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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    843

    Default Re: Ceiling lamp won't work

    I get a sneaky suspicion colors may not matter. I noticed the wires around a couple of switch screws are wrapped counter-clockwise which is a Code violation and something an electrician wouldn't do.

    If you have a tester, go to the ceiling box and measure from the bare ground wire to each wire to identify the function of each wire in the box, relabel them if they don't match the insulation color:

    bare to be black: what is the voltage with the switch up and down?

    bare to red?

    bare to white?

    connect white wire on the the new light to the wire that reads 0 volts to bare.

    connect the black wire on the light to the wire that reads 120 volts to the bare (& the wire you just connected to the white on the light) when the switch is either up or down , but not both.

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Ceiling lamp won't work

    I am inexperienced with this, though I have put in a number of ceiling lights. So if I am reading the meter wrong, please let me know. Since i had a really cheap voltage tester I bought a GB multimeter analog. I turned it to ACV 150.

    Red to bare is 150 (top of my meter, cheaper meter shows 120) when on only.
    White to bare is 150 when on only.
    Black to bare is zero when on or off.

    I did try the following hook ups:

    Red to lamp black, white to lamp white. plus ground.
    Black to lamp black, white to lamp white, plus ground.
    White to lamp black, black to lamp white, plus ground.

    But in all cases, the lightbulb won't come on. I have tested both the lamp and the bulb, they work, just not in the ceiling. That voltage reading has to be off, doesn't it? Else the lamp should light.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    843

    Default Re: Ceiling lamp won't work

    Try:

    Red (which is hot when switch is on) connect to lamp black

    Re-label Black as a white wire (neutral) and connect to lamp white

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, the semiretiredelectrician.com

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Ceiling lamp won't work

    Sorry, I forgot to list that one but I did try red to lamp black and black to lamp white. That didn't work either.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    843

    Default Re: Ceiling lamp won't work

    So your voltmeter shows 120V but the lamp won't light?
    Across the red & black (which should be re-identified as white)

    Have you tried connecting the fixture to a working wall receptacle or changing the light bulb?

    Using your ohm mode, can you read the resistance of the lamp in the fixture?

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, the semiretiredelectrician.com

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Ceiling lamp won't work

    The voltage checks seems to have been done between the bare ground and the coloured conductors.
    Sounds to me the lamp won't light because there is no *neutral* ( return ) up in the ceiling box.
    .

    Someone has messed up the wiring in the switch gang box.
    The way I see it colour does matter ........

    red connected to one switch ( a switched hot feed )

    black connected to another switch ( a switched hot feed )

    white connected to the white neutral bundle in switch box ( becomes the neutral in ceiling box )
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Ceiling lamp won't work

    Lets postulate that that black wire in the ceiling is not connected at all, and white is incorrectly connected, therefore no neutral up there. The white wire shows voltage when the far right switch is flipped, doesn't that mean it has to be connected to that switch, somehow. In my picture you can see that the middle switch has red connected to it and it has voltage in the ceiling. But the right switch has black connected to it. For the white to be hot only when that switch is flipped, shouldn't it be connected there.

    The white bundle has three white wires. But if the white in the ceiling is hot, it can't be one of those, can it?

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Ceiling lamp won't work

    Thank you! Somewhere in the ceiling, the black from the switch is connected to the white in the ceiling. In the switch box, I took that top black wire from the right hand switch and connected it to the neutral bundle, now the lamp works.

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WORKING WITH ELECTRICITY AS MY KNOWLEDGE IS VERY SMALL, BUT AN EXPERT CONFIRMING WHAT I SUSPECTED THAT THERE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE A NEUTRAL (RETURN) IN THE CEILING, MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO SOLVE THIS.
    Last edited by starlord99; 03-04-2011 at 02:22 PM.

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