I am replacing a pull chain lampholder fixture in my basement that's in
the ceiling. Next to that fixture is an electrical outlet (w/4
electrical plugs). Coming from the electrical outlet is a white and
black wire that comes into the same junction box as the ceiling
fixutre. So I removed the old fixture. I now have hooked up the new
fixture - white wires to silver screw, and red wire to brass screw.
Put a light bulb in and now the new fixture works. However, the
electrical outlets do not. I have the black and white wires from the
electrical outlet twisted together and then put one of those plastic
cap things on it. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I can't get
the electrical outlet to work. If anyone has any advice, it would be
very much appreciated. Many thanks.
Well, almost certainly the black and white shouldn't be connected
together and since doing so didn't create spitz'ensparkzen, apparently,
you must have disconnected the power feed into the outlet box from the
You don't say where the red wire came from, and apparently this isn't
switched or there wouldn't have been a chain pull, and there really is
a lot lacking in info.
But, one of the black (or red, maybe, if it was a three-wire cable, or
is that on the fixture?) has to be a supply "hot" and the white in the
same cable is the neutral (again, assuming "normal" 2-wire w/ or w/o
ground romex cable). The feed could be from either the outlet or to
the light first, that's indeterminate but best guess would be since
nothing bad happened when you tied what should be a hot and neutral
together it came to the light first, then on to the outlet from there.
What is needed is a feedthrough from whichever direction the feed is to
the other. But, if you don't have a switch in the circuit, then the
light is going to be always on.
My real advice is to either find somebody who knows enough to look at
the situation and do it or an electrician. The connecting of the black
and white together indicates a real lack of understanding. I'd
recommend in the interim to separate those two wires and cap them each
w/ a wire nut and leave it until get some on-site advice.
Although, maybe if you try to describe how the wires were originally
more specifically it would be possible to figure out what you actually
Thanks so much for your reply. What I have is this:
Junction box in ceiling. From that is 1 red wire, 2 white wires that
were twisted together, with a 3rd white wire from the light fixture.
All 3 of these white wires were twisted together and capped. There is
also 2 black wires coming out of that junction box and they're just
twisted together and capped.
Electrical outlets (4 outlets in 1 unit). This unit has a 2-wire
ground romex cable coming from it into the junction box.
When I removed the old light fixture, the white wire was connection to
the silver screw and the red wire was connected to the brass screw on
I know the black and white wires from the electrical outlet unit were
definitely twisted together. But somehow the red wire was maybe in the
Argh! I think you're right and I'll have to call an electrician. I
know it's probably something simple I'm missing.
Thanks again for your help. It is greatly appreciated!
This is most likely your problem.....one of these blacks is most likely
to your outlets....and the other to another outlet somewhere you dont
know of that is not working. Blacks to the group of blacks....whites to
group of whites. and red to blacks.
Colors of these wires? More than likely black and white........trace
these....and be sure wires are hooked up white to white.......black to
black..and the red to black
This is correct
This is definetly WRONG!! The white to the group of whites.....and the
black to the blacks......the red to the group of blacks.
This is probably your safest bet.....dont want to read about you in the
Well, when OP said he was sure of this and also threw a red into the
mix I got to wondering about whether one white was (an unmarked) return
from an unmentioned switch and/or if the red might even be a sign of a
three-way somewhere in the mix...'cause it still seems as though he
would have an "always on" light w/o the chain pull otherwise.
Agree as w/o seeing and being able to trace it seems unlikely to
diagnose the actual situation correctly from afar...
I could swear that the red wire was twisted in with the black and white
wires from the electrical outlet box. I wish I'd paid better attention
when removing the old light fixture.
Thanks, lol, me either. I called up a couple of electrcians, one
wanted $75 and another $90. So I decided to call an electrician we've
used in the past. Unfortunately, he doesn't live that close but one of
his workers will hopefully be in our area this week so can come by to
fix it ($45). I wouldn't normally care that much about an outlet not
working but this is the one that the clothes washer and dryer are
plugged into and there's not another outlet nearby. It's just
frustrating because I'm sure the fix is something very simple.
Anyways, thanks everyone for your help. I really do appreciate it.
Thanks again for all the replies. Electrician was just out here.
Whoever said the black and white together was wrong, was right. He
took the white wire from the electrical box and put it with the other
white wires, and then took the black wire from the electrical box and
put with red wire somehow. Now it works great, and only charged $45,
which I thought was fair, especially considering he had to come from
quite a distance away.
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