Thanks for the URL Eric.......I can view the pic
1) I can see that the ceiling box is a metal octagon box and it appears that the box was wired in conduit. Please confirm that this box is wired using metal conduit?
2) Those wires are severely burnt and will need to be replaced. I don't think you will be able to salvage them and re-splice onto them.
3) From the pic, it also appears that the splices were just twisted together and black electricians tape was wrapped around the splices. Splicing conductors like that was performed in the old days but now per the National Electrical Code, all splices for branch circuit conductors must be spliced using a plastic wire nut.
4) Due to the arc/burnt marks on the insulation, I would recommend by labeling each wire using white electricians tape and either make a simple sketch or make sure you save a good photo of the box as-is.
You will then need someone to assist you with this. Turn the breaker to the OFF position and gently tug on 1 conductor at a time and have your assistant listen in nearby boxes where the other end of the wire terminates at. Once all of the arc'd/burnt wires are properly identified, you will need to de-install the burnt wires and pull new wires into the conduit. Make sure the new wire size corresponds to the circuit breaker, ie, for a 15 amp breaker, needs to be 14 AWG copper. For a 20 amp breaker, wire size needs to be a 12 AWG copper.
Once the new conductors are pulled, code requires approximately 6 inches of free conductor length or 3 inches of length past the face of the box. Once the new conductors are installed, then re-splice them according to color code and using plastic twist-on wire nuts at each splice.
5) With burnt marks like this, it is possible that the branch circuit may have been over-loaded thus causing the degradation of the insulation or the poor quality of the splices caused some major arcing? I would recommend to determine what loads are connected to this circuit besides just the light fixture?
Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.
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