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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default ceiling light wiring

    I am replacing a ceiling light that has two separate switches to turn it off and on. There are 2 black wires, 2 white wires, 2 ground wires and a red wire coming out of the ceiling junction box. The new light has 3 wires 2 are for the black and white (not colored or labeled) and one is for the ground. I have tried every combination to wire this light. I can wire it and the light comes on but neither of the wall switches will turn it off. I can wire it and when I flip the switch the breaker trips. Very frustrated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: ceiling light wiring

    Before you start connecting wires, you need to know the hot and neutral on your new fixture - so you don't trip your breaker again.
    Since they are not colored, feel them with your fingers: one will feel smooth (neutral) and the other will feel a little rougher (hot). The exposed copper is your G.
    Now, continue with the connections. First turn off the breaker. Try the 2 blacks and red to the new hot, 2 whites to the new neutral and ground to ground. Use wire nuts big enough for 3 and 4 wires.
    Turn on the circuit breaker and try the switches. Report back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Fayette County, Ohio

    Default Re: ceiling light wiring

    Just a guess, but with tripping the breaker I think you are wiring all the whites together but one of the white wires is part of a switch loop. First check the wires in the switch boxes and let us know what you have. Do no experiment with connections until you have more information. Do you have a volt meter?

    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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