Three romex into recessed light box

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by coopns, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. coopns

    coopns New Member

    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I have three romex coming into one arm of the recessed light. 1 from a new recessed light, 1 from switch and 1 from not sure where. I connected all the blacks/whites/grounds to the recessed light but the light doesn't turn off when I flipped the circuit back on.

    When I took the existing light out it had two romex going in but funny (or not) thing was one of the reds wasn't hooked up, it was just sitting there, no wire caps and not attached to anything. I tried it once with the red in with the blacks and one without and neither would turn the light off.

    The other romex that came from the switch didn't have a red. Light worked fine.

    Please advise.
  2. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    USA
    Romex® is made by Southwire, for those who did not know. We now return you to your scheduled program. :)

    (someone will chime in shortly)
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    If you go look at the switch that controls this lamp, you'll likely find it only has one cable coming in. That means that you need to find that cable, hook one end to the black that is constantly hot, and the other to the black of the lamp(s) you want to control. That is called the switch leg. You should identify the switched hot lead with some red marker or red electrical tape.

    Basically, they ran power to the lamp, but since you don't want it on all the time, instead of hooking the black (hot) lead to the lamp, it needs to be sent down to the switch. WHen the switch is on, it goes back up to turn the lamp on.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The History of Romex[SUP]®[/SUP]
    The Romex[SUP]®[/SUP] brand of Non-Metallic Building Wire (“NM”) originated in 1922 with its development by the former Rome Wire Company, a predecessor to General Cable Corporation. On September 5, 2001, Southwire purchased the electrical building wire assets of General Cable Corporation. One of the most valuable assets purchased by Southwire in that acquisition was the Romex brand of Type NM cable. The Romex brand of Type NM cable has now been promoted and sold by Southwire and its predecessors for 88 years and Southwire considers its Romex trademark to be one of its most valuable brand names. Romex is a federally registered trademark and we vigorously monitor and protect the use of the Romex brand in North America and around the world. Don’t just look for generic NM cable, look for Southwire’s Romex[SUP]®[/SUP] brand Type NM cable!
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,034
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If you connected all the blacks together AND the whites together, it should have tripped the circuit breaker when you "flipped" the switch, because one of the whites should be been a switch leg back to the fixture. We cannot tell you what the red is because it would depend on WHAT, if anything, it is connected to. it could have been a future leg for a ceiling fan, for example.
  6. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Yet another deep dark mystery.
  7. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Seriously, do you own a proximity tester? A remarkably inexpensive tool that, if used correctly, can diagnose issues like this. Stop doing electrical work until you buy one.

    Open the can that was original, pull all the hot wires out and separate them and let them float in the air, not touching anything. Turn the power on. Bring your proximity tester (sniffer) to bear. Only one wire should excite it. That is the power coming into the whole mess. Go turn the power off. Send the power down to the switch, and use the white wire coming back as described above.
  8. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    USA
    prox sensor? you mean a NCVT? Non Contact Voltage Tester?

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  9. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet Member

    Messages:
    374
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    Coopns: I don't know where you learned what little you seem to know about house wiring, but you need to realize that you NEVER hook up
    wires at random, without knowing where they go or what they do!! That kind of crap is what electrocutes people and starts fires!! If you
    can't scope it out by yourself, you need to get someone else involved.
  10. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    Exactly so.

    I gotta figure out how to post images on this site......
  11. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,794
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    How did a bear get involved with this Kleenex conversation?


    so far, in my opinion, only kreemoweet makes sense. electricity can be very dangerous.
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