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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Old house, new light issue

    I have seen this question posted elsewhere but I am in a bit of a unique position, so that is why I am asking it.

    We installed 6 recessed lights in our living room. While my wife was working in the dinning room, we found an old hole for an old switch were they had a switch before. In that hole there were 3 wires taped together, they were taped together whites with whites and blacks with blacks and no grounds.(Now I know that is illegal because of fire hazard)

    We ran a new wire from the last light down the wall. We untapped everything, added our black with the existing blacks, and our whites with the existing whites. Then we ran a two jumper cables once again one from black to the black screw on switch, and one to the neutral screw. then from the new ground we connected it to the screw on the other side of the switch. We re-connected all the wires. When we flipped the switch, the lights came on. When we tried to turn them off, the break blew.

    When we put the new wires in, we didn't even untwist the old ones, just added the new ones. Any idea's how to fix this problem?


    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: Old house, new light issue

    You wired it wrong. There is no neutral wire on a switch. From your description it sounds like you used a 3 way switch. When you flip the switch it connected the hot directly to the neutral.

    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 02-15-2013 at 10:48 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Old house, new light issue

    You were right about the three way switch. Installed new switch with black, white, and ground connect to screws. Same problem. Switched black and white around, same problem. Any idea how to wire it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: Old house, new light issue

    I'm not sure I understand about those existing bundles, do you know where they are going or come from? Lets assume they are still in use and you are only tapping into them as a source of power for your new lights.

    The white from your new lights gets tied into the white bundle. The black from the new lights gets connected to one post on the switch. The you take a short piece of black and connect it from the other post on the switch to the black bundle.

    You still need to find a source for the ground wire. You can connect the bare wire to the ground lug on the switch. If your living room ceiling is the floor of the attic. Then you can get a bare wire and run it from one of the lights J box to the breaker panel's ground buss. This will only protect the lights and the switch, nothing else in he house that is not grounded.

    Let me add one disclaimer here, while the above will work, I do not recommend it unless you have traced all the other wires and know what they go to. I am very uncomfortable tapping into an unknown circuit.
    Last edited by keith3267; 02-16-2013 at 12:51 PM. Reason: add disclaimer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: Old house, new light issue

    White from lights to white in box, black from lights to switch, black from box jumper to other screw on switch. That is with a regular switch.

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,360

    Default Re: Old house, new light issue

    Sounds like you need an experienced electrician to do some sleuthing for you.

    The interwebs are good for some things, this isn't one of them.

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