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Old 09-22-2013, 10:45 PM   #31
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please help - outdoor light turns itself off


could you reply in english?

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Old 09-23-2013, 12:24 PM   #32
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please help - outdoor light turns itself off


Thanks circuitman.

Just to be clear, when I test AC voltage on black wires #2 and #4, I will touch one lead on the multimeter to one of these wires and then the other lead I will touch to the ground (since I'm not sure which white wire goes with each, as there are two black wires but only one white wire).

Last edited by ferrugia; 09-23-2013 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 12:33 PM   #33
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please help - outdoor light turns itself off


I was talking to a guy who told me he is an electrical engineer. He told me that having the two black wires hooked up will not hurt anything and that the voltages are NOT additive (ie. two 120 V AC wires hooked together as may be the case here will not be 240 V AC).
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:25 PM   #34
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please help - outdoor light turns itself off


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I was talking to a guy who told me he is an electrical engineer. He told me that having the two black wires hooked up will not hurt anything and that the voltages are NOT additive (ie. two 120 V AC wires hooked together as may be the case here will not be 240 V AC).
That is not always a true statement.
2 black wires from opposite legs, will produce 240 volts.

It is never as clear cut as you are lead to believe.

I'm not saying this is the case at your house, but without tested to make sure, don't assume anything.
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:35 PM   #35
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That is not always a true statement.
2 black wires from opposite legs, will produce 240 volts.

It is never as clear cut as you are lead to believe.

I'm not saying this is the case at your house, but without tested to make sure, don't assume anything.


Ok, thanks for correcting him then. In that case I agree. I want to get to the bottom of this and see if either of those two black wires is dead. If it is then things should be pretty easy. I should know here in a few hours when i get home and can hook up my multimeter to each of those wires on one lead, and the ground on the other lead.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:51 PM   #36
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please help - outdoor light turns itself off


OK, the verdict is in:

Referring back to my picture with the wires numbered in my post #21...... wire #2 has 120 V and wire #4 is dead with 0 V.

This is interesting since wire #2 is coupled together in a plastic sheath with the ground and wire #3. So wire #4 is just a dead oddball coming out of nowhere. Very strange and I wonder what reason it is/was there for.

So anyway, I'm going to cap off wire #4 since it's "dead" with no voltage. And I'm going to leave everything else the way it is. This is the right way to do it, correct? Is there any reason to leave #4 hooked up (could it somehow be used as a return??) or are there any other tests I should do before I conclude my work is done and all is safe?

My primary concern is just wanting to be sure this is done right. If there's any other tests or due diligence I need to do to 100% reach that conclusion, please let me know. Thanks for everyone's help, I owe you guys a beer when I finish this!

Last edited by ferrugia; 09-23-2013 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:03 PM   #37
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please help - outdoor light turns itself off


the only thing i would say is to try to find where it leads. otherwise cap that rascal off!
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:26 AM   #38
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please help - outdoor light turns itself off


Thanks again for all the replies and help.

How important is it to see where this "mystery wire" that's carrying 0 V goes? I obviously would like to see where it goes too but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do that. I'm sure the pros have some sort of tool or something they could put on the line and then try to find the other end in the fuse box or in the basement, but I don't think I'm going to be able to find it on my own without hiring a professional.

So the best thing to do is to cap off that dead wire. Do you think I should just leave it at that... or do I need to hire an electrician to figure out what that mystery wire is all about and where it goes to. I don't know why whoever wired that up previously did have that black wire connected, not capped off by itself.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:34 AM   #39
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Thanks again for all the replies and help.

How important is it to see where this "mystery wire" that's carrying 0 V goes? I obviously would like to see where it goes too but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do that. I'm sure the pros have some sort of tool or something they could put on the line and then try to find the other end in the fuse box or in the basement, but I don't think I'm going to be able to find it on my own without hiring a professional.

So the best thing to do is to cap off that dead wire. Do you think I should just leave it at that... or do I need to hire an electrician to figure out what that mystery wire is all about and where it goes to. I don't know why whoever wired that up previously did have that black wire connected, not capped off by itself.
Cap it off and leave it there.
Trace it out if you really want an answer to where it goes.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:39 AM   #40
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Thanks!

I don't mean to belabor this but will this still be 100% safe if I don't trace it out? I am willing to live with the unsolved mystery as long as it doesn't mean this is potentially wired incorrectly and a safety hazard.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:49 AM   #41
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Thanks!

I don't mean to belabor this but will this still be 100% safe if I don't trace it out? I am willing to live with the unsolved mystery as long as it doesn't mean this is potentially wired incorrectly and a safety hazard.

Nobody could 100% guarantee you anything. Its possible that something else will not be functioning since this wire is not being used. Can't you at oleast find the next junction point and look in there to see if this mystery wire terminates?
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:08 PM   #42
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please help - outdoor light turns itself off


did ya find where that extra black wire went ?

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