There's a light fixture in my house where wires come out of one hole and they're twisted to wires that come out of another hole. Piggybacking on those twists was a light fixture. None of the wires have a color and all are jacketed in felt or something like it.
I'm sure I'm not explaining this right so I made a diagram with super cool mspaint:
The socket was disconnected from the wiring when I was painting and I don't remember how to reconnect. I've read that the base wire is supposed to go to hot and the thread wire is supposed to go to neutral. So naturally I tested the twists for hot and neutral and this is where I had a problem.
I used this device:
I tested the wiring by holding one of the twists to the right/hot prong and the other to the left/neutral prong. It tested as open ground so I assumed that I had correctly identified both hot and neutral twists. Just for the hell of it I reversed them and what is weird is that it also tested only as open ground, when I expected to see hot/neutral reverse indicator.
So I'm wondering, is maybe my tester bad? Is there some wiring anomaly that would explain what happened? I tried it several times with the same result. No matter which way I do it, there is no hot/neutral reverse. Could there be two hots, would that explain it? Wouldn't I have seen some indicator for that though?
I have a multimeter and I guess my next step is to try and use that to identify the hot wire(s). What I'm going to do is run an extension cord from another part of the house and then stick one probe needle in the female ground hole of the cord and the other probe needle on one of the twists. Any advice on using a multimeter? Should I be looking for a specific reading or just anything?
I've noticed some people connect light fixtures any old way, doesn't matter which wire runs to hot or neutral. But with these new fluorescent lights and their starters, and frankly as a matter of best practice, doesn't it make sense to make sure the base of the socket is to the hot wire?
I welcome any advice and suggestions. Thanks guys