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Old 03-29-2008, 10:35 PM   #1
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white and red wire? Urgent


I just changed a light fixture in my house (ceiling), and on the old fixture was a white wire and a red one (no black). A friend of mine told me the red was neutral and the white was hot in this case (the old fixture was black to white and white to red) The wire coming from the junction box (white) is three wires together, the red one is a single wire.

Did I connect it right?

If it's connected wrong, would it just trip the breaker? I'm worried about it catching fire.

Thanks!

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Old 03-29-2008, 10:40 PM   #2
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white and red wire? Urgent


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Originally Posted by I_have_questions View Post
red was neutral and the white was hot in this case (the old fixture was black to white and white to red)
Wrong. The white is neutral, and the red should be hot. The whites should be matched up, and the black from the light fixture should be connected to the red wire from the ceiling box.

Are the wires in conduit?

Are there other wires in the box?

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Old 03-29-2008, 10:49 PM   #3
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white and red wire? Urgent


Oh, I forgot...

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Originally Posted by I_have_questions View Post
If it's connected wrong, would it just trip the breaker? I'm worried about it catching fire.

It works fine, and it won't trip the breaker. However, it is less safe because the screw shell of the socket would be connected to the hot wire instead of the tab in the bottom of the socket. It is also a code violation.
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:41 PM   #4
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white and red wire? Urgent


Quote:
Originally Posted by I_have_questions View Post
I just changed a light fixture in my house (ceiling), and on the old fixture was a white wire and a red one (no black). A friend of mine told me the red was neutral and the white was hot in this case (the old fixture was black to white and white to red) The wire coming from the junction box (white) is three wires together, the red one is a single wire.

Did I connect it right?

If it's connected wrong, would it just trip the breaker? I'm worried about it catching fire.

Thanks!
Are you in the USA? If so tell your friend to stick to stamp collecting, and not to give out electrical advise. Are there other wires in the box? I am puzzled by three white wires (neutral) and only 1 red wire (switched hot). Is the red wire in the box in the ceiling, or on the old fixture? Connect the red or black in the ceiling to the black fixture wire. Connect the white in the ceiling to the white fixture wire. It won't start a fire, but you might as well do it correctly.
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:29 PM   #5
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white and red wire? Urgent


Buy a voltage detector (I use one from Greenline - about $15 at Home Depot) so you never again have to take somebody else's word for which wire is hot. It makes things a lot easier.
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:32 AM   #6
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Buy a voltage detector (I use one from Greenline - about $15 at Home Depot) so you never again have to take somebody else's word for which wire is hot. It makes things a lot easier.
I disagree. Use the money you would waste on a voltage detector and buy a multi meter. A tool rather than a toy.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:33 PM   #7
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white and red wire? Urgent


the idea was to be sure which wire is hot.

Btw I have the toy and the meter. It looks like I am using the toy more often than the meter.
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:32 PM   #8
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white and red wire? Urgent


Heh there fellers, its "Horses for Courses". If you have an exposed terminal then you will get more info back from applying a Multimeter. But if you are looking at an insulated wire and don't want to rupture the insulation then one of those new voltage finders are just the shot.
I had a hidden break in an extention cord and I just ran the voltage finder down the cable until the light went out and I was within an inch of a not so obvious crush injury. Believe you me they are not toys!!! CaseyJ.

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