I'm replacing a light fixture in my kitchen and the box has three sets of wires.

  • The fixture I removed had the black wire connected to the two black wires near the top of the picture and the white wire connected to the single black marked with blue tape.

  • All the white wires are bundled together, as are two of the ground wires.

I can re-create the way it was wired before and it works, but I'm wondering if this is correct and safe. Is there a better way to handle this?

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  • 1
    It seems a bit odd. Can you add a picture of the wires at the switch also.
    – crip659
    Feb 8, 2023 at 2:25
  • Do you have a voltmeter/multimeter, and are you comfortable using it on household wiring?
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 8, 2023 at 3:16

1 Answer 1


As a general rule, recreating the way that it was working before is the right thing to do, 99.9% of the time.

That is one reason we tend to suggest taking before pictures and labeling wires, the equivalent of which you seem to have done since you still know where the old fixture was connected.

For that 0.1%: It appears possible or likely (depending on a bunch of things we'd normally assume to be true) that the switch is switching neutral, not hot, which is incorrect and has an element of hazard - IF that's the case. Jumping to that conclusion without further investigation is quite possibly wrong, so investigate further, first.

Can say for sure that all the ground wires should be joined.

  • Also think this might be in that 0.1 percent. Something does not sound right with the wires.
    – crip659
    Feb 8, 2023 at 2:37
  • It could be that someone has wired the house with UK colours. (black neutral, white live) Immigrants! definatley more investigation needed. what does it look like inside the breaker panel?
    – Jasen
    Feb 8, 2023 at 2:58
  • That's a TR (tamper resistant) outlet, so this has been rewired fairly recently. If it was done by a previous owner, that could have led to confusion.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 8, 2023 at 15:10
  • Previous owners were definitely big DIYers and seem to have made a lot of "good enough for now" decisions. I installed the light the way the previous fixture was wired and it appears to never be completely off. That seems to support the switching neutral, right?
    – Taylor
    Feb 9, 2023 at 3:51

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