I am currently trying to install a light fixture and I'm really confused, I've never seen wiring like this before and I'm not sure what goes where. There are 6 wires in total, 3 black and 3 white. 2 of the blacks and one of the whites are wrapped in tape, 2 of the whites are capped off together and one if the blacks is capped off alone. How do I tell the difference between them and which is the ground?

  • Are the two blacks taped together connected to each other, or are they taped individually and not connected to anything?
    – JPhi1618
    Nov 16, 2015 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


The straight answer is the two whites together go to the white, or neutral, of the fixture. The single black goes to the black, or hot, of the fixture. Leave the other splice alone, just fold it back in the box.

None of what you describe is a ground. If there is a bare or green wire anywhere that would be your ground. Also, under some circumstances the box itself, if metal, could be a valid ground, but this depends on a few things.

  • Ok, so what should I do with the copper wire from the fixture? Should I ground it to the metal plate and call it a day? Nov 17, 2015 at 15:32
  • If there is no ground wire present in the box, yes. Nov 17, 2015 at 15:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.