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Old 10-31-2012, 01:14 AM   #1
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Light Fixture With Multiple Wires


My wife and I bought a 1973 manufactured home and I've changed many outlets already. I'll have many questions as the days go by.

I am a total noobie!

I'm in the process of replacing our kitchen ceiling light which has a total of 9 wires. There are 4 whites, 4 black and 4 ground wires that are connected as 1 (no wire nut). Not a single wire. When I took the old light fixture off, there was 3 whites connected to 1 wire and 1 black connected to the other wire. Of course the ground wire was not connected and looked like it was snipped shorter. I knew this was not a good idea (I think?). The other 4 were wired in 1 nut (3 black, 1 white).

My new fixture has 2 black and 2 white wires. I read I should have an electrician put in new wires. I've also read to bunch all the whites with a wire nut. Same for the black wires. Should I call an electrician?

Thanks for any help.

Rick
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:52 AM   #2
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Light Fixture With Multiple Wires


Call an electrician if you can't remember which wires were which.

You said when you took the old light off there were 3 white connected to one wire (from the old light fixture).
Take these same three white, and take the two white from the new
fixture and wire nut together. That's 5 white.

You said when you took the old light off there was 1 black connected
to the other wire ( from the old light fixture).
Take that same black and take the two black from the new fixture and wire nut them together. That's 3 black.

You said when you took the old light down there were 3 black and 1 white connected together. Leave these the same.

The grounds all connect together. The new light should have a ground to add to these. A wire nut is advised.

Those 5 white are going to be hard to connect. Strip them long, twist together, and trim off the end . You will have to use a large red wire nut.
When wire nut is on. grab it and tug at each wire to make sure it is tightly connected. There are no short cuts. You have to be 100% sure that all the connections are holding every wire tightly.
Or you will have problems down the road.

You must be sure you are using the exact same white or black wire in the same place as before.

Good luck
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:08 AM   #3
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Light Fixture With Multiple Wires


Rick,

I am having trouble understanding the existing wiring for the old fixture and what you pulled out of the ceiling when you removed it. However, it sounds like the old fixture may have been connected to some 3-way switches so you could turn it on/off from two different doorways, and the electrician/builder did not use the correct color scheme when he installed it.

Honestly, if I pulled that mess out of my ceiling, I would go get my VOM and start figuring out what everything is and labeling it, before proceeding to install the new fixture. You have to be very careful doing something like that to avoid electrocuting yourself.

My guess is, if you were comfortable doing that, you would have figured it out before posting. So my $0.02 is you probably should call a professional electrician, rather than spend a lot of time guessing, or risk shocking yourself while you are trying to figure out what the existing wires are doing.

Maybe I totally misunderstood your description of the wiring you pulled from the ceiling though?
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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Light Fixture With Multiple Wires


Thanks for the quick reply.

Jammin06, when I posted this thread, I had all the wires disconnected and now all separated (like I said, totally a noobie). I should of at least took a picture/labelled them. Your reply is exactly correct. I should of done it that way.

Jeffsw6, there is no 3 way switch. I'm assuming you mean a light switch? If so, there is only 1 light switch. Do not know how to use a VOM.

Could I just use 2 whites and 2 blacks wires from the ceiling and wire nut the others (white to white, black to black)?
Or could I just bundle all the whites together and do the same for the black wires?

Sorry for not explaining things very well. Not sure how to explain all this mess but, jammin06 is right of what I was looking at.

Last edited by Hippy007; 10-31-2012 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:18 PM   #5
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Light Fixture With Multiple Wires


I found the live black wire and now trying different combos for the white wires. Light switch is not working (lights stays on no matter what). Maybe if I get the wires back to where they were before I started, it'll work?

I'll post if I get it to work.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:54 AM   #6
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Light Fixture With Multiple Wires


Well, I had 2 quick fireworks in my kitchen for Halloween. Time to call an electrician.

Should of did exactly what jammin06 said to do before I started to mess around. Thanks for your help.
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