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Old 11-06-2013, 07:38 PM   #1
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Wiring confusion, please help!


Ok here it goes. I am new to anything electrical. I bought my first home in January. My kitchen had an outdated dome type ceiling with 6 fluorescent lights under it and a ceiling fan/light in the center. I removed it all. The lights and fan had worked from the same switch. The light on the fan never worked even after replacing the bulb. I bought a second hand vintage chandelier type light with 4 small bulbs that I want to hang in the center of the kitchen where the fan had been.
When I took down the old lights I did not keep track of what wires connected to what, I thought I would remember and of course I didn't. Oops :/ Anyway, when I went to hang the new light I saw that there are 6 wires coming from the ceiling. The colors are white, brown, green, red, yellow and blue. The 2 wires on the light fixture are the same color. Nothing to set them apart. The 6 colored wires go from the center of the ceiling,across the ceiling and into a hole at the top of the wall above the light switch. After trying every possible color combination with the 6 wires and the light to no avail, I then removed the light switch plate and saw that the switch has 2 black wires and one white wire attached to 2 screws on the right side. The 2 black on the top and the white to the bottom screw. The one pair of black and white wires come from the top of the little metal box. The other black wire comes from or maybe goes out a hole in the right side of the metal box to I don't know where. I have now bought 2 cheap voltage testers. One is a non contact and it reacts to every wire that I point it at. The other tester is the type with 2 wires coming off with points and it does not react to any of the wires in the light switch. I am stumped at what to do next. I do not want to rip out a section of my wall to find where the six wires go. Please help!

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Old 11-06-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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You need to post pictures of both the switch box and the fixture box. From your description, this does not sound good. I will reserve further comments until pictures are posted.

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Old 11-06-2013, 07:56 PM   #3
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Wiring confusion, please help!


Please go back and add your location to your profile. No one here is going to know where on the planet you are.
Some county's use 220 instead of 110 and different color codes.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:57 PM   #4
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Good point, that does sound a little European.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:00 PM   #5
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I am in Florida in The US. Here are some pics. The black wire is off the top screw because I took it off to pull the switch out further.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:06 PM   #6
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You have something completely F'd up there. That isn't even close to legal. You are going to need to find the JBox and do some rewiring. Based on what I see, I HIGHLY suggest you spend a little money to hire someone to inspect your electrical system...all of it. Did you have an inspection before purchasing the home?
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:12 PM   #7
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Yes, I had an inspection, but there is no way they could have seen this. It is wired to the switch in the wall somewhere, you can see where the drywall was patched above the switch. I cannot hire anyone. I was laid off from my job 7 wks ago. I guess I may end up tearing into the wall myself to rewire this with the normal type of wiring.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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You really do need to find a way to get the complete system inspected. Call some EC's, see if you can set up a payment plan. Call your local inspection dept ask if they know anyone that could help. The problem is that the wire used is rated for standard sized breakers. Run something too large for too long and you may not have a home left to live in.

You don't get caught speeding the first time you exceed it. When you see something this bad, you can't believe that this is the only place dangerous work has been done.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:24 PM   #9
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Well for now I am stuck with what I have. I cannot set up a payment plan with money I don't have. Thanks for trying.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:27 PM   #10
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Why are you taking on home remodeling/improvement if you are that bad off financially?
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:29 PM   #11
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I have a lot of time on my hands and the light fixture was free on craigslist.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:32 PM   #12
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I can appreciate that, but I will warn you, what is pictured is a fire hazard. There likely are more hazards. This is real advice, I'm not blowing smoke or trying to make a profit, it's just the truth.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:40 PM   #13
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I get it completely. I didn't think you were doing any of those. I will look into finding someone who can come out and take a look. Or if someone else has a suggestion I am open.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:02 AM   #14
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Wiring confusion, please help!


Is the switch you pictured the one that controlled the fan? I am wondering if there is not some kind of remote sensor located somewhere that controled the lights and fan. Aside from that there most likely is a junction buried in the wall or ceiling somewhere.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:06 AM   #15
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I'm inclined to believe that the multicolored cable was at one time connected to a wall switch made to control ceiling fans. The other end of that cable is where? The switch in the picture is a three way so there should be another switch on the other side of the room most likely that works with it to operate the lights. You may be OK if there is regular romex at the switches and in the ceiling. Just don't use that multicolored cable anymore. Find the other end and remove the thing.

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