View Full Version : Wiring a chandelier with red, black, white, copper in juntion box

May 3, 2011, 07:41 AM
Hello, I am trying to install a new chandelier in our dining room. The junstion box has red, black, white and copper wires. The chandelier only has a ground and one main wire that connect up to the junstion box (lower within the chandelier all the whites connected together to a main thick wire and all the black connected together to a main thick wire, then those 2 thick wires connected together to the one main wire that runs up the chandelier chain to the ceiling. The only thing I know for sure is the ground wire goes to the copper. My question is, Do we split this one main wire in two and wrap 1/2 around white and red and half around black? Thanks for any assistance you can give me!

May 3, 2011, 01:58 PM
For the light to work you need to have at least 1 black or 1 red and one white and a ground. How was it connected to the old chandelier? The black and white cannot be connected together as you indicate. Is this a 3 way switch or 2 single poles? The red wire could be from a single pole switch that could be used for a fan. Sometimes, the weight of the chandelier will pull a wire the feed line and it looks like 1 wire. Look backwards for a separate black and white and then get back to us.

May 3, 2011, 02:46 PM
There never was anything else there. It is a new house that we had an electritian come and but a junction box in because we wanted a chandelier. It is hooked up to one switch, which is a dimmer switch, if that makes a difference? There is definitely a separate black and white in the ceiling box. There was also separate black and white in the chandelier, but then they ended up all being connected together to one main wire (came together like an upside down Y)

May 3, 2011, 03:45 PM
Are you saying that your chandelier wiring looks something like this?

May 3, 2011, 05:16 PM
In your original post you mentioned a red, is that a loose wire? SO, it sounds like it is wired OK, At the top of the chandelier, where it would be hung from the bar, there should be a white, black and ground. Most chandeliers are hung with a cross bar, a threaded nipple and a cover plate. Is the box the electrician installed marked "Fixture/Fan" or something like that? It should be. The cross bar screws to the box, the nipple threads to the cross bar, the wires, if small enough, come through the nipple or around it and are connected in the junction box. If it is a metal box, make sure to run the ground to the box and fixture. Make sure to run the nipple far enough into the cross bar and fixture so it won't come out. After wiring, slide the cover plate up and tighten with the supplied nut or screws.
PS Make sure to put the cover plate and nut on before hanging the chandelier.
If this isn't sometning you have, post a picture and we'll try to go from there.

May 3, 2011, 05:42 PM
Yes! Exactly.

May 3, 2011, 05:51 PM
Yes. You were correct. It is a metal junction box and it looks like it states on it "acceptable for fan support". So, am I to assume then that the red is just if I had a fan to hook up, and since I don't I just leave that capped off in the junction box? Then I guess I run the black and white to this double-thick wire that comes up from the chandelier. Thank you so much for your help on this matter. It is very kind of you to respond and help me with my situation. Much appreciated!

May 4, 2011, 03:03 AM
Sounds like electrician wired ceiling box for a fan/light. Red is probably wired through the switch and black is probably hot all the time. However, it could be that black goes through switch.

Connect white of chandelier to white of house wiring. Connect black of chandelier to red of ceiling. Cap black of house wiring with wire nut.
Turn on power and test. If switch does not turn light off reverse black and red wiring.

May 4, 2011, 07:17 AM
Unless, the electrician wired the switch outlet according to the 2011 code.

2011 code requires the presence of a neutral for just this reason. Some dimmer switches may require the use of the neutral. Which means that either red or black would feed the switch and the other would be the return from the switch, neutral would either be capped off or in use by the switch.

Can you please tell us the wired configuration of the switch?

May 4, 2011, 02:21 PM
We have to second guess how your electrician connected the wires going up the ceiling box. Could be foresight by your electrician to add the extra wire. Smart move, correct ceiling box. I'd pull the wall switch and find what wire goes up the wall and you should find either the black or red capped off. Whatever one is capped in the wall box should be capped in the ceiling box. HK and Don have offered other wiring possibilities. I dould unwrap the "single" wire going up the chandelier and expect that you will find a black and white in it. Good luck and let us know how things work out.

May 22, 2011, 05:24 PM
Thanks gentlemen for all your help, but my husband tried once again and nothing worked... so, we're calling in the electrician who put in the wiring!

May 24, 2011, 08:47 AM
Thank you. We are going to try this when my husband has time to help me and I'll let you know if it works! He tried leaving the red capped and hooking up the black-black and white-white. The light turned on, but wouldn't turn off. We gave up, then I came back and just read what you wrote and realized we didn't try capping off black and hooking up red-black. Will try soon ;) thanks again for taking the time to help!

May 24, 2011, 09:40 AM
That should do it for you.

Perhaps a drawing will explain it better. Power is coming to the switch on the black wire. The white is the neutral and is connected to the white going to the ceiling. The black is connected to the switch and to either the black or the red going to the ceiling. That gives you uninterrupted power to the ceiling on for the fan. The other wire (red or black) going to the ceiling is connected to the other side of the switch and provides power to the light so you can turn the light on and off by the switch.
In the first drawing the red is used for the light. In the second drawing the black is used for the light.
It is quite acceptable to use either the red or black for light.

This is the wiring for a fan/light combination. Since you only have a light fixture you want to use the wire that goes through the switch and cap off the unused wire.