(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Strange architectural lighting wiring

  1. #1
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    75

    Default Strange architectural lighting wiring

    Hey all,

    We moved into our current money pit about eight months ago. It was a foreclosure/eviction so many things were non-working including numerous 120v architectural lights in the front yard/drive area.

    Saturday we had nice weather and I got a wild hair to try and trace out what was wrong and after pulling the first light was surprised to see SIX wires and a rainbow of colors below. I got out my Fluke and figured out I had at least two circuits. This is what I found:

    Blue - Hot #1
    Green - Ground
    White - Common
    Brown/Yellow - Hot #2
    Red/Orange - ?
    White w/orange tape - ?

    Now I found a loose wire from the lights and got them working but my questions is: Is this kind of multi-color wiring normal?! When I first saw the colors my first thought was that they were running the well wiring through this post! (it's in the vicinity)

    Also there is a GFCI outlet in the area (showing a "brownout"...about 60 volts) so could all these wires be for that? Do you normally wire 120v architectural lights up to a GFCI?

  2. #2
    I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP) Lakee911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    1,328

    Default

    There could be multiple hot wires and a common nuetral (should be larger), especially if they're individually switched. Can you follow the conduits and open up a few more of the lights or junction boxes and trace it out?

  3. #3
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Litchfield, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Backglass View Post
    Hey all,

    We moved into our current money pit about eight months ago. It was a foreclosure/eviction so many things were non-working including numerous 120v architectural lights in the front yard/drive area.

    Saturday we had nice weather and I got a wild hair to try and trace out what was wrong and after pulling the first light was surprised to see SIX wires and a rainbow of colors below. I got out my Fluke and figured out I had at least two circuits. This is what I found:

    Blue - Hot #1
    Green - Ground
    White - Common
    Brown/Yellow - Hot #2
    Red/Orange - ?
    White w/orange tape - ?


    Your guessing, you need to open everything up and make a map of what is doing what, check inside your house to see if they are switched or hot, the hot ones could possible be for receptacles... but your the one that has to do the homework...

  4. #4
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    75

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris75 View Post
    Your guessing, you need to open everything up and make a map of what is doing what, check inside your house to see if they are switched or hot, the hot ones could possible be for receptacles... but your the one that has to do the homework...
    No, I'm asking. Is this kind of multi-color wiring normal for the electrical professional?

    Thanks all.
    Last edited by Backglass; 01-20-2008 at 07:45 AM.

  5. #5
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Litchfield, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Backglass View Post
    No, I'm asking. Is this kind of multi-color wiring normal for the electrical professional?

    Thanks all.

    Sure, for ungrounded conductors any color will work except green which is only for grounding conductors, and you have gray and white for grounded conductors...

    You should feel lucky to have so many colors, makes the job easier figuring out what does what...

  6. #6
    DIY Member Backglass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    75

    Default

    Makes sense to me. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Electrician Chris75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Litchfield, CT
    Posts
    608

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Backglass View Post
    Makes sense to me. Thanks!

    Hope you can figure it out... it really should not be too bad...

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •