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    Question Need Help! Unmarked wires- half my house is off!

    I have an old house 1920's. At some point it was upgraded to a wire that looks like BX or MC. Problem is the wire are all black with some kind of fraying old fabric on them. I have pictures I happened to take beforehand and after the incident- b/c I was going to home dept and wanted to try and explain what I needed.

    Here's the deal. I gave up installing a ceiling fan last year.
    I am trying to install just a light now. Today I decided to work on it, and in all the wrestling/pulling/feeding with the darn things, pulled the "marking" tape right off the wires.

    I have 2 cables coming in to the hole. One has 2 wires, one has 3. When I started today: 1 wire from the longer cable was attached to 1 wire from the shorter cable. The other wire from the long cable was attached to 2 remaining wires from the shorter cable.

    I managed to put clamps on the cables, feed them thru the new round metal box I installed- and everything is good to go- except knowing what wires are which.

    I am thinking it might be at the end of the circut? or the beginning?? When I left all wires disconnected, nothing else is coming back on on that circut.

    When I test with my simple tester- I get one definate hot line on the long cable (that has 2 wires). It lights up bright on every line it touches- except one wire on the other short cable (that has 3 wires)- it glows only dimly.

    I guess my problem is I don't know how to use my tester properly? It has a black and a red lead- and lights up- that's it.

    Is there any way to do this besides acknowledge defeat and call the electrician?

    Thanks,
    Courtney
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