to be connect to the hot, but this was often done backwards.

IF that is what you have then at the ceiling you have 1 calbe with power and that feeds the switch leg and also two cables that feed downstream loads.

Then what you should end up with is the black hot, the 2 black to the downstream loads and the REMAKRED WHITE.

Then the switch leg black connects to the fixture black.

The fixture white connects to the the other 3 whites.

lg4506

10:39AM | 07/17/07
Member Since: 11/27/06
3 lifetime posts
Thanks for your response...

"You should be testing Hot (black) to Neutral (white {bronw?}) for each cable."

Yes, I did that first, and this is how I was able to ascertain that there is only one hot wire in the entire goup.

"What was the orginal connection for the old fixture?"

Just an old light fixture with a light bulb inside of a globe.

"There was a white wire in the box that was just capped off and not connected to anything?"

Yes, ths is correct.

"Look at the box with the switch."

2 wires -- The original was black wired to black and white wired to white. I was told that maybe the dimmer switch was bad so I replaced -- black to black and white to red and the green (ground) connected to one of the back screws. I have even reversed these wires (just in case) to no avail.

I have separated all of the ceiling fixture wires again to try and determine which one goes to the wall switch with no luck. I'm going to keep trying for now.

Billhart

11:44AM | 07/17/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1918 lifetime posts
""What was the orginal connection for the old fixture?"

Just an old light fixture with a light bulb inside of a globe."

No I ment what wires on the old fixture was connected to what wires in the box.

"2 wires -- The original was black wired to black and white wired to white. I was told that maybe the dimmer switch was bad so I replaced -- black to black and white to red and the green (ground) connected to one of the back screws. I have even reversed these wires (just in case) to no avail."

OK that identifies that you have a Switch Leg wiring.

You might want to get plain toggle switch to replace the dimmer until you have figure it out. If wired wrong the a dimmer can burn out, but the toggle will cause the breaker to tip. And some tests can't be done with a dimmer.

Not that you want to do that on purpose.

Now if you have an ohm meter or continuity tester then can verify the wires by, after turning the power off, to measure the continuity between the black and white on the pair suspected of being the switch leg. Verify that it is both OPEN when the switch is off and connected with the switch is ON. The other wires might show one condition or the other, but won't change when the switch is switched.

You can also use the neon tester, but you will be working with hot wires.

With the power off separate out the wires that are the feed and the wires that you suspect as being the switch feed. Then connect one wire of the switch cable to the hot from the feed cable.

Then use your tester to check from the other switch wire to the neutral on the power feed.

With the switch ON the neon should be FULLY lite and bright. And "off" when the switch is off.

(Some conditions when the circuit is "off" you can get some light flicker in the bulb.)

Keep repeating until you find the right pair.

DON'T FORGET TO TURN POWER OFF EACH TIME HTAT YOU CHANGE CONNECTIONS.

After you have ID the switch leg then rewire it as I give in the other message.

Don't for get to remark the white and use it as the switch leg hot.

Doing it that way gives you two advantages. One the light looks up black to black and white to white so that there is no confusion.

The other is that white wire with black tape immeidate warns anyone else that this is not a standard circuit, but a switch leg.

lg4506

03:48PM | 07/27/07
Member Since: 11/27/06
3 lifetime posts
Thank you Bill for all your help. The light fixture is up and working.
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