2 posts / 0 new
Last post
Ceiling Fan Wiring Problem

I just bought a house that had a chandelier in the (now) MBR. I want to remove the chandelier and replace it with a ceiling fan.

Removal of the chandelier went fine, removed the old junction box and replaced with a newer ceiling fan rated one. Now I'm to the wiring stage and am a bit stumped.

When we took down the chandelier, there were 2 bundles of 3 wires ea + the ground wired to it.

I snapped a photo:

Don't pay any attention to the colors of the caps, they aren't color coded or anything like that.

When we removed the chandelier, it was wired like this:

When we went to hook up the wires, a NC tester showed 4 of the 6 to be hot wires. We tested multiple times with the wires spread out in a star shape to minimize interference, but kept getting the same result. If that were the case, wouldn't there have been a short in the previous wiring?

I assume that the NC tester was giving a false positive and there is actually 1 hot wire and 1 neutral and the other 2 of each are pigtailing off of the light connection to another connection, would that be correct? And if that is the case, why would the outlets in the room function correctly even when the light was dimmed or off?

I'm going back tonight with a multimeter to determine exactly which wire is hot, but then I still need to determine which pigtailed wires are hot vs. neutral, correct?

Edit: I should add that this is a 1950's house with BX cabling, no colored wires here :)

Re: Ceiling Fan Wiring Problem

I believe the tester was lying to you. That's why for elecrical work I use a simple tester that actually draws a load. That will eliminated stray or phamtom readings.

Just hook the fan up like you showed on your drawing and you should be fine.

Good luck from Columbiana, Alabama
Maurice Turgeon, thesemiretiredelectrician.com

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.