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I'm looking for help with a peculiar (at least to me) wiring situation involving my dining room ceiling fixture. I've managed to replace most of the fixtures in the house, but this one is giving me trouble, and unfortunately I don't have notes on how the previous fixture was wired to the switch (but i know it somehow worked with this configuration). I've done quite a bit of searching on this and other forums and haven't been able to find a setup quite like mine. Here's how it looks:

current wiring in fixture mount

There are 3 pairs of wires coming through the mount in different places (the black and white pair at the top of the frame belong to the new fixture being installed). In the upper left corner, we have a black and a yellowish wire (which i'd expect based on convention to be a ground lead) coming through. Beneath that in the lower left corner is a set of one black and one white wire. To the right of that in the lower right corner is another set of one black and one white wire. The black wire in this lower right set is hot, regardless of the position of the switch. All other wires appear to be neutral, again regardless of the position of the switch. Of note, the whites and blacks from these lower pairs are joined together (I did not remove the previous fixture, but I suspect they were this way in the wiring of the previous working fixture). Here's the switch:

switch wiring

Not much going on here. I have no ideas where these wires lead to in the fixture above.

Due to the setup and the presence of an always-hot wire in the ceiling fixture, my hunch is that this is some kind of switch loop. But I can't seem to figure out a way to properly wire the fixture to the switch with this setup. I'm of course able to connect the fixture to the hot wire so that the fixture's bulb is always on, but I'm having no luck integrating that with the switch. Any advice/tips/suggestions/further questions are much appreciated.

  • Are you sure you have the right switch? – ThreePhaseEel Feb 11 '18 at 5:48
  • Yup. This single pole switch is definitely used to control the fixture in question. – codefish Feb 11 '18 at 18:39
  • Is there continuity between a white wire and a black wire at the ceiling box with the power off and the switch in the ON position? – ThreePhaseEel Feb 11 '18 at 22:17

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