06:50AM | 10/19/04
Member Since: 10/18/04
3 lifetime posts
Hi! I'm a new homeowner and new to this site and am seeking some help with a new bathroom light fixture that I can't get connected properly.

I am remodeling my bathroom and thought it would be a piece of cake to just disconnect the old (and ugly!) wall light fixture and connect the new one. I made the very stupid mistake of not paying attention to how all the wirres were connected when I removed the old fixture, figuring that the instructions included with the new one would be sufficient.


According to the directions it was simple; connect black to black and white to white and the ground wires to the green screw and that should be it, right? Well there's another wire coming out of the junction box, and it's red. I thought this was the wire for the wall switch and should be connected with the black wires, but when I got everything connected, the switch wouldn't work. So I can hook everything up, and the light works, but I can't turn it off.

I figure that either A) I connected the red wire to the wrong place or B) the red wire is connected properly but I somehow broke the switch.

Actually, I'm not even sure that the red wire is for the switch. Most of my research hasn't mentioned anything about a red wire, which could be because my house is older (built in 1927) and not everything is as modern as it should be.

If anyone can point me in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated.



08:56AM | 10/20/04
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
Is the light fixture controlled by only one switch or are there two?

If there is only one switch, is the wire coming off the "top" of the switch black or is it red?

Have you tried capping the red wire and testing to see if everything works OK with the black, white, and green connected?

(If you try that and the light works OK, what about everything else in the area?)


04:39PM | 10/20/04
Member Since: 10/18/04
3 lifetime posts
There is only one switch for the light. The red wire does come out of the top of it.

At one point I did have just the blacks and the whites connected, with the red capped off, and I blew the circuit breaker. This was probably because I didn't have the ground wires connected properly. Am I correct that to fix this both ground wires (from the junction box and the fixture) should both be connected to the green screw on what the fixture directions refer to as the "circular strap"?

I am assuming that green wires mean ground wires, although mine are actually just bare copper.

Everything else connected to the same circuit breaker works fine with the red wire capped. It's just the switch that won't work.

Thanks so much for your help!


09:58AM | 10/21/04
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
Yes, the green screw is for the ground wires. Not having those connected might cause a ground fault detect breaker to trip.

If I understand correctly, the light will not shut off by operating the switch. If that is the case, I suggest you disconnect the wire from the top of the switch to see if the power to the light is indeed coming through that switch. (Shut off the CB while disconnecting it.)

If that removes the power from the light, then the switch must be stuck ON and should be replaced. If the light still has power with the wire removed from the switch, then you've got the wrong power wire connected to the light fixture.

If I've misunderstood the status of the problem at this point, sorry - try again.


07:59AM | 10/25/04
Member Since: 10/18/04
3 lifetime posts
Yep, I think you understand the problem correctly, although I might not have done the best job of explaining it. Thanks!

I bought a new switch but haven't had time to put it in's easier with a second person here and during daylight hours, which hasn't been as easy as it should be to coordinate. But I'll let you know if it works, hopefully soon.
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