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Thread: Three romex into recessed light box

  1. #1
    DIY Member coopns's Avatar
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    Default Three romex into recessed light box

    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. #2
    DIY Senior Member Chad Schloss's Avatar
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    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. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    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.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    The History of Romex®
    The Romex® 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® brand Type NM cable!

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    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.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Yet another deep dark mystery.

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    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    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. #8
    DIY Senior Member Chad Schloss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    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.
    prox sensor? you mean a NCVT? Non Contact Voltage Tester?
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
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    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. #10
    DIY Senior Member Homeownerinburb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad Schloss View Post
    prox sensor? you mean a NCVT? Non Contact Voltage Tester?
    Exactly so.

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

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeownerinburb View Post
    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.
    How did a bear get involved with this Kleenex conversation?


    so far, in my opinion, only kreemoweet makes sense. electricity can be very dangerous.
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

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