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Old 04-15-2013, 11:43 PM   #1
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


I just replaced a light fixture. There were 3 white wires and 3 black wires. There is only one light switch. Now, the light is on all the time. The switch won't turn it off. Why would this be?

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Old 04-15-2013, 11:50 PM   #2
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


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Originally Posted by gregp1962 View Post
I just replaced a light fixture.
There were 3 white wires and 3 black wires.
There is only one light switch.
Now, the light is on all the time.

Why would this be?
Because those 3 white wires and 3 black wires weren't all joined together
when you started as they are now.

You need to get back up into the light j-box and identify which B/W pair go down to the switch and which B/W pair is the feed (always hot).

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Old 04-16-2013, 01:58 AM   #3
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


So, without tearing up the walls, what is a good way to know which wires to connect to the new fixture? There are now 3 black wires and 3 white wires sticking out of the hole in the ceiling. (plus ground)
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:02 AM   #4
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


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Originally Posted by gregp1962 View Post
So, without tearing up the walls, what is a good way to know which wires to connect to the new fixture? There are now 3 black wires and 3 white wires sticking out of the hole in the ceiling. (plus ground)
Do you a way to check for voltage? If so, please check that voltage is present at the fixture.

I assume that there's a wall switch?

Have you investigated the possibilities posed by TarheelTerp?
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:06 AM   #5
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


Sorry, I was thinking of a different thread.

There should be two cables in the fixture. One of them is from the feed (or voltage source), the other is going to a switch.

You have to know which WHITE wire is going to the switch because that WHITE wire (NOT the neutral, in this case) needs to connect to the source voltage BLACK wire.

So, you need to find which BLACK is HOT, and then note which WHITE is coming in with that BLACK wire.

Please do that, and post back.
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:16 AM   #6
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


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Originally Posted by gregp1962 View Post
Now, the light is on all the time. The switch won't turn it off. Why would this be?
Because you have wired the light up directly to a constant power source like diagram "B" below.

What does the wiring look like at the switch? Diagram "A" would work if you have a switch loop for the switch.

ground wires not shown for ease of drawing
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side-switch-loop-not.jpg   Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side-switch-loop.jpg  
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:22 AM   #7
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


The confusion is the there are 3 cables coming in to the fixture box on the ceiling. Therefore there are 3 black and 3 white wires in addition to the ground. With all those wires disconnected, the light in the bathroom next to this room doesn't work. (The fixture I'm working on is the laundry room)
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:39 AM   #8
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


What you have is power in, a power out and a cable coming from the switch.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:45 AM   #9
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


I assume that the power out goes to the bathroom next door. If that's the case, I need to connect that to the power in. Then connect the switched line to the white power in as in Hammerlane's diagram A
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:49 AM   #10
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


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Originally Posted by gregp1962 View Post
The confusion is the there are 3 cables coming in to the fixture box on the ceiling.

Follow Jims advice and this diagram.

No ground wires shown in the diagrams just for ease of drawing
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side-switch-20loop.jpg  
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:55 AM   #11
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


Do you have an ohm meter?
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:56 AM   #12
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


Thanks guys. It all seems obvious now that you explained it and I had a chance to mull it over in my mind. I'm at work now so I won't be able to work on it for about 8 hours from now. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:20 PM   #13
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Just replaced light fixture, now switch won't turn it off. 3 wires each side


If it isn't already there you should wrap black tape around the white wire (as in Hammerlane's diagram) that goes to the switch when you figure it out. It will help identify the switch loop if you (or anyone else) touches the fixture/jbox later.


Last edited by Rich; 04-16-2013 at 06:21 PM. Reason: credit given to wrong previous poster
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