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Old 03-11-2012, 04:56 PM   #1
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Help with wiring for bath lighting


Hello,

I am replacing a bath light and I am a bit confused by the wiring. I can reattach the wires with the new fixture exactly like the old fixuture was attached but the old fixture did not have a ground connection.

Here is how the wires are:

Two whites connected to each other but not to the fixture.
One white and one bare copper wire (I thought it was the ground) connected together and to the white wire of the ligh fixture
one black wire connected to the black wire of the light fixture

How to I connect the the fixture green wire in this configuration?

Thanks

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Old 03-11-2012, 05:56 PM   #2
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Help with wiring for bath lighting


Something is wrong with the way this light is wired.
A bare wire should be used for nothing but a ground wire.
What are the wire connections inside the switch?

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Old 03-11-2012, 07:00 PM   #3
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Help with wiring for bath lighting


You mean the light switches?

There are two switches (one for light and one for bath fan) (i'll check the wiring if this is what you need). I initially disconnected the bare wire from the white wire and connected the white wire to the white wire from the fixture and the bare wire to the ground wire of the fixture. I connected the black wire to the black wire of the fixture and left the two other white wires the way they were. When I did that the light fixture did not work and the bath fan did not work.
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Old 03-11-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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Help with wiring for bath lighting


Pull the switches and tell us how they are wired.
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:33 PM   #5
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Help with wiring for bath lighting


I will check the switches.

Also, I have basic electrical tester and when I tested the bare wire with the black wire (from the box), the light on the tester lighted up. When I tested the white wire with the black wire (from the box), the light on the tester did not light up.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:48 PM   #6
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Help with wiring for bath lighting


Here is a link to pics of the switch and light fixture wiring.

http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyyjctj

Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:02 PM   #7
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Help with wiring for bath lighting


Is that switch a double siwtch?

From what it looks like to me is the power comes in on the left cable, and the fan and light are on the right cable.
Someone used the bare ground as a neutral wire, because that needed another wire.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:31 PM   #8
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Help with wiring for bath lighting


It is a double switch. Top switch for the light, bottom swith for the fan.

Is the wiring that way an issue (I assume it is but I am no electrician) and what are the risks

Thanks,

Alex
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:51 AM   #9
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Help with wiring for bath lighting


Yes, it is an issue as it is unsafe.
You can put both the fan and light on one switch, and restore the wires to their proper use.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:04 PM   #10
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Help with wiring for bath lighting


Thanks for all the feedback received. Considering the dodgy work, I figured that it was beyond my level of expertise and called a licensed electrician to make sure that the work was done right.

The ground was indeed used a neutral. Not good. The elctrician replaced the single gang/double switch with a single gang/single switch and rewired both the fan and bath fixture and now they are grounded. If I ever want to have them on a separate switch, we will need to run an other wire.

I still can't believe what people are willing to do without any regards to safety.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:15 PM   #11
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Help with wiring for bath lighting


With a little guidance, I think you could have fixed this, but it is repaired and safe now.

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