Our house was built in 1961 and I’m trying to change a light. I’ve replaced 10 or so already but this one has me stumped. There are 3 incoming sets of wires from 3 sides of the box. The whites are bundled together and 2 of the blacks are together. One black wire has a paint mark on it and was screwed to the light fixture. The fixture had a pull chain but worked off of a switch. There are also copper grounds from each side that continue across the box to one side together and disappear under the drywall. How do I wire this to a new fixture so the the old switch will work? Or should I change the switch too?

  • 2
    Can you include pictures? Jul 12, 2018 at 14:24
  • And did the pull chain also work Jul 12, 2018 at 14:24
  • 2
    It sounds like a typical switch loop. Why would you not just connect the same two wires to the new fixture?
    – isherwood
    Jul 12, 2018 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


Since the light works by the switch your new fixture won't need a switch (pull chain). I like pigtailing if the wires are connected through the fixture not sure from your question. Basicly the 2 wires that connect to the existing fixture connect go to the new fixture. If a metal fixture there should be a ground wire that connects to the ground in the junction box, if a plastic fixture there may not be a ground wire on the new fixture. You should not need to change the switch.

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