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Discussion Starter #1
Hidy!
Hoping someone can guide me in the right direction. I have essentially no experience with electrical anything unless its a computer, and I am remodeling my Mother's guest room. We picked a pendant light to replace the old flushmount lighting. I've got the old one removed (and yes I have the power off in the room :thumbsup:), and I cannot figure out how to do this based on the instructions given (or on any video I have watched).

There are two copper "wires" coming down from the ceiling. They are both wrapped in black insulation, and they form like a little hoop/circle on the end. The fixture has a copper wire, not insulated, and like a double copper wire insulated with brownish black coating. Sorry...I don't know technical terms here, but I would be happy to post pics.

I just need help installing this thing. I've done flooring and plumbing and everything else you can imagine a chcik might figure out how to do, but I am stumped here. Please help me do this! It doesn't seem like it should be this difficult!
 

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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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Not sure what you mean about the hoop circle on the end but I am guessing it was formed in the stripped wire to allow the wires to be attached to screw terminals? You probably do not need the hoops for your new fixture. You will need wire nuts though.

One of the two insulated wires in the ceiling is hot and the other neutral. You will need at least a simple tester to determine which is which. Something like this will cost under $20 or so I think. Might as well get one that tests both 110 and 220. A multi-tester would be an alternate investment but there is a learning curve and you do not need its capabilities for this.


Make sure the wires are not touching and switch the power on. Touch the probes one to each wire until the light on the tester goes on. The wire touched by the red wire on the tester when the light goes on is your hot lead. The other is your neutral. Turn the power off.

The bare copper wire is the ground wire and should be pigtailed to the running ground wire or sometimes to the electrical box holding the connections. If the power is wired to the switch, there may not be a running ground at the fixture.

Your new fixture should have a black or red wire and a white one. The black or red wire gets connected to the the wire you found to be hot with your tester. The white one gets connected to the neutral wire.

Use appropriate size wire nuts to join and encapsulate the wire connections. Turn the power on to make sure the fixture works. Then stuff the wires in the box and connect the cover plate.

Now then, it may be that the wires were inside the florescent fixture in which case their may not be a junction box and just wires? To meet code, you should add a junction box for your connections because you cannot just stuff wires into the ceiling without boxing them. You can do a thin surface mount box or cut away drywall and mount the box in the ceiling.

Switching a fixture is a doable DIY project but if ever in doubt whether you are doing it right or not? Call an electrician. They get a bumb rep for being expensive. They are lot cheaper than a house fire!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the super fats reply! I will certainly get in toluch with an eletrician if need be. Here are some craptastic phone pics to show you what I'm talking about because I'm still a little unsure regarding what to do with the hoops and the lack of colors on the wires:

 

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Too Short? Cut it Again!
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Thanks for the super fats reply! I will certainly get in toluch with an eletrician if need be. Here are some craptastic phone pics to show you what I'm talking about because I'm still a little unsure regarding what to do with the hoops and the lack of colors on the wires:

Pictures did not make it!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry about that!
This is the wiring from the fixture. I tried to show how the brown piece splits in half, but, again, craptastic phone. I'm guessing the copper one without the insulation is the ground?



This is the wiring from the ceiling. Beyond the two wires with the copper hoop is more eletrical tape--which seems to have been the theme in this particular fixture. Do I need to remove the tape and expose the wire, removing these hoops?

 

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The neutral (normal white) on the pendant will be ribbed on the side of it.

As for the house wiring, is one of those blacks tied into a splice containing white wires? If so, that should be the neutral and go to the ribbed wire from the pendant. If not, you are going to need to test each of those black wires for voltage with a voltage tester. You would need to put one lead to the black and one lead to the bundle of whites in the box. The wire that shows 120V (with the switch on) would go to the smooth wire from the pendant.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It is quickly getting too dark to see what is going on to give more details, but I will test the wires in the morning and keep all up to date who has helped.
 

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Okay, today I had "some" luck with this thing, but it ran out. I figured out which was the hot and which was the neutral wire, got a ground wire put in, had it all hooked up, tested it out, it worked. Alas, I go to put everything in the box, get everything said and done, it no longer works. Take it apart again, and the hot wire, which had a--I'm guessing it is called a pigtail like the other one--well, the pigtail snapped off from bending that heavy wire into the box (it was all covered with electrical tape, but that is a lot of stuff to jam into a small box, and I figured the stress would have a chance of snapping it). Anyways, when it broke off, I was able to remove the tape, and it exposed this massive mess of thick wires, only the one pigtail which, well, obviously broke. I have no idea what to do at this point. I've posted some more, clear, pictures.





 

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Ok, it LOOKS as the black pigtail is going to the white wires indicating that it is being used as a neutral. This should be easy if this is the case. Pick up some wirenuts (if you don't have any) wirenut the ribbed wire of the pendant to the current black pigtail, then wirenut the smooth wire of the pendant to that group of blacks. That should be all you have to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Are there wirenuts that big? I mean, this is a pretty considerably sized group of wires. I don't have any that big, but I can certainly get some if they're out there.
 

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Turn off power to that circuit and snip off about half of the length of the exposed wires then the wirenut should cover the exposed copper.

While power is turned off, take the tape off the white splice, and put a wirenut on that splice as well (cut the excess if needed like the black splice). Tape is not an approved means to secure a splice.
 

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I'm seeing (4) 2-wire romex coming into the box. Three black wires are spliced together. One black is isolated. Are there four white wires in that splice? If so I'm suspecting the white are hot wires and the romex that has the isolated black is the white feeding the switch and the black returning as the switch leg.

That means three romex are hot/neutral and one is hot/switch leg. Could that be what's going on?
 
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