Wiring question?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by ingeborgdot, May 21, 2011.

  1. ingeborgdot

    ingeborgdot New Member

    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Kansas
    Okay, let's see if I can explain this so people will understand me. I am going to wire a light switch to some new lights that I have in my garage attic which I have no problem doing and understand but have a question about an existing junction box that was in the attic.

    In the box was the power supply cable. Then there were two more cables that were coming in from the switch that had the blacks and whites. So the power cable was supplying the power to the switch on the one set and the switch was supplying the power to the light on the other. The black line from the power cable was connected to the black power on the cable that ran to the switch. The white from the power was connected to the white neutrals in the box. The black line running up from the switch was connected to the light and the white from the light was also connected to the whites. My problem though is that the white coming up from the switch was connected to the black power coming in and the black power going down to the switch. Is that right?
  2. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    It sounds like there is two 2 wire cables going down to the switch. One of these two wire cables is supplying to something like receptacles and the other two wire cable is controlling the switch. The switch is fed hot on the white wire and the switch leg is coming back on the black.

    Does this sound like what you have?
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,642
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; My problem though is that the white coming up from the switch was connected to the black power coming in and the black power going down to the switch

    Your problem is that you are thinking that the color of the wire defines its usage. IF that white wire had been painted "red" at the switch, (installers sometimes do it, but you can do it yourself), and also at the box where the black wires for the lights connected to it, then you would not have been confused.
  4. ingeborgdot

    ingeborgdot New Member

    Messages:
    119
    Location:
    Kansas
    Yep, I figured out what it was. The switch only had one cable going in to the switch. The other cable I thought was going into the switch was actually going to a junction box. I got it all wired and it works great. Thanks.
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