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Old 06-15-2010, 04:07 PM   #1
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2 switches, 11 wires


I am having a nightmare trying to install my chandelier (formerly had a ceiling fan attached). Chadelier light box has 3 wires - red, white and black. Switch box is for 2 switches (1 switch to outlet, 1 dimmer to chandelier). There are 11 wires total from 3 sets of cables in the switch box. set 1: black, white, copper. Sets 2 and 3: black, red, white, copper. All swiches have been removed. Can someone please help?
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:16 PM   #2
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A continuity tester would be useful. Do you have a voltmeter? We need more info.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:19 PM   #3
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Were I to hazard a guess, I'd say set one is your hot and neutral. One of the other sets goes to your chandelier and the other to your outlet. Tie the whites together. Tie the blacks together and jumper on to one screw of each switch. Take the red from set 2 and land it on the second screw of switch one. Take the red from set 3 and land it on the second screw of switch 2.

THIS IS AN EDUCATED GUESS. CONFIRM WHERE YOUR VOLTAGE IS COMING FROM AND MAKE SURE YOUR WHITE IS NOT A SWITCH LEG.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:31 PM   #4
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The situation was made a lot more complicated when the switches were removed leaving the unlabeled wire ends.

You will want to find out which three cables (or wire groupings) in the switch box go up to the chandelier. This is where a multimeter (with ohms or continuity function) will come in handy.

Also to find out which wires (cable) go to the outlet. A long single conductor wire poked into one of the outlet prong slots at a time (power off) and stretched over to the switch box where you are standing will help.

Always turn off power before doing continuity or ohms measurements. Contrasted with the need for power to be on when doing a voltage measurement to see which wire(s) deliver the power.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-15-2010 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 06-15-2010, 04:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sare View Post
Chadelier light box has 3 wires - red, white and black.

Switch box is for 2 switches (1 switch to outlet, 1 dimmer to chandelier).
There are 11 wires total from 3 sets of cables in the switch box. set 1: black, white, copper.
Sets 2 and 3: black, red, white, copper.
One simple test would be to run an incand. bulb from a known good ground to each wire. You're looking for full brightness or zero brightness.

Another would be running a voltmeter shunted by a 30,000 ohm, 2w resistor [from Radio Shack] to each wire from a known good 120v line.

For continuity I'd prefer a battery/light setup or a cheapie VOM, not a DVM.

With the tests in this thread and assuming the wires have the same color at each end and that no wires are shorted together the number of possibilities becomes manageable.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 06-15-2010 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:55 AM   #6
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Instead of buying resisters, and making your own tester.
use an inexpensive meter.

Separate all wires in the switch box.

Turn power back on. Check for 120 volts between the black and white wire of the bundle that only has a black white, and bare copper wire. that is probably your feed wire. If you read proper voltage there. Then check from the black to the bare copper, and the white to bare copper. You should get a voltage reading with the black to bare copper, but not the white to bare copper.

Then check the other black, read and white wires to that same bare copper wire. They should all read no voltage.
If so. Then turn off power.

Next. Connect the black and red together at the ceiling fan box. Then go to the switch box and check for continuity. This will tell you which set in the switch box is/was to the ceiling fan. Mark it, so you don't forget.

Disconnect the wires from each other in the ceiling fan box.

The other set of 3 wires should be to your recep. And may have been set up so that the top or bottom of the recep was always hot, and only the opposite was controlled by the switch(you should know how it worked). If you don't. then simply pull the recep and see how it is wired.

Its also possible. That one of the 3 wire bundles is the line feeding the switch box. And the 2 wire feeds the recep.

If so. Post if it is that way. And we can talk about how to wire it then.
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Old 06-16-2010, 09:22 AM   #7
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Problem solved


Thanks for your help everyone!
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