I'm about to install a chandelier in our dining room to replace the one removed by the previous owners when they moved out. I removed the plate covering the junction box and found this:
1. Wire A runs in from the left side of the junction box and is connected (at 1) to Wire B, which runs out of the box on the right side.
2. Wire C runs in from the left side of the junction box and is connected (at 2) to Wire D, which runs out of the box on the ride side.
3. Wire E runs in from the left side and terminates at a twist on connector (3), but is not connected to any other wire.
The colors of wires A, B, C, and D are indistinguishable from one another (the wiring is pretty old, and if there was any color to the fabric sheath over the wires, it is gone now). Wire E has a slight hint of red.
My initial (wrong) thought was that the previous fixture was installed mid circuit and that the new chandelier should have its hot wire joined at the point where two hot wires now meet (at 1 or 2), its neutral wire joined at the point where two neutral wires now meet (the other of 1 or 2), and that E is a ground wire not needed in this installation.
Someone kindly pointed out that it is more likely that E is the hot switch wire and that I need to connect the chandelier's hot wire to E and its neutral wire to the neutral wire in the box, once I find out which wire that is.
A few questions:
1. Does the above sound correct (E is hot switch and either AB or CD is neutral)?
2. Will a digital multimeter allow me to test and see which wire is hot, neutral, or ground (if any). If so, how?
3. Is there any reason that I can't install a dimmer at the wall switch?
4. Am I going to kill myself doing this?
I succesfully installed a dimmer module in the bedroom last weekend and would really enjoy taking on this more difficult task, if possible.
Thanks in advance.
UPDATE: I tested with a non-contact voltage tester. E and AB are "hot." CD does not trigger the tester - does this mean it is neutral? Further, E and AB read hot regardless of whether the wall switch is on or off.