Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>White, Black and Red wire question
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canuk
Re: White, Black and Red wire question
canuk

Based your description the red capped wire is the switched feed for the light. --- at the ceiling j-box connect the light fixture black to the capped red --- light fixture white to the other white wires in the j-box.

dj1
Re: White, Black and Red wire question
dj1

MVRal11,

There is no neutral in your switch, only hot in and hot out (when the switch is turned on). The black in your switch is the hot wire and the red is hot when the switch is licked. Connect as canuk said.

MVRal11
Re: White, Black and Red wire question
MVRal11

THANK you both so much for the advice. It was dead on, and I'm glad I came here because had I guessed, I would have guessed wrong.

Just because I like knowing the ins and outs of things, why would the j-box have two whites, two black and only one red?

Similarly, why would the accompanying wall switch have a black and a red that attach to the switch and have a white that I can see in the box but isn't used for anything?

Thanks again! :D:)

dj1
Re: White, Black and Red wire question
dj1

To answer your questions briefly:

1. The junction box has 2 blacks (one hot in and the other to continue to another fixture), 2 whites (same purpose) and a red (hot from the switch).

2. At the switch, the electrician ran romax from the j-box to the switch, with a black and a white (which he didn't use) and a red for the return. I usually don't install a red, but use the white for the return, then put a sticker on it explaining that it's used as hot to the fixture when the switch is on.

Clear?

canuk
Re: White, Black and Red wire question
canuk
MVRal11 wrote:

THANK you both so much for the advice. It was dead on, and I'm glad I came here because had I guessed, I would have guessed wrong.

Just because I like knowing the ins and outs of things, why would the j-box have two whites, two black and only one red?

Similarly, why would the accompanying wall switch have a black and a red that attach to the switch and have a white that I can see in the box but isn't used for anything?

Thanks again! :D:)

Glad it worked out.:)

As dj1 mentions -- the constant electrical feed that originates from the service panel happens to be routed up in the ceiling. That ceiling juntion box is the point for you to access the wires to connect and mount your fixture to.

In order for you to remotely control the light ( turning on & off ) a wall switch is used --- instead of a pull chain light fixture. The electricity needs to be extended down to the wall switch. In this case the black wire is extending the constant hot supply ( hence the 2 blacks connected in the ceiling ).

The red is the switched hot lead and is extended back to the ceiling --- turning the light on & off ( hence only 1 red wire ).

It's likely the white ( neutral ) is being extended down to the switch location for future use ( hence the 2 whites connected in the ceiling j-box ) --- which if I recall is something that's in the newer NEC requirement and maybe code in your area.

Chiggins
Re: White, Black and Red wire question
Chiggins

I know this post is old, but I was wondering if the same scenario applies to me. I also have red, white and black wires in addition to the ground. I tied black to black, white to white and left red by itself. I have two switches one for the light and one for the exhaust fan. When I flip the light switch nothing; when I flip the exhaust switch the light and the fan comes on. I looked at the wiring for the switch and it does look as if there is a red wire running to the light switch. Do I switch wires or do I just connect the extra red wire?

Bill
Re: White, Black and Red wire question
Bill

I'm installing new outlets with micro usb ports.  There's only two terminals to connect to on the new outlets, neutral and hot.  However, on all of my current outlets there's a red wire going to its own terminal.  How can I use these new outlets?

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: White, Black and Red wire question
HandyAndyInMtAiry

Bill,

First thing, it is never a good idea to hi-jack another one's post.

What does your electrical meter tell you? This sounds like there may be a switched outlet, or multiple circuits sharing a neutral. This may be daisy chaned to the next device. I would start be seeing what voltage is on what wire. Current does not know color, so there is really no telling what is going on. Check for the tab between the screws on the device. If it is there, and there is one wire on each, verify the voltage on each wire. If the tab has been removed, it is either a switched outlet, or two separate circuits. Which is dangerous as a cocked gun, and no longer allowed in new installs.

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

Bill
Re: White, Black and Red wire question
Bill

I apologise.  First time posting anything.  Thanks for the feedback.

Bill,

First thing, it is never a good idea to hi-jack another one's post.

What does your electrical meter tell you? This sounds like there may be a switched outlet, or multiple circuits sharing a neutral. This may be daisy chaned to the next device. I would start be seeing what voltage is on what wire. Current does not know color, so there is really no telling what is going on. Check for the tab between the screws on the device. If it is there, and there is one wire on each, verify the voltage on each wire. If the tab has been removed, it is either a switched outlet, or two separate circuits. Which is dangerous as a cocked gun, and no longer allowed in new installs.

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

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