Author Topic: Changing kitchen lights: brown and red wires?  (Read 790 times)

Healthie

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Changing kitchen lights: brown and red wires?
« on: March 07, 2020, 02:57:22 PM »
My new lights have white/black/ground (copper) and the junction box has red and brown wires. Which wires do I connect?

lthenderson

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Re: Changing kitchen lights: brown and red wires?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2020, 03:04:11 PM »
It doesn't matter but I would probably go black to brown and red to white like in this diagram.


BudgetSlasher

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Re: Changing kitchen lights: brown and red wires?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2020, 04:13:29 PM »
Looking at your second picture, the one the wires in your ceiling box, it appears to me that you have a red wire and a white wire that has turned brown (possibly due to heat build up or bad connection); to me the brown wire looks whiter further back. It looks like there is a similar discoloration toward the stripped end of the red wire.

Red, along with black, is generally a hot wire (in fact 3 conductor wires are black/red as hots and white as a neutral).

I would connect black on the light to red on the ceiling, and white on the light to "brown" on the ceiling.

In an ideal world the copper would be connected to ground. I see other wires in the box; does there happen to be a green or bare copper wire back there? If so, the base copper should connect to the light and the green screen I see in the first picture.

What material is the electrical box made of metal or plastic and how old is the house?

kenner

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Re: Changing kitchen lights: brown and red wires?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2020, 10:50:31 PM »
Best guess the white/red analysis above is correct, but as someone whose house was wired by someone with what was clearly a loose attachment to standards multimeters are wonderful tools.  Obviously don't touch the wires yourself while you're testing.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Changing kitchen lights: brown and red wires?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2020, 10:48:24 AM »
I assume these lights are connected to a switch somewhere.  What are the colors at the switch box?

sparkytheop

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Re: Changing kitchen lights: brown and red wires?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2020, 02:36:42 PM »
Second pic-- red is your hot wire, "brown" is really a white wire (neutral) that has had enough exposure to heat to discolor the insulation.  Your ground wire will go to the green screw.