2

I'm trying to install a basic light fixture on a switch, but the ceiling wires are not color coded, probably because it's an old house.

The ceiling box has two black wires and two bare wires. One of the black wires actually appears to be two wires spliced together.

enter image description here

Any ideas on which wire is which or how I can determine this?

Update:

I got a hold of a non-contact voltage tester and found the live wire. The wall switch has no impact on which wire is live.

enter image description here

There was a working ceiling fan installed here before. I'm not sure how it was hooked up though. Is there a way to determine which wires are which now that I know which one is live?

  • 2
    how was the old fixture connected? – jsotola Mar 21 at 22:06
  • 1
    Unfortunately, I'm not sure, because I didn't remove the old fixture. – mdunkle Mar 21 at 22:26
  • 1
    are you sure that the two "bare" wires are actually bare? – jsotola Mar 21 at 22:50
  • 1
    Now that you say that, it looks like they had cloth casing at one time which was removed and then taped over. I say that because it looks like there is some leftover casing up at the very base of the box. – mdunkle Mar 21 at 22:54
  • 2
    That’s old knob and tube notice each wire coming in through an insulator. You need a meter at minimum and the wiring should be inspected prior to being put back to use, there may be a reason it was removed. – Ed Beal Mar 21 at 23:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.