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Old 08-11-2008, 05:45 PM   #1
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Need help to complete circuit


I had an electrician do some wiring to allow me to add some floods in future. He tried to set this up so it would be "easy" for me to do. He is on vacation and I have a question. He installed a junction box which is between the floods and switch.

The switch is a one-way switch and looking at it, there are two black wires and a ground, with the two blacks attached to the two terminals of switch. I'm assuming one black is for power. The junction box has a white wire, black wire, and ground. I have tested the circuit by connecting a tester to the white and black wire and noting that it is "live" when switch is turned on.

If I bring in my flood light wires, which are black and white, how do I connect these to junction box - white to black, and black to white, or black to black and white to white?

Thanks for any help.

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Old 08-11-2008, 05:59 PM   #2
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Need help to complete circuit


rockee, In the switch box you should also have a pair of white wires (I'm assuming you do since you said you have power at the junction when the switch is on). Make sure the switch is off (use your tester at the junction box) before starting. Connect the wires, black to black and white to white and green or bare copper to ground. Let there be light. pete

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Old 08-11-2008, 06:06 PM   #3
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rockee, In the switch box you should also have a pair of white wires (I'm assuming you do since you said you have power at the junction when the switch is on). Make sure the switch is off (use your tester at the junction box) before starting. Connect the wires, black to black and white to white and green or bare copper to ground. Let there be light. pete

This is a two-gang box with 2 switches, but I see no other wires connected to this switch - 2 terminals only with a black wire on one and a black wire on the other. Where should the white wires be connected - could these be inside the box and tied together?
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:14 PM   #4
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Need help to complete circuit


rockee, Sorry, I should have made myself clearer. The white wires will be spliced together (twisted together with a wire nut) in the back of the 2 gang box. pete
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:20 PM   #5
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Need help to complete circuit


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rockee, Sorry, I should have made myself clearer. The white wires will be spliced together (twisted together with a wire nut) in the back of the 2 gang box. pete
Pete,

I'm assuming they are spliced since the switch works, but I don't want to take the whole box apart to be sure.

The reason I first asked the question is that I was all ready to connect black to black and white to white (since it seemed to make sense) until I read somewhere that for a switch you should go black to white and white to black, and if not the switch will always be live. What did whoever wrote this mean?

Thanks.
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:49 PM   #6
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Need help to complete circuit


rockee, In a traditional single pole switch set up, combining the blacks and whites usually results in a bright flash. The bottom of a single pole switch will always be hot regardless of the switch position. There are some more complicated wiring methods, (switch-loop - where a single length of romex comes from the junction box. Black is hot (usually) bottom of the switch. White is the switch leg (the "leg" returning to power the light at the junction box) and should be marked with black tape to indicate that it's not a neutral.) but that doesn't seem to apply here. It sounds like you're good to go as is. pete
Maybe the author of that quote was an arsonist.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:28 PM   #7
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Need help to complete circuit


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Originally Posted by petey_c View Post
rockee, In a traditional single pole switch set up, combining the blacks and whites usually results in a bright flash. The bottom of a single pole switch will always be hot regardless of the switch position. There are some more complicated wiring methods, (switch-loop - where a single length of romex comes from the junction box. Black is hot (usually) bottom of the switch. White is the switch leg (the "leg" returning to power the light at the junction box) and should be marked with black tape to indicate that it's not a neutral.) but that doesn't seem to apply here. It sounds like you're good to go as is. pete
Maybe the author of that quote was an arsonist.
Pete,

You've been quite helpful. I'd like to ask yet another question. The floods I'm installing have a black, a white, and a green wire, which is the ground. I'm now connecting to a white, a black, and a ground on the romex which goes to the junction box. The connection will be right at the flood base- it has a waterproof connector as part of the flood base. Do I just connect each of the 3 wires with wire nuts, or do I need to connect the two grounds to each other and attach them to anything else? I know in a work box, there is a place to connect a ground, but I don't see any place in the base of the flood fixture.

Thanks.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:12 AM   #8
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Need help to complete circuit


rockee, If the junction box is metal, it should have a ground screw (usually colored green), loop the bare copper ground from the romex around it (clockwise, so it doesn't start to come undone as you tighten the screw) and attach to the fixture ground. If it's plastic, just twist the wire pairs together with some linesman's pliers, then put the wirenuts on nice and tight. You should be good to go. pete

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