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Hey so I'm having an issue hooking up a bathroom light fixture above the sink with a bathroom ceiling fan/light combo.

1) for the light fixture above sink: coming out of the wall there appears to be what is a white black ground and another white black ground. I tried doing black to black white to white ground to ground on the fixture but that resulted in a loud pop noise. I then used a voltmeter and found that one of the white black ground combos appears to have current only when the switch is on and the other has current all the time. In what order do I hook these up to get the switch to work? If I hook the light up to the hot all the time wire group the light works fine. But doesn't turn off.

2) similar issue with the light/ ceiling fan combo in the attic, I have 2 wire bundles, one with a black white pink and ground and one with a white black and ground. On the ceiling fan light combo unit I have e two wire pairs, a white and a blue, and a white and a black. I cannot seem to get this to power on at all.

Im thinking if I can even solve one of these two problems it will be much easier as these items are both wired to a triple switch one for fan, one for ceiling light, one for sink light.

Any help is appreciated as I really don't want to pay someone to come hook a few wires together. I'll be happy to take more pictures.

  • Why are there no junction boxes in the ceiling, and can you post photos of how the respective switches are wired? Dec 10, 2018 at 2:43
  • The wires both come from a junction box. Will post a picture of the switch wiring in the morning. Dec 10, 2018 at 2:45
  • you about to post that picture of the switch wiring (especially the one for the ceiling fan)? Dec 13, 2018 at 1:31
  • I agree with Ed Beal’s diagnosis. However since it looks like you have removed all the wiring nuts and probably don’t know which is your feed and which is your switch leg: kill the power, set your meter to resistance and look for the black and white wires which upon flipping the switch go from very low resistance (roughly 0.2 to 0.4 ohm) to infinite resistance. That is your switch. Remember to put tape on that white wire.
    – mreff555
    Jun 8, 2021 at 0:24

2 Answers 2


It sounds like you have your supply and a switch leg. The switch leg goes to the switch , normally you connect your hot to the white of the switch leg and Mark that white with black or some other color than green,gray or white. After that the white and black go to the switch. With the switch in the on position the black will now be hot , to connect your light use the black on the switch leg and the white from the hot cable. And of course grounds if available. When you had the white to white and black to black the pop you heard was a bad thing it may have damaged your switch, so if the switch is not working a replacement may be needed.

  • Can you send pic of switch box? And if you have the wright wires in box. Hot , , neutrals 3wire should be able to do and remove that other wire to vanity light.
    – user101687
    Jun 18, 2019 at 9:41

Above is right, but to explain in different words.....

If you havery a multimeter or voltage detector, find your hot. Usually black. Call this wire bundle 1w 1b, this wire 1b. The other bundle is 2w 2b.

Connect 1b (hot) to 2w. 2b to light. 1 w to light. Done.

If no tester. Connect 1b to light 1w to light. Then...I switch does nothing, light always on when flip breaker, follow instructions above 1b is your likely hot.

If no light...change your numbers you have connected 2b and 2w to the light. Connect 2w instead to 1b, and 1w in its place, done.

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