Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 12/22/2005 4:58:38 AM EDT
This is hardly a difficult electrical issue. But there is a reason that I earned the nickname 'Voltar' after a few spectacular failures relating to electrical projects, so I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.

So, I am mounting a light to go over the pool table that is inbound.

From the box in the ceiling, I have (3) wires. After I tested them by placing them on my tongue, I find that when the switch is on, I have (2) hots and (1) neutral.

The light has what I guess you would call a simple lamp cord that has two wires.

Do I connect one of the wires in the lamp cord to (1) of the hots, and the other wire in the lamp cord to the neutral? (with the other hot just capped off and not connected to anything?)

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:00:03 AM EDT
That sounds right. Just for S & Gs, are the two hot ones black and red?
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:01:04 AM EDT
You are doing it all wrong. You need to get a big tub of water, place it on the pool table. Stand in it while barefoot. Make sure the power is on and commence tasting the wires. When you get to the one that has a black, hot burning taste to it, you know you found the right one. After that who cares.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:03:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
That sounds right. Just for S & Gs, are the two hot ones black and red?



This is where it gets wierd. I was expecting to see the normal black, white and red.

The neutral is gray, and the two hots are purple and orange.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:05:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dvr9:
You are doing it all wrong. You need to get a big tub of water, place it on the pool table. Stand in it while barefoot. Make sure the power is on and commence tasting the wires. When you get to the one that has a black, hot burning taste to it, you know you found the right one. After that who cares.



You see, I would have never known that this was the proper procedure .....
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:05:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By James23:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
That sounds right. Just for S & Gs, are the two hot ones black and red?



This is where it gets wierd. I was expecting to see the normal black, white and red.

The neutral is gray, and the two hots are purple and orange.



You don't say.

Well you could always take the switch out of its box and see how its wired in. My only guess at this point is that the builder ran two hots over in case you wanted to put in a cieling fan with individual switches for the fan and lights.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:06:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/22/2005 5:10:25 AM EDT by scotty1911]
if you would turn on your im's i would send you my phone number

basicly you need it identify the switched hot and the nuetral, the cord on the light will hook up as followed.

the cord wil have 2 conductors, the wire will have some insulation on them the one that is smooth is the hot, the one that has ridges running down it is the nuetral

tell us how many wires you have in the box and what colors they are

edit, i see the colors, purple orange and gray are typically comericial 277 and 480 volt colors, it sounds like some body brought some wire home. test the 2 hots with the switch off, and on. hopefully one will turn off and on with the switch, if yes connect the light to that one and the nuetral to the gray
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:06:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By James23:

This is where it gets wierd. I was expecting to see the normal black, white and red.
The neutral is gray, and the two hots are purple and orange.


Time to get the volt meter out.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:07:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By James23:
This is hardly a difficult electrical issue. But there is a reason that I earned the nickname 'Voltar' after a few spectacular failures relating to electrical projects, so I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing.

So, I am mounting a light to go over the pool table that is inbound.

From the box in the ceiling, I have (3) wires. After I tested them by placing them on my tongue, I find that when the switch is on, I have (2) hots and (1) neutral.

The light has what I guess you would call a simple lamp cord that has two wires.

Do I connect one of the wires in the lamp cord to (1) of the hots, and the other wire in the lamp cord to the neutral? (with the other hot just capped off and not connected to anything?)

Thanks in advance for any assistance.



It sounds like your ceiling was pre-wired for a ceiling fan. Usually a black and red are hot with a neutral, so that they can be separately switched from the wall, one for light, one for fan.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:08:03 AM EDT
Never have understood the whole tub of water thing every one talks about.

Hell even the boys at Taser Inc had a guy stand in a tub of water before they shot him.

As far as what your talking about connecting the wires. Yes that is what you want to do...Hell put both hot wires to the light then you only need a total of two wire nuts.

.02
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:10:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Arbiter:
Never have understood the whole tub of water thing every one talks about.

Hell even the boys at Taser Inc had a guy stand in a tub of water before they shot him.

As far as what your talking about connecting the wires. Yes that is what you want to do...Hell put both hot wires to the light then you only need a total of two wire nuts.

.02



The boys at Taser Inc aren't pushing much amperage. Jack up the amperage a bit and I bet you won't find anyone willing to do it.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:10:53 AM EDT
Turn the switch off that controls that box, see which "hot" wire is not hot any more, turn switch back on, check voltage between the switched hot and gray, if it's 115-122 or so you should be fine to use that pair to energize the light. Tape off the unused hot, it was most likely for a fan or similar.
use the green, if it's there to go to the ground of the light fixture, it should be either stranded bare or green. Sound OK?

8531
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:12:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By otar:

Originally Posted By James23:

This is where it gets wierd. I was expecting to see the normal black, white and red.
The neutral is gray, and the two hots are purple and orange.


Time to get the volt meter out.



I used one of those voltage testers that beeps when it is placed next to a hot wire. It went off when placed next to the purple and orange, and didn't when placed next to the gray.

Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:16:34 AM EDT
I'd hook it up to the purple and gray, then see if the light works ok, only use one of the hots though, it wouldn't hurt to pull the switch and see if those colors are in that box and how they're connected.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:17:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 8531sgt:
Turn the switch off that controls that box, see which "hot" wire is not hot any more, turn switch back on, check voltage between the switched hot and gray, if it's 115-122 or so you should be fine to use that pair to energize the light. Tape off the unused hot, it was most likely for a fan or similar.
use the green, if it's there to go to the ground of the light fixture, it should be either stranded bare or green. Sound OK?

8531



So, one of the hots may stay hot with the switch off? You know, I never checked for a hot with the switch off. Got to do that.

Otherwise, I get ya.

Good job, men. I may not have to play pool in the dark after all.



Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:35:03 AM EDT
three way switch?
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:41:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Cleatus:
three way switch?



Nope. Just on off.

If I understand this correctly, I have (1) switched hot and (1) unswitched hot.

If I was to mount a fan (as mentioned above), I would have a always hot leg that would enable me to use a switch that was integral to the fan.

I think ....
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:44:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By James23:

Originally Posted By Cleatus:
three way switch?



Nope. Just on off.

If I understand this correctly, I have (1) switched hot and (1) unswitched hot.

If I was to mount a fan (as mentioned above), I would have a always hot leg that would enable me to use a switch that was integral to the fan.

I think ....


that's what I would have suspected, but you just never know, that's what testers are for.
Hook it up & try it out. should work fine.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:49:10 AM EDT
I wouldn't recommend putting wires to your tongue to test for current.

You can buy a basic multimeter at Lowes or Home Depot for about $20.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:54:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
I wouldn't recommend putting wires to your tongue to test for current.

You can buy a basic multimeter at Lowes or Home Depot for about $20.




I'm sure he was kidding. I mean, everyone knows you can only test 220 and 440V that way....Duh....
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:54:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Admiral_Crunch:
I wouldn't recommend putting wires to your tongue to test for current.




Roger, that.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:55:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Arbiter:
Never have understood the whole tub of water thing every one talks about.

Hell even the boys at Taser Inc had a guy stand in a tub of water before they shot him.


.02



You need a good earth ground to the water for it to work good.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 5:57:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By James23:
I used one of those voltage testers that beeps when it is placed next to a hot wire. It went off when placed next to the purple and orange, and didn't when placed next to the gray.



Not saying this is the case, but those types of testers sense voltage by induction. The problem this causes when checking wires, is that wires run together can induce a "phantom voltage" on each other when one is "hot". Its an induced signal, and it wont shock you. It just makes a voltage sniffer pretty well uesless.
They work great on the user-end of an outlet, checking which side of a pre-existing switch is wired, or checking single wires.

That said, I agree with the above post regarding the wiring for a fan and a light. I would pull the switch out of its box in the wall, and see which wires go to which side of the switch. One side will be Hot all the time. If the switched side has two wires on it, you can disconnect one at the switch, or (this is what I would do) simply put the switch back together, wire nut and tape the hot you dont want to use, and put it back up into the box in the cieling.

Just my .02.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 6:56:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wraith:

Originally Posted By Arbiter:
Never have understood the whole tub of water thing every one talks about.

Hell even the boys at Taser Inc had a guy stand in a tub of water before they shot him.


.02



You need a good earth ground to the water for it to work good.



I say put them both in a tub
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 7:13:51 AM EDT
If you are doing any electrical work you need a volt meter (not a tester), that will display voltage, as suggested by 8531sgt.

Also, make sure the box you'll be hanging your new pool light from is metal and securely fastened. A plastic or fiberglass box may not stand the test of time and weight.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 7:21:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Langadune:
If you are doing any electrical work you need a volt meter (not a tester), that will display voltage, as suggested by 8531sgt.

Also, make sure the box you'll be hanging your new pool light from is metal and securely fastened. A plastic or fiberglass box may not stand the test of time and weight.



Good points.

I checked that box (metal) before they put the drywall up and it's solid. I made sure they understood what it was going to be used for from the outset.
Top Top