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Mike, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2742
Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
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How do you wire a light fixture that has no color wiring.

Customer Question

How do you wire a light fixture that has no color wiring. It has three prongs. One silver and the other two are silver also, but tubed in plastic.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.
When you say it has three "prongs", do you mean three "wires" coming from the light fixture? I see that you've mentioned trying to wire it to a receptacle in your notes... Can you tell what it is you'd like to do exactly and what kind of light fixture this is?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes three wires coming from the light fixture. I would like to wire the fixture correctly, because it sparked and blacked out the wires. I do not have the box the fixture came in but it is a hanging Chandelier/Pendant three lights sockets.
Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.
1) Are you wiring the light fixture to a receptacle, or to a ceiling box?

2) Do one of the plastic covered wires have a ribbed or rough texture to it, with the other wire having a smooth texture to it?

3) Do you have a voltmeter/multimeter?

Edited by Mike Pettinato on 3/6/2010 at 3:20 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Wiring to the ceiling box

They are both ribbed

No I do not have a voltmeter/ohm meter

Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.
Ok, your light fixture doesn't require a specific polarity so it will work either way, but it's good practice to wire it with correct polarity. Some of the newer CFL and LED bulbs require correct polarity for reliable operation. The two coated wires are the hot and neutral, the bare wire is ground. In your ceiling box, you should have a black (hot), white (neutral), and bare copper (ground). The two coated wires would connect to the hot and neutral, and the ground to ground.

To get the polarity right, you'll need a voltmeter that tests for continuity. A continuity test determines if the circuit is continuous. If you look at one of the light sockets, you'll see the little prong in the bottom center of the socket, this should be "hot" (black wire), and you'll see the threaded outer rim that the bulb screws in to, this should be "neutral" (white wire). What you do with the test is put one lead on one of the wires and then the other lead on the little prong (hot). If the circuit is continuous and you have continuity, that means you have the wire is wired to that little prong. If it's not, then try the other wire, you should have continuity with it. You can pick up a cheap digital multimeter at your local Home Depot or Lowes for about $20.

Let me know if you need more help.



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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Hi Mike

I wire th fixturetd as you said, however, the light switch will not turn off the light. The red wire is not connected to anything. Do I have to connect it, for the light to turn off from the switch?


Expert:  Mike replied 7 years ago.
Possibly, I didn't realize you had a red wire in the box... it's possible that the black wire is another switch, or possibly even constant power to feed another part of the circuit for future use. Try using the red wire in place of the black wire, the red wire should be switched if the black wire is not. Let me know if you still have problems.



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