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Old 08-15-2012, 01:01 PM   #1
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Old wiring color question


I own a pre-war building and in changing a ceiling fixture found that the existing wiring has 2 wires coming from the box; the white wire is definitely HOT and the black wire is definitely NEUTRAL. It is switched from the wall. There is no green wire as the house is entirely armored cable (old bx system). How should I connect the new fixture? New fixture has standard 3 wires; black, white and green. Thank you for your help.

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Old 08-15-2012, 07:13 PM   #2
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Old wiring color question


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Originally Posted by G2BDON View Post
I own a pre-war building and in changing a ceiling fixture found that the existing wiring has 2 wires coming from the box; the white wire is definitely HOT and the black wire is definitely NEUTRAL. It is switched from the wall. There is no green wire as the house is entirely armored cable (old bx system). How should I connect the new fixture? New fixture has standard 3 wires; black, white and green. Thank you for your help.

Could the wires have been accidently switched at the wall switch,seeing as how it's BX just switch them around.

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Old 08-15-2012, 08:21 PM   #3
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Old wiring color question


Thnx Canarywood1
It's possible that the wires were switched at the wall however I don't have access any longer (it's a rental property and the tenants went out of town). Since my original post I connected the ceiling fixture as follows: black wire on fixture to white in ceiling box which I am 100% sure is hot; white wire on fixture to black wire in ceiling box which I am 100% sure is neutral. Would there be any problem leaving things as is? Everything is working fine.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:25 PM   #4
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Old wiring color question


My guess would be that you are dealing with a Switch leg. Pictures help in these cases. How many wires are actually up in that box?
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:31 PM   #5
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Old wiring color question


There are several wires deep in the box (very old, cloth type) with the 2 #12 wires (black and white) coming from that old cluster. These 2 are newer and in much better condition. These are the 2 that are reversed, i.e., the white is hot and the black is neutral. I re-posted as to what I did. Thanks for your help and would appreciate any further thoughts you might have.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #6
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Old wiring color question


Really need pictures. No way of helping you as to how it was hooked up, until you get some pictures and post back. And actually if there are four wires up there, bet if you go to the switch that turns it on and off, you will only find two wires. That means nothing is wrong with how the light was hooked up, and is controlled with what is commonly called a "Switch leg", or in the Navy, we called them "Suicide" legs.

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