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Question:

Electrical Wiring problem, need help!?

I have changed lights in my own home many times. I bought a new light for my parents bathroom, but when I put it up I realized they had an electrical outlet on there too. My new light has a black and white wire. Coming from the house it has gray, green, 2 white, black and red. Can I cap off the ones I don't need? Which ones are which? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

You will need to pull the switch out also---sounds like the box is also a junction for other wiring also---- see which color wires are used for the switch leg---the whites are all probably neutrals--- the green ground You'll need a meter to find out which wire is hot or do you know already? Or tell me what color the two wires are at the switch?
Dec 7, 2017
It sounds like you disassembled the wires in the junction box and didn't diagram what went where. You now have a real problem in that you don't know, and without being there to analyze your electrical system, none of us here can tell you what went to what. Standard house wiring protocol says that black wires are the hot wire supplying electrical current to something. White wires are supposed to be used as the return/neutral, returning the current back to the circuit breaker or fuse box where they are attached to the ground buss. Normally, protocol says that a green wire [or a TOTALLY BARE wire] is used as a safety grounding conductor, in case the white neutral should get cut open, or disconnected. Other colored wires [the grey and red] are both used as hot wires in 220 volt circuits, and SUGGEST that 220 is SOMEHOW involved in that circuit. What you've got is a potentially deadly nightmare, AND YOU NEED a LICENSED, Professional ELECTRICIAN!!!!!! IF some of the wires were capped off and not connected to any others BEFORE YOU SCREWED the job up, THEN YES, those wires can again be capped off, BUT your question implies that they were NOT capped off before. So if that's the case, they should be connected to where they were before. Again, for safety, and to possibly prevent the house from catching on fire and possibly killing someone, YOU NEED A PROFESSIONAL to get the electrical system restored like it was before!!!!!
Dec 7, 2017

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