Electrical Repair Questions? Ask an Electrician for Answers ASAP
I took down an out-dated chandelier.
I did undo all the wires including those not attached to light fixture.
Wires are in romex -- 3 sets of wires showing:
One set has red, white and black.
Next set has red, white (which is wrapped in black electrcian's tape) and black.
Third set has white and gray and bare copper.
I do not have a 2 lead voltage tester. May be able to borrow one form my neighbor if he is at home.
Old fixture was buring just fine when I took it down. I have replaced every other fixture in our older home but this one -- with the 3-way wiring -- is eating my lunch!
Ok, thanks for the information.It appears that they may have wired the switches through the light box. which some electricians did to save some money on cables.So, we need to pull the 2 switches out of their boxes, leave the wiring INTACT and do not remove or undo any.Look to see if there is one cable in each box or more than one.Then what color wires are on the switches.Which of those wires is on the ODD screw on the 3 way switch (different color than the other 2)
.And how any other wires are connected in the box if not on the switches.Now, need to look hard at the one cable in the light box.They did not make romex with gray and white, so see if by chance it is black with paint on it or a different type of cable someone has used?Know it is a lot, but since all the wires were disconnected, we know have to determine how the electrician originally wired the light and switches since there is no standard way but many different.
Both swtiches (bottom of stairs and top of stairs) are wried the same: one romex cable consisting of red, black and white wires. Black wire is on the left side of switch one one lone screw. Red wire on right side of swtich top screw and white wire on right side of switch bottom screw.
You are correct that third romex is white, black and bare copper. The black looks gray as it is dusty. The black wire in this romex has black electrciian's tape on it just like one of the white wires in another romex has. For some reason on black wire and one white wire -- in two different cables -- are tagged with black tape wraps.
Odd colored screw on both switches has the white wire connected. Matching colored screws have the black and red wires connected.
Borrowed a lead tester. Turned on breaker and determined that the black wire in the romex with the white and bare copper (the wire I originally thought was gray) is the hot wire or power wire in the ceiling. This black wire that tests as hot is the one that someone has wrapped some electrician's tape around.
Another white wire in the ceiling has electrician's tape on it as well. Not sure if that is significant or not.
3 romex cables -- white, black (tests hot), and bare copper
white, red, black
white (with electrician's tape on it), red, black
well... nothing happens
Decided to test the hot wire. Took an old light socket fixture from garage and wired straight to hot black and white from same romex. Lit up! But, when I tried to use switch to control it tripped the breaker. Did this twice.
Wired back up as you stated and still nothing happens. A real mystery.
Tried wiring new fixture straight to the hot black and the white as I did the old socket fixture from garage. Nothing. Makes me question the fixture itself.
went back and disconnected all wires and started over.
two red wires together
two black wires (not the power black) together
power black connected to white wire that does not have tape on it
light fixture black connected to white wire with the electrician's tape
light fixture white connected to withe wire from the romex which tested hot
switches have the white wire connected to the odd-colored screw (black screw) on bottom right of each switch
I tested the hot wire by directly connecting an old socket fixture from my garage. Light bulb lit but when I tried the switch the breaker blew.
Thanks! Your wiring schematic was absolutely right! The fixture is buring nicely! Looks great even if it did take me more hours to install than I care to admit!
The problem was that when I tightened the final cover plate on the fixture to hide all the connections / box / wire connectors I cut through one of the fixture wires and caused a short. So, the breaker kept tripping as it should.
Fixed the cut wire issue. Followed your wiring schematic and now all is good!
Thank you and good night from south Texas.