I'm attempting to install a new bathroom fixture and have run into some trouble.

  • I have two wall switches that control three lights. One switch turns on/off two vanity lights and the other a hanging light I am attempting to install.

  • On the vanity lights: one has two white and two black wires coming from the wall and connecting to a single white / black from the light itself. The other vanity light has a single white/black from the wall connecting to a single white/black on the light. Both of these lights are somehow connected to a single wall switch

  • In the ceiling there are 4 black, 4 white, and 4 grounds. Three black wires are all connected by a wire nut leaving 1 black, and 4 white wires. One of these white wires is hot and is marked with black tape

I thought this would be a simple install, but boy was I wrong. Now I’m not sure where my new fixtures wires would tie in with its single white and single black wire. This would be controlled by the second wall switch.

In hindsight, I would have taken a picture prior to any of this. Lessons learned.

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  • 1
    Which wires were connected to the lamp before? Which wires were grouped together (but not connected to the lamp) before? This is important info. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 29 '19 at 16:00
  • I wish I had that answer. The only ones I can say with certain that we’re grouped together before are the three black wires seen in the picture – Andrew Hill Nov 29 '19 at 16:03

It looks like you have a switch leg possibly improperly wired and possibly 2 lights or a light and power going someplace else like an outlet (possibly a spare) You will need to figure out which one is the switch then it will be easy, your main is labeled. When you find the switch cable it is probably the one with black tape on the white wire swap that black and white so the white is always hot and the black is now the switched hot. Then the light fixture can be hooked up to the black switches hot and the white from the main. If everything works the other cable may be a spare, if you find another outlet or light that doesn’t work the one that is not connected needs to be connected to the Main cable white and black. It would be good to put a wirenut or crimp sleeve on the grounds and attach them to the box as it is a metal box the ground should be connected to the box , this may also be done with the new fixture green wire.

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