# Light always on?

• posted on June 7, 2004, 9:59 pm
A neighbor helped me out ( broken shoulder is in a sling) and when I was in hospital removed a working but rusty porch ceiling fan and replaced it with a light.Which won't turn off! I called him and he said he connected white ceiling wire to white light wire and black ceiling wire to black and there was a red wire left over which he didn't touch.It is not and has never been a 3 way circuit.Seems to me I can visit the switch and all do all I need to without getting up on the ladder. I figure that I will find Red going throuigh the switch and B and W running past it. Which,B or W, should I connect ?I assume that R will need to be capped off. Hank
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• posted on June 7, 2004, 10:18 pm
Henry B. wrote:

I expect you will find that a white and black go into the switch and back out with the switch connected to the black and a red line at the other side of the switch continuing to the fan.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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• posted on June 7, 2004, 10:52 pm

It sounds like connecting the light to red and white instead of black and white would allow it to be switched on/off.
Then cap off the unused black (always on) wire.
White is always neutral and is never switched.
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• posted on June 8, 2004, 12:09 am

Wrong. It's a *very* common practice to control lights with switch legs, in which only one cable goes to the switch: the black wire bringing power to the switch and the white wire returning switched power to the light fixture.
E.g.
(-) -----white-----*-----white----- Light Fixture (+) -----black----* *---black----- | | | | black-> | | <- white | | o o \ switch
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• posted on June 8, 2004, 1:03 am
Doug Miller wrote:

In which case the white should be marked as it is no acting as a neutral.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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• posted on June 8, 2004, 1:26 pm

I could be wrong - don't have a Code book handy to check - but ISTR that the Code permits leaving the white wire unmarked _in_this_specific_situation_. It's certainly a sufficiently widespread practice that it should not be any surprise to find it so.
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• posted on June 8, 2004, 1:51 pm

When you do a switch leg, I believe the wire going to the hot side of the fixture must be black (or red). Which means that the white side of the switch is connected to the hot feed wire (which will be black or red), and is the unswitched hot.
As I understand it, in this particular case you don't have to mark the white wires - in the fixture, you have one white wirenutted to one or more black/red wires. Which means the white wire _must_ be hot (you cannot use a black or red for neutral[+]). At the switch end, obviously both terminals are hot...
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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• posted on June 8, 2004, 10:51 pm
040608 0926 - Doug Miller posted:

When using a 2-wire Romex w/ground for a switch for lighting, the feed from the light to the switch is the white wire, and the return from the switch to the light is the black wire.
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• posted on June 9, 2004, 11:18 am
Almost all wrong.
Bob
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• posted on June 9, 2004, 11:26 am

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• posted on June 8, 2004, 2:01 pm
What can I accomplish at the switch...i.e. without climbing the ladder?
--
Hank
is never switched.
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• posted on June 8, 2004, 4:40 pm

Open it up, and describe what is actually there, rather than just a guess?
You may be able to change the black wire, so that it is the one that is switched, on the other hand, it may feed additional fixtures.