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Thread: Connecting Light Fixture to Three Sets of Wires

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Connecting Light Fixture to Three Sets of Wires

    I recently moved into a home that was built in 1969 and am trying to install a light fixture in a hallway that I believe to be controlled by three light switches. Coming into the light fixture are 3 sets of wires - 2 red, 2 black, and 2 white. I do not know which wire is which because there was no light fixture there when I moved in (the prior owners took it). Light Switch 1 appears to be the 4 way switch, as there are two black wires and two red wires connected to it, and two whites are nutted together in the box. Light Switch two has a black and red wire connected on the bottom two screws and a white connected on the top screw. Light Switch 3 has a red and black wire connected at the top screws, a black wire connected to the bottom screw and then two white wires nutted together in the box (there is only one red wire coming into this box). My light I am trying to connect has a simple Black, White and Ground. From this can anyone tell me what should be connected to the fixture? Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Welland Ontario


    Are any of the wires already connected together?
    Tell us again about the switch wires only this look at the switches and find the common screw. Telling us top, ,bottom, right, left is meaningless. It is usually the black one compare to two gold ones. We need to know which wires are on the common screw of the two three ways.
    Operation Overlord.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012


    Now assuming that it was once wired correctly. Can you tell us what is currently connected at the light fixture location - you said
    3 sets of wires - 2 red, 2 black, and 2 white
    Is this 2 wire cables with a red / black / white in each cable, are there any wires currently connected together with wire nuts?

    Also check at each switch location...
    At 3 way switches - which wire is connected to the common screw of the switch
    At the 4 way switch there should be 2 matching pairs of screws...see...

    that article will tell you how to identify connections at switches
    Donald Kerr
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