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Thread: Help K&T

  1. #1
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    Default Help K&T

    I have 2 lights & can only get one or the other to light, not both at the same time!
    Is there anyway I can get both to work?
    I think I have tried everything & have had 2 electricians stop by and still cant get both lights to work. The electricians say its k&t wire and I will not be cappable of getting it to work.(cant believe that)
    Going nuts here!

    Wires are labled left to right as they drop into the junction box.
    1&2 are comming from an out side light.
    3 is capped off, no idea where it comes from. not a hot wire.
    4&5, when hooked to a switch turns on/off the inside light.
    Wire #5 is hot.
    When 1 & 5 are to a switch (as shown)& 2&4 are wired together, the out side light works .
    I would like to get both lights working w/ one or 2 switches.
    Thanks
    John
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    Last edited by jbbcd; 03-13-2009 at 06:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help K&T

    Howdy have you changed any of the wires around before the light quit working together- did they ever?
    Consider dropping the light fixtures and seeing how they are wired and what wire is hot and when to eatch fixture.. Are they on a three way switch? 6 ways to wire a 3 way switch makes me scrathc my head... Some times the wire breaks old knob and tub wire wokrs but maybe a rodent has had a chew?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help K&T

    Just a guess. 1&2 are to the outside light. 4 is to the inside light with the inside light neutral connected at the light. 5 is a hot wire. The inside light switch would need to have 4 & 5 connected, the outside light would need 1& 5 connected to its switch and 2 connected to a neutral. Check for 120 volts between 5 and 3 if you have 120v then 3 is a neutral, connect to 3 to 2. But I would guess you are missing a neutral.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help K&T

    Tim,
    Q1 NO, I did not change any of the wires around....and yes one works and not the other.

    Q2 Yes, I dropped the light and there are 2 wires...no idea what is hot or not. Cannot tell which wire goes where without ripping out the wall and ceiling. **NOT what I want to do**

    It's on a simple on/off toggle switch.

    That is a possibility that a wire is broken.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help K&T

    Jack,
    Correct. 1&2 are to the outside light.
    Yes, also correct about 4&5.
    No voltage between 5&3.
    I think you are also correct about missing a neutral.
    What I cant seem to get passed my head is, I CAN get BOTH lights to turn on & off.
    I cannot seem to figure out how to get them to both work independtly on there own switch or with the same switch.
    I can only get either one to work but not the other.
    It just seems to me if I can get both lights to work why cant I figure out a way to turn them on & off indepedently without adding another wire??? I feel like I'm so close to figuring it out but just cant do it!!
    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help K&T

    When both lights go on and off you have power to switch (5) from the switch to the outside light (1) through the outside light (2) to the inside light (4). The inside light is connected to the neutral in the ceiling box. In other words the lights are in series. You will need to bring a neutral to the box to connect to (2). Then you can install two switches with (5) hooked to both switches, (1) hooked to one switch and (4) hooked to the other. The new neutral wire would be hooked to (2). (3) is no doubt an old power feed to another light or outlet.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help K&T

    Yes, that makes good sence.
    I was hoping I'd find the answer I was looking for here.
    But I guess the electricians & you are correct, it can't be done with out bringing another wire to the box.
    I'm certainly no electrian, it just seemed possible because I could get both lights to work as is. Maybe if I saw a sipmle wiring diagram drawn on paper I could understand better.
    Thank you guys
    John

  8. #8
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: Help K&T

    Just a guess here but it seems there were probably only 4 wires orginally in the box. One wire for the feed and another for the swich leg to each light. It maybe that wire #1 was the feed and wire #3 was the switch leg to the outside light, Wire #5 is the feed and #4 is the switch leg for the inside light. It's possible they may have been on seperate fuses orginally?

    I can't be sure but it looks like #1 and #2 is romex. If that's the case looks like there is an issue with the orginal wiring to the outside light and a new cable was run at some point. That might explain why #3 is capped off.
    It maybe possible the neutral for the outside light is broken somewhere.If #2 and #4 are tied together in series for the outside light to work you would think that both the inside and outside lamps would light and if you removed the bulb from the inside this would prevent the outside to light.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help K&T

    The drawing below is what I think you have.
    Jack
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    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help K&T

    Cool,
    I believe that is correct.
    This a.m. I opened up an 8x8 access hole in the floor right ubove the light swtich, and I can see all the old K&T wires! going across the floor joist to the light & down to the switch.
    So my next step is to run romex from an outlet box upstairs nearby to both lights & both switches puuling out the old K&T along the way!
    I'm a happy camper
    p.s. I plan on just capping off the old K&T up in the ceilng/floor
    Thanks much
    John

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