I had 2 can lights and three pendant lights about 12" apart over island - they worked fine on the same switch.

I removed the three pendant lights to put in one light fixture that has three light sockets connected to it. This new light has a black and white wire coming through a rod on the left and two black and two white wires coming up the right hand rod (total of six wires), and the ground wire attached to canopy.

The two can lights are first on the line. The first pendant on left, the center pendant and then the pendant on the right (the pendant on right was the end of the line).

I capped off wires from what was the right pendant and connected the new fixture's wires to the wires where the center pendant was hanging connecting all black wires (three from the ceiling and three from the new light fixture and then all white wires in the same manner, and then grounding with all the ground wires.

That did not work! The two can lights still come on, but nothing on the new light.

Obviously, this is not correct. What do I check next and/or redo?

  • I can’t tell from your description: what did you do with wiring for the first pendant? – DoxyLover Jun 25 '20 at 3:49
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    Can you post photos of the insides of the boxes involved please? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 25 '20 at 11:42
  • I've edited a bit to make this more readable - that wall of text is hard to decipher. If I've messed something up, please feel free to edit to make any corrections necessary. While you're doing that, click the "sun & mountain" icon to upload a couple of pictures showing the inside of the box where the new pendant is wired in. It would also be good to show the inside of the two old pendant boxes. – FreeMan Jun 25 '20 at 12:25
  • Freeman: Thanks for your editing and answer. As far as the left box,I did wire them back together. I put black wires together and capped, and white wires together and capped and ground wires together and capped. I will go back and remove the wires from the right pendant wires like you suggested. Was I correct in connecting all the wiring coming from the new light fixture, black to black and white to white? It confused me because they had two wires (black and white) on one side and four wires (2 black and 2 white) on the other side, but I connected all the blacks to black and all the whites to – Barb Jun 25 '20 at 14:01
  • Having had white & black wires connected together is a HUGE flag that something slightly off-standard is going on! Put all the wires back the way they were and take pics, then edit your post to include the pics (identify which box is which in your pics). Also, it's recommended that you comment on an answer if your comment applies to the answer, otherwise the answerer might not notice. Take the tour for more info on how to use the site. – FreeMan Jun 25 '20 at 17:20

After carefully reading your description, I believe this is your wiring situation:

  • Wall Switch to...
  • First Can to...
  • Second Can to...
  • Left Pendant to...
  • Center Pendant to...
  • Right Pendant

According to your description you

  • removed the Left Pendant
  • attached the wiring at the Center Pendant to the new light
  • capped the wires at the Right Pendant

What I'm not seeing is where you connected the wires at the old Left Pendant box back together. I suspect that you had to remove all the wire nuts to get the old pendant out, but you don't indicate that you wired them back together. This means that you've got electricity coming into that box, but it's not flowing out to the center box. It's possible, of course, that you simply left that out of your description of the work done.

Also, capping the wires in the right pendant box was the correct thing to do. However, since you don't even need power going to that box at all, you can remove those wires from the bundles in the center box, putting nuts on that end, too. This will make it easier to do those center box wires since there will be one less wire in each bundle.

Be sure you put a blank cover plate on the two unused pendant boxes. It's against code to cover them with a non-removable surface, like drywalling over them. You might get away with it for the Right pendant if there's no power coming to it, but you've got a connection in the Left pendant and you cannot make that one inaccessible in case someone ever needs to get in there to fix the connection.

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