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  • 4 black and 4 white wires

    Hello,
    I am trying to switch a ceiling light and there are 4 black and 4 white wires in the box (plus 2 grounds). I think I know which black and white go to the switch, but how do I hook them all together to the 1 black and 1 white wire from ceiling light?

  • #2
    Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

    If you are going to hook a black and white to a switch, better have the 911 phone and someone to use it very handy!!!! Get some one who knows what they are doing with electricity.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

      Why does this have to be complicated???
      Just wire the new one the same way as the old one. Or don't tell me, you un-did ALL the splices in the box?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

        I thought they were all connected, 4 blacks and 4 whites, but apparently not. and in any case, are not connected now. any advice would be appreciated, not snarky comments about calling 911.

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        • #5
          Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

          It is hard not to make snarky comments when folks with absolutely NO clue mess around with this stuff because they think it is so easy.
          OK, I got that off my chest.

          You need a decent electrical tester that will do voltage and continuity. You need to separate all the wires.
          You need to find the white/black cable pair that has continuity when the switch is on. That is a switch loop.
          All the others should be hots and neutrals, and get spliced white to white, black to black.
          Next, the black hots get spliced to the WHITE of the switch loop. That splice gets pushed back into the box.
          You are left with several whites spliced and one black. This is what you connect your fixture to.

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          • #6
            Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

            thank you. i definitely don't think these things are easy. I was just thrown off as this was the only fixture in my house with this set up. I don't fool with electricity or tinker with wiring casually, that's for sure. thanks again for the helpful advice.

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            • #7
              Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

              Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
              If you are going to hook a black and white to a switch, better have the 911 phone and someone to use it very handy!!!! Get some one who knows what they are doing with electricity.
              Why? White is used all the time as the switch leg. Black is the hot and white is the switch leg in almost every case when using NM, (romex) .
              Licensed Electrician

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

                Originally posted by John Valdes View Post
                Why? White is used all the time as the switch leg. Black is the hot and white is the switch leg in almost every case when using NM, (romex) .
                Read his original post-"I think I know..." If he hooked a hot black to a neutral white, There is a good chance he could have a problem.

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                • #9
                  Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

                  Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
                  If you are going to hook a black and white to a switch, better have the 911 phone and someone to use it very handy!!!! Get some one who knows what they are doing with electricity.

                  Google the term "Switch loop" bud.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

                    Originally posted by John Valdes View Post
                    Why? White is used all the time as the switch leg. Black is the hot and white is the switch leg in almost every case when using NM, (romex) .
                    Try again bud. White is the hot (Line) and black is the "load" to prevent the fixture from having two white wires to it. If I remember right, there is a code article for it as well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

                      Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
                      Google the term "Switch loop" bud.
                      I did! Guess I can't read, but this diagram say black is hot and black and black on the switch.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

                        Originally posted by Pipestone Kid View Post
                        I did! Guess I can't read, but this diagram say black is hot and black and black on the switch.
                        that is if power is at the switch box, if the power is coming in at the light box, then the line to the switch can have a white wire in, if it is romex, the white wire is in theory to be re marked black, and it is to be the wire that is switched, (only hot when the switch is turned on).
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                        • #13
                          Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

                          I hate it when electricians do a switch loop and fail to take the 2 seconds to break out the sharpie and put a line one the white feed line. It takes seriously 2 sec and is just smart. I have wired quite a few of these types of loops between my house and family members during remodels and I always mark the white lead with the sharpie. Not just for my sake but for any future person that works with it down the road be it a home owner or be it a professional.

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                          • #14
                            Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

                            Originally posted by BHD View Post
                            that is if power is at the switch box, if the power is coming in at the light box, then the line to the switch can have a white wire in, if it is romex, the white wire is in theory to be re marked black, and it is to be the wire that is switched, (only hot when the switch is turned on).
                            I agree! The "white" wire is essentially black.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 4 black and 4 white wires

                              Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
                              Try again bud. White is the hot (Line) and black is the "load" to prevent the fixture from having two white wires to it. If I remember right, there is a code article for it as well.
                              There is. You are right. You want to end up with a white and a black for ceiling box.
                              The point being white is not always the neutral.
                              Licensed Electrician

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