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Old 09-25-2012, 01:40 PM   #1
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Multiple Hot & Neutral Wires for Single Fixture


I am installing a new entry way light fixture and it seems there is an unnecessary number of wires. It appears there are 5 hot (1 black, 4 red), 5 neutral, and 1 ground. Why are there 5 neutral and 5 hot for a single light fixture with only one light switch?

Working with a contractor on other projects so I won't be starting any electrical fires soon... hopefully... but thought I'd ask the forum to try it out.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:45 PM   #2
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Multiple Hot & Neutral Wires for Single Fixture


Why do you consider this "unnecessary"??? How do you know what the original contractor was thinking? Maybe it was simply his preferred way of wiring. Just because there is one light with one switch does not mean there should only be one cable in the box.

For the age of that installation it was very common to bring several circuits into and out of ceiling boxes.

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Old 09-25-2012, 01:58 PM   #3
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Multiple Hot & Neutral Wires for Single Fixture


Until you know where every hot and neutral run, you can not decide if this is inefficient or not. Start unhooking one wire at a time to see what isn't working and then see if you can wire things more efficiently. It seems to have worked for a long time without causing problems so i would let it be.

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Old 09-25-2012, 02:09 PM   #4
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Multiple Hot & Neutral Wires for Single Fixture


Make the new fixture connections the same as the old fixture. Leave everything else alone.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:10 PM   #5
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Multiple Hot & Neutral Wires for Single Fixture


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beepster View Post
Until you know where every hot and neutral run, you can not decide if this is inefficient or not. Start unhooking one wire at a time to see what isn't working and then see if you can wire things more efficiently.
I WOULD NOT unhook ANYTHING.

What does any of that have to do with "efficiency"??? HOW in the world is it inefficient to have several wires in a box. If it is not this box it would be some other.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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Multiple Hot & Neutral Wires for Single Fixture


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beepster View Post
Until you know where every hot and neutral run, you can not decide if this is inefficient or not. Start unhooking one wire at a time to see what isn't working and then see if you can wire things more efficiently. It seems to have worked for a long time without causing problems so i would let it be.

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DO NOT DO THIS. You have no way of knowing if any of these are multi-wire branch circuits. If they are, then disconnecting a neutral can destroy equipment by applying 240V across your 120V devices. It is never a smart idea to disconnect any neutral wires without knowing for sure that it's not part of a MWBC.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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Multiple Hot & Neutral Wires for Single Fixture


Thanks for all the quick replies!

I know very little about electrical circuits. I guess I shouldn't have called them unnecessary and simply asked for an explanation of why there is so many. This light fixture is in a hallway with 2 rooms on one side and the electrical panel on the other. This may explain why there are so many wires in this ceiling box. Couldn't the electrician just pass by the box? I still don't understand how an electrician and the circuits their installing would benefit from having many come to one fixture.

Either way, I'll connect them the way it is. Thanks!
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:48 PM   #8
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Multiple Hot & Neutral Wires for Single Fixture


There's likely one feed and four outgoing. He has to split it somewhere. The light in the hallway isn't the only thing on that circuit.

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