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Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4253
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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Hello-I need some help putting in a ceiling light...can you

This answer was rated:

Hello-I need some help putting in a ceiling light...can you help me...I have a few quesitions

Jason :

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.

Jason :

Please post your questions, and I'll do everything I can to assist you.

Customer:

Great...we recently moved into a house. There was a circular cover plate in the ceiling which led me to beleive that there was wiring for a light there that had been covered over. I opened up and sure enough there is a box and wiring...I want to install an overhead light in this spot and connect it to a light switch already on the wall. Inside the box there are two black wires (connected when I opened it up) two white wires (connected when I opened it up) and a copper grounding wire. So...what do to connect a new light here and still keep the circuit working properly so an existing light on the same light switch doesn't get messed up.

Jason :

You would just add the black wire from a new fixture to the splice of 2 blacks, and add the white wire from the new light to the splice of 2 whites. Do the same with the ground wires, and you'll be all set.

Jason :

However, have you done any testing to confirm the wires you're tapping into are controlled by the wall switch in question?

Customer:

No...how would I go about doing this?

Jason :

You need some type of electrical tester. You can use a basic multi meter. Or, you can get a noncontact tester.

Jason :

I prefer a multi meter, because it is so much more versatile than the other tester.

Jason :

A basic meter will cost around $20 or so. The noncontact tester is about $15.

Customer:

I have one

Jason :

You have the noncontact tester?

Jason :

Or a meter?

Customer:

meter

Jason :

OK, perfect. Just set it to AC volts, and then place one probe inside the white splice, and the other inside the black splice. Have someone turn the switch off and on a few times, and watch the meter to see if it reacts.

Jason :

Make sure the metal tips on the probes don't touch each other.

Customer:

OK...will do...and it if it reacts I assume that I'm good to go. If it doesn't I assume that it is a much bigger project to get the proper wiring ready to go.

Jason :

Yes, exactly. However, if the wiring you want to tap into isn't controlled by the existing switch, you and I can work through that to a solution you are happy with.

Customer:

Great...last question for now. The switch is a dimming switch and the overhead light I bought says that it shouldn't be powered by a dimming light. I have changed light switched before with no problem so it doens't concern me...just wanted to see how crucial something like this actually is

Jason :

I would follow the fixture's recommendations, just because of insurance issues. If there were ever a problem, and a violation of manufacturer recommendations was discovered, you could have trouble with an insurance claim.

Customer:

Got it....well thank you very much...this has been very helpful.

Jason :

I'm glad to hear that. I'm here quite a bit... basically when I'm not at work at my full time day job. Happy to assist with this, and any future questions you may have.

Customer:

Many thanks...have a great day.

Jason and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you

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