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-   -   Installing Fluorescents in Garage (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/installing-fluorescents-garage-19529/)

rzrbkpk 04-05-2008 08:28 PM

Installing Fluorescents in Garage
 
3 Attachment(s)
I'm attempting to install a new fluorescent light fixture in my garage using the wiring from the current incandescent(?) fixture. The balast on the new fluorescent fixture has two wires coming out of it white and black. The problem I'm running into is that the current fixture has a lot more wires than expected. I've attached 3 pictures of the fixture box. It's hard to see, so here's a quick explanation.

There are two sets of wires(I'm assuming for two light switches) coming into the box on each side. Each set has a 3-wire group with black casing and a 4-wire group with gray casing. For organizations sake, I'll refer to each set as coming into the box from the left or right. The connections are:

Left 3 Wire(Black Casing):
  • Black wire connected to black wire on Right 3 wire(Black casing)
  • White wire connected to white wire on Right 3 wire(Black casing).This set was also connected to the light fixture.
  • Bare wire connected to all other bare wires coming from other sets
Left 4 Wire(Gray Casing):
  • Black wire connected to black wire on Right 4 wire(Gray casing)
  • Red wire connected to red wire on Right 4 wire(Gray casing)
  • White wire connected directly to light fixture.
  • Bare wire connected to all other bare wires coming from other sets
Right 3 Wire(Black Casing):
  • Black wire connected to black wire on Left 3 wire(Black casing)
  • White wire connected to white wire on Left 3 wire(Black casing).This set was also connected to the light fixture.
  • Bare wire connected to all other bare wires coming from other sets
Right 4 Wire(Gray Casing):
  • Black wire connected to black wire on Left 4 wire(Gray casing)
  • Red wire connected to red wire on Left 4 wire(Gray casing)
  • White wire connected to both black wires from the Left and Right 3 wire (Black Casing)set.
  • Bare wire connected to all other bare wires coming from other sets
Thank you to anyone who give me help on this.

darren 04-05-2008 09:36 PM

which two were connected to the incadesent. those two would be tied onto your new light.

NAIL 04-05-2008 09:41 PM

Right 3 wire white should connect to the white on the fixture.
left 4-wire white should connect to black on the fixture.

The 3-way wiring system should be rewired with the red and white used as travelers so the black would feed power to and from the common terminals on the switches. It would simplify life for anyone dealing with it later.

chris75 04-05-2008 10:50 PM

Why do people remove stuff without taking notes?

rzrbkpk 04-06-2008 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris75 (Post 114126)
Why do people remove stuff without taking notes?


I'm not sure if you're trying to insult me, but that's kind of ludicrous considering this is a DIY forum...of course I don't know what I'm doing. I bought this house two years ago and I'm attempting to fix ALL of the mistakes the original builder/electrician made.

If you don't have anything useful to post, don't post!

If it wasn't intended as an insult to me, please ignore my rant and further explain your comment.

rzrbkpk 04-06-2008 12:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NAIL (Post 114118)
Right 3 wire white should connect to the white on the fixture.
left 4-wire white should connect to black on the fixture.

The 3-way wiring system should be rewired with the red and white used as travelers so the black would feed power to and from the common terminals on the switches. It would simplify life for anyone dealing with it later.


Thank you for the useful input. Just some clarification:
  • Do I leave the two white wires connected on the 3-wires or just use one of them to connect to the fixture?
  • Using your suggested changes for a 3-way system, would I even need the set of 3 wires (black casing)?
Any insight as to why there are four sets of wires coming into this box?

NAIL 04-06-2008 06:48 AM

Relabel the left 4-wire white with black marker and hook it up, but test it first against ground to confirm it as the ungrounded conductor.

The other 3-wire is needed to continue the power to other receptacles or lights.

Is this the only light controlled by this switching?

rzrbkpk 04-06-2008 09:23 AM

Yeah, that's what's strange. This is the only light that these two switches control. Would it be beneficial to post pictures of the switch wiring?

Jim Port 04-06-2008 09:35 AM

Looks like you wiring was messed up from day 1. There should not be 2 whites hooked to the fixture. White can carry power to a switch but cannot carry a switched hot back to the fixture.

It used to be acceptacle not to re-identify the white as a current carrying conductor, but is not anymore.

Speedy Petey 04-06-2008 09:44 AM

It's like taking the alternator out of your car and forgetting where all the bolts go. :jester:

chris75 04-06-2008 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rzrbkpk (Post 114138)
I'm not sure if you're trying to insult me, but that's kind of ludicrous considering this is a DIY forum...of course I don't know what I'm doing. I bought this house two years ago and I'm attempting to fix ALL of the mistakes the original builder/electrician made.

If you don't have anything useful to post, don't post!

If it wasn't intended as an insult to me, please ignore my rant and further explain your comment.


It was a simple question, why didn't you take notes?

rzrbkpk 04-06-2008 10:01 AM

For all of you telling me to take notes...take notes on WHAT??? I took the light fixture off and it looked exactly like what you see in the picture. I DID NOT INSTALL this. I unscrewed two screws and this is what I got.

Quit turning this forum into some immature teenage chat room.

dawho1 04-06-2008 10:25 AM

Is it just me or did he take what looks to be pretty good notes? Did you guys read the original post? He tells you what came from where, what 3 wires were attached to the fixture, and what he's not even touched.

NAIL 04-06-2008 10:35 AM

Not noting which white wire was attached to the previous light fixtures black wire is not a sin, but is done by most homeowners all the time.

Just mark the proper white wire with black marking and lets move on.

rzrbkpk 04-06-2008 12:45 PM

On another note...to suffice everybody, here are my notes:

Step 1: Unscrew screw 1.
Step 2: Unscrew screw 2.
Step 3: Document all wiring.
Step 4: Post on DIY HELP board.


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