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Answered 2006-08-09 22:03:12

Too vague an inquiry where do the old and new wires go and what do they do? Your question suggests that the existing house wiring is not visible as black or white. If so, read on. There should be a third wire which is either green but most often bare uninsulated copper in your old household wiring. If such a wire exists you need an electrical meter which displays a/c voltage. They are relatively inexpensive and quite handy. Following the instructions with your meter, touch the (-) meter probe to ground and the (+) probe to one of the old household wires. If you get no voltage reading, presume it white (neutral) and proceed to the other wire. If the other wire reads close to 115 volts you have the black (hot) wire. Label them with identifying tape to avoid any confusion and double-check to confirm your decisions. Caution: If you are dealing with household wiring not readily apparent to be black and white, to match your new fixture, it may be an old installation worthy of review by a licensed qualified electrician. Further, electricity is very dangerous and you should proceed with great care and knowledge. When dealing with electricity and electrical appliances, always consider consulting an electrician if you lack the competence.

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