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Too many wires for my chandelier. Please help

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Jun 09, 2013, 03:50 PM
Too many wires for my chandelier. Please help
My new home is without a chandelier in the dining room. Last owner took it with her. We bought a new one and I'm trying to hook it up to the attached wires. There are 2 black twisted together. One red by itself, one red right next to a white (but not together) with another white and two joined copper wires up in the box.

As far as I can tell there is only one switch (with dimmer) for this light but there is another panel in the room that is covered (may have wiring for a second switch that would go to the fixture)

All I really want for now is to hook up the one light switch. Please help!

Ugh. I am unable to attach. Please use the above description. Sorry

Jun 09, 2013, 04:43 PM
If ever you were looking for an excuse to spend $15 and get a simple electrical meter, this is the time.

It will be hard, even with pictures, for anyone to give you a 100% accurate assessment of which wire does what. However, with a meter in hand this should only take a couple of minutes. What you are looking for is two wires that give 115 volts with the switch on - start with one of the blacks and one of the whites. But it may be a red and a white. And of course, this same pair should drop to 0 volts when the switch is off.

Only other connection would be to tie all the bare ground wires together (sometimes these are green).

Jun 09, 2013, 05:27 PM
it is not impossible that between black and red, there could be 240 volts. this is not what you want.

fie on those who take out devices without labelling wires, a pox, I say!

for now, one piece of help would be to shut of the likely breaker, and verify with a non-contact power detector that it's off. take the plate off the switch, unscrew and pull it out after again verifying the power is off, and look at what wires are on the switch. if it's black and red, then one of the wires is a switched feeder, and one is the hot lead. shut off the switch, keep everybody away, turn on the breaker, and confirm which is which with the non-contact tester. now, power off and sort out the ceiling wires.

if they are both black, or one is black and one is white, this requires detailed study.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?