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Eddie
Eddie, Home Improvement Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 575
Experience:  owner of Island Pro-Craft
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I removed a set of old light fixtures in the bathroom. The

Customer Question

I removed a set of old light fixtures in the bathroom. The first one, went well; one white wire, one black and a ground. I tested it and it worked. On to #2 and when I removed it there are 3 white wires and what appears to be 5 black ones. There's a white and black wire coming from the right side of the box, two white and two black coming from the bottom and two black ones come through the left. The old fixtures had an outlet on the side, the new ones do not. I have tried every combination of connection and can' t seem to figure it out. There was one connection where I got them both to light up but only dimly, now neither one will work. Any suggestions?
JA: Sometimes electrical issues that that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix. The Electrician I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Anything else I can tell the Electrician before I connect you two?
Customer: I don't believe so.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Electrician about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** am a Home Improvement Contractor with a vast array of knowledge in many fields including repairs done in a span of 38 years. I can help you with your difficulties but I will need some information and I will ask you questions that I will need specific answers for. I am asking you to help me, help you. So if I can ask you to take the time and answer, to the best of your knowledge. I am not there, on site, and it is that much more difficult for me, or anyone for that matter, to diagnose what the problem could be. That way, with your help, finding out what is right with it, is a step to eliminate what is wrong with it ......sometimes it may be one of a hundred things but together with your patience we can work toward a goal to get this issue resolved.1-) how many switches were there and what did they operate?........for instance both lights at the same time2-) did you use the outlet from the light and did that work off of a switch?3-) can you upload a couple of pictures?We can start here and with the info you provide I will add steps toward our target as we proceed by our correspondenceIf by some reason a resolution to the problem just isn't possible, I will do my best to supply you with any remaining options, from what other resources I can find.And thank you for your help and assistanceeddie
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
1. One switch for both lights
2. Never used the outlet built into the fixture
3.Pictures are attached
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Is this picture more helpful?
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
Hi the first one didn't open and the 2nd is pretty small ......very hard to see..........also do you now have a GFCI that was wired in the bathroom after not using the light outlet anymore?.............do you have a pigtail light and a tester ?..........if not you can make a pigtail from one of the sockets on the old fixture
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
We do have a GFCI, explain how to make a pigtail. Can you view these pictures?
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
the socket probably has a nut on the back where you can unscrew and pull the wires through if you won't be using that fixture anymorehow many cables are coming into that box?
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
if it is hard you can take a photo of the old fixture and I can take a look
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
if you can you have to pull each cable to its respective area where it comes in because we will have to trace and mark what they are .............dont uncap anything ..just get them out some and to a location so we can sort them
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
This was the old fixture, but I do not know how it was connected.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
There are two wires coming in on each side and four from the bottom.
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
where is the face of the fixture?.......i was going to show you how to make the pigtail...............there should be a nut on the back to unscrew ........what are there 4 or 5 light sockets?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
it has four sockets and it had about a 3" connector holding it onto the bracket on the box.
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
you still there?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
What is the purpose of a pigtail?
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
we need it to trace and test which cable is which ............ ............and on these sockets from the front does it look like there is ring on them in that wood recess to unscrew the socket from there alternatively ? ........if not I need a picture of the back of the fixture
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
There is a ring, but I can't grab it there is no room. I sent you a picture of the back earlier, it's image 4040.
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
no we need this one ...............you need needle nose pliers to grab that ring and unscrew the socket from the back
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
you can use a screwdriver on the tab of that ring to hit tap it down to start to unscrew it from the socket to get it off
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
ok, I got one off is that sufficient.
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
yes...............it was one that was working right ?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I believe they all worked
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
k ...............now do you have a tester?.................... and did you sort out those wires some like I asked previously ?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I do not have a tester. are you asking me to take out the box?
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
we will use the socket as a tester then .........did you put a bulb in it ................and NO do NOT take out the box .........just sort the cables to a side where they come in
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
got it. Ready
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
okay the breaker is on so don't go putting your hands where they doesn't belong or you will have a new hairdo ..........this is the most important thing we will do right now ...........just holding the wires on the pigtail touch a black wire and a white wire on each cable until it lights ..........uncap the 2 white wires and and start with them but do not untwist them ...........leave them together as long as that is how they were..........and go around singly to each black .........in other words we have t find the feed wire
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I tried each socket with a new bulb and nothing.
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
are you testing the wires in the box with something that looks like this? with a bulb in it ?http://www.habetandhabet.com/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=838
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
are you there ?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Yes. Could I have damaged something when trying to connect wires earlier trying to get it to work ? The breaker popped a couple of times, but I dont think that caused any issues.
Expert:  Eddie replied 8 months ago.
we need to do this by phone
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
We are going to have someone come on Saturday. Thank you for all your time, appreciate your help. Have a nice evening .

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