Install a ceiling lamp


I have a ceiling mount 3 light track that I'm trying to install. First, the current wiring on the ceiling consists of black, white, and a green wire that seems to be split into two and one end has a black tape around the end. The house is a 1940 built and has been remodeled since though I don't know if the whole wiring has also been re-wired. I took off the existing lamp and noticed there was a lot wiring mixed. I also noticed one of the green wires was wrapped with the black and then there was an extension of the lamp wire wrapped to the ground wire around a screw. Once I removed the lamp I proceeded to install the new lamp following the directions from the book, fairly simple; attached the white wires with the whites and the black with the blacks, then the ground wire from the fixture to be wrapped in the metal plate mount screw. I noticed I had the green wire left out and had no idea what to do with it so I wrapped it with black tape for now. When I turned the switch from the braker on, I noticed the lamp had power but the light switch was turned off so I'm not understanding why...I decided to switch cables around with the green; I wrapped one end of the green cable to the white and another one to the black but the results were the same, the lamp comes on but the switch from the wall is still off. I then wrapped the green wires to the black cable only, same results then I switched and wrapped the green with the whites, no luck. I am confused now! what is going on? the old lamp worked just fine and the new one does not work correctly. The wall switch is not faulty as the existing lamp used to work no problems. It seems as if the green wires one of them must be a hot one, but then if that is the case, which cable should I wrapped it around with, i've tried it all ways I can think of...help help help!!!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You did make a sketch or snap a photo of the way the wiring was conected to the lfixture you removed didn't you?
Just hook up the new lamp the same way.
If you didn't record the original wiring, then puhleeze hire a pro to figure it out before you burn down your house or electrocute yourself.
"It was working before, but now it doesn't." We seem to be getting a spate of the same kind of posts these days from folks who know squat about electric wiring.
"Fools rush in where angels dare to tread."
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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The old lamp had same cabling exept because it was a bigger lamp it had a clear color cable extension going from one of the green wires down to the clear cable and attached to the white cable. I think I seem to get you on this one since you can't even figure out what could be wrong lol....I think I might open the wall switch box to see if one of the cables gotten lose while me pulling to wrap here and there....i dunno! and i am considering asking an electrician at work. I didn't take a picture of the old lamp wiring when I should have but I did take a picture of the cables to take to work with me just in case someone can help.
Jeff Wisnia wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No, I'm pretty sure I could figure it out.
You likely have a "switch leg" setup where the hot (black) lead from the breaker comes into the ceiling box and should connect to a lead which runs down to one side of the switch, probably the green wire with the black tape on it. Another lead runs back up to the ceiling box from the other side of the switch and should connect to the black lead on your new fixture. The white wire from the new fixture should connect to the white wire in the ceiling box and the ground lead from the fixture to the metal plate screw. (You got the last two correct.)
See if that info helps,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Amen to that.
And a fire department and insurance company won't be too impressed (invalidate your policy?) if they investigate and find wiring that has been obviously done on the 'try this and that' method! I wonder how many ungrounded and improperly wired light fixtures there are out there that have been installed by unknowing amateurs/homeowners?
One concern with the frequent mention in foregoing posts of a green wire (green and or green/yellow etc.) are most commonly (should be) used for grounding, is that something or somewhere in the OPs situation is not grounded?
Really worrying also when such a situation seemingly works ("Well the light goes on and off"!) but is miswired!
One of these days someone or even child standing on chair may touch one of the screws which hold the switch flush plates and get a shock. Seems like remote possibility of course. Wasn't there a case, some 30+ years ago, of a child who stuffed some food into a duplex outlet on a wall near her chrome metal high chair and got a fatal shock? Maybe in that case nothing WAS miswired but shows the possibility and necessity to 'do' electricity sensibly, safely and to code.
I've seen one light switch in a wall box wired correctly into the live lead to produce a 'switched live', right next to an adjacent switch miswired into the neutral side of another light. Couldn't quite figure how it got that way but seemed like another switched light had been added and the homeowner had got confused about the use of a white wire as the switched live of the original wiring versus the neutral of the addition??? Give me strength!
And yes we are currently getting frequent posts by people who obviously 'don't have an electrical clue'! Unlikely that any of us could be held liable if something happened? But, for example, I have a neighbour whose garage is so badly wired that I won't touch it! I don't even visit it. That all started after he had bought the property and; a) He had seemingly defective fluorescent fixtures, he did. b) They lost one leg of of the 3 wire 115 - 0 - 115 and the 'electrician' he engaged to supposedly check it didn't have a meter!
And we have all probably seen worse 'bodges'? But even on a regular 15 amp lighting circuit we are, given the right circumstances, dealing with sufficient electricity to kill and/or burn down a house.
Here endeth the sermon!
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http://www.improvenet.com/adviceandresources/messageboards/questions/electrical.html#switchloop
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It is odd to be switching wires back and forth to see what happens w/o TESTING them with a meter or at least a cheap test light.
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