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[Shop-talk] Unfamiliar wiring for basement lights

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Subject: [Shop-talk] Unfamiliar wiring for basement lights
From: <>
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 14:41:22 -0400
Hi All,

Our basement is lit with six 2x34W Fluorescent fixtures and one 60W
incandescent fixture, all switched by a two-way switch at the top of the
stairs (no other switching).  One of the fluorescent fixtures failed (the
ballast failed) and the fixture is broken, so Im replacing it. From the
outside it looked like the lights were just daisy-chained, but after pulling
the fixture I see that one wire going into the fixture is 3-way (has a red
wire) and the other is a normal line (B,W,Gr).  The black is on the switch,
but the red wire appears to be a hot home run  the only way I can kill its
power is to throw the breaker.  Anyone know if there is a reason or protocol
for wiring like this?  Im inclined to just cap the red wire and daisy-chain
the black and white wires, but I dont want to make a naove mistake (Im not
an electrician and my EE classes from 20 years ago are no help).  The red
wire was connected to one of the black wires in the fixture, BTW; the two
black wires coming into the fixture were coupled (wire nut).  Any thoughts?

On a safety note, the old adage:  assume all wires are hot and test,
certainly held true in this case.

Thanks, Ian

p.s. Im a lurker who tries to answer at least two questions for every one
that I askbut I dont tend to ask many questions.
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