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Old 10-16-2019, 05:32 PM   #1
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Question Electrical Question

I am in the middle of replacing my porch light on my 1950

Old light has two white wires, one with lettering

New fixture has one white, with lettering and one black

I assume I connect the old white wire with the lettering with the new white wire with lettering?
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:50 PM   #2
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The lettering is most likely meaningless. Quite often, wire is manufactured with lettering only every 2-3 feet, and it could just be the luck of the draw that the two pieces of wire you can see on the old fixture are different.

On the new fixture, the white is obviously ground, since it's attached to the metal body of the unit. Look at the wire connections inside the old fixture. The wire connected to contact the barrel of the lamp would be ground, while the wire connecting to the center contact of the lamp would be the hot (black wire on the new fixture).
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:39 PM   #3
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Sunline was pretty good at wire colors white- (ground) black + similar to house wiring so even if the new light has a different color if it's attached to the metal housing it connects to the white wire.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:06 AM   #4
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Got it! Thank you!
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:20 PM   #5
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I would pickup a simple voltage detector from your local hardware store. Very simple to use, the type I'm referring to, you just hold the probe on the insulation of the wire and a light comes on if voltage is present. Test the wires, making sure the switch is on, and the black wire on your new light goes to the wire with voltage. Make sure the switch is off before wiring up.

P.S. make sure the tester will detect 12 volts.
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACK C-85 View Post
I would pickup a simple voltage detector from your local hardware store. Very simple to use, the type I'm referring to, you just hold the probe on the insulation of the wire and a light comes on if voltage is present.
That's called a non-contact voltage detector; I carry one in my pocket daily. Unfortunately, they only detect AC.

In this situation, you'd need to connect a voltmeter or test light between ground and the bare wire.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:54 PM   #7
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I would not count on a low voltage dc non contact voltage detector to be real accurate but if you have a Harbor freight nearby they often give away a small AC/DC multimeter if you faced with buying it be ready to spent 6 or 7 dollars.
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