I just moved into this house and there was no light fixture above the sink. Thankfully, they left the wires! So I bought a pendant to hang here. One set of wires is obviously for this light, and the other set is for a light tied to the same switch. Am I correct in assuming that the set with the orange ground wire is for the new fixture?

Also, do I need to cap the unused wires here or should I do something else? enter image description here

  • 1
    > orange ground wire Jun 7, 2019 at 14:57
  • 1
    My bad-after doing some research I realized the orange is probably a hot wire. Which set of wires would be used for this fixture?
    – Kyle
    Jun 7, 2019 at 15:04
  • Is there a second fixture (lamp) or a second switch?
    – mike65535
    Jun 7, 2019 at 15:23
  • There is a second fixture on the same switch and two other switches on the same outlet (one for the disposal and the other is a dimmer switch for under cabinet lighting.
    – Kyle
    Jun 7, 2019 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


The last guy left you exactly what you need.

Notice the orange wire and 2 whites hanging down extra low. Those are the 2 things you attach to.

The lamp surely has a black hot wire. Re-mark it with orange electrical tape. Then off you go! Done. There is no ground wire.

The upper tier of wires doesn't need to be capped off. They are already capped off. Push them back into the top of the box and never touch them again. It's your house and you can do as you please, but messing with those is the path of pain, unless you know more about electrical than I do.

"I can see plainly that this wire is black and that wire is orange" does not qualify :) Wires in electrical are not color coded very well. Normally we don't even have this primordial color code, but since this particular installation is in the conduit wiring method, this applies:

  • grounds: steel conduit or junction box, or wires bare, green, or yellow/green
  • Neutrals: white or gray
  • Hots: all others, colors selected to clarify/distinguish often by function, but there's no mandatory standard. Must be consistent within the same building.
  • ...although, nobody with any style uses black for switched-hot. Black is usually always-hot, and switched-hot is anything else. One guess what your lamp does if you connect it to always-hot :)

All grounds go together. All neutrals do not. Neutrals that are separated, are separated for a reason.

You can wire a ground to the ground screw site inside that junction box if you really want to. I wouldn't bother. The ground screw site takes a #10-32 screw, and they sell a bag of ten adorable green ground screws for a dollar.

  • 1
    You may want to change the pancake box. To many wires in box.
    – user101687
    Jun 7, 2019 at 16:30
  • Harper, Thank you for making sense of that for me! So orange wire to the black (on the lamp) makes sense, but do both whites tie into the neutral on the lamp then?
    – Kyle
    Jun 7, 2019 at 16:37
  • Yes. Neutral is serving both the lamp and somewhere else. Jun 7, 2019 at 22:53

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