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Old 04-15-2010, 03:44 PM   #1
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Ceiling fan installation; old house wiring not standard


I am installing a new ceiling fan. My house is over 25 years old and built by a drunk. The wiring is all color coded differently than standard. The fan has the following wires: blue: marked for the fan light; black: marked for the motor; white: marked as neutral; and the usual green for ground. The wiring coming into the box in the ceiling is as follows: a single black wire; a red wire and black wire pigtailed together; and a green. With power on, a test light between the single black and the black/red shows 110V. I connected the fan wires and did a short test and the fan worked. I killed the power and made the connections permanent and hooked the ground. When I turned the fan on again, it shorted and blew the breaker. I don't know how to tell which wire is the hot and which is the neutral with just a test light. Can I test them to the ground? Should I get a reading? I am lost with this bad setup. Thanks to anyone who can give me some advice. Earl

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Old 04-15-2010, 07:18 PM   #2
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Ceiling fan installation; old house wiring not standard


Are there 2 switches in that room? Did the breaker throw when you turned it on or when you flipped the switch?

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Old 04-15-2010, 08:34 PM   #3
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Ceiling fan installation; old house wiring not standard


Should have mentioned that...my bad.
There is one wall switch. The light and fan are controlled by the pull chains. The switch must be on to control them with the chains, and the switch off cuts both off.
Sorry I forgot to mention that.
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:11 PM   #4
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Ceiling fan installation; old house wiring not standard


Are you saying that there is no neutral (white) wire in the ceiling box?
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:24 PM   #5
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Ceiling fan installation; old house wiring not standard


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelhead View Post
Are you saying that there is no neutral (white) wire in the ceiling box?
Thats what I read.
You are missing a wire.
What is located in the switch?
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Old 04-18-2010, 05:57 PM   #6
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Ceiling fan installation; old house wiring not standard


Many thanks to everyone for all the help.

JBFAN, your question about the switch led me to the solution.

After checking there and seeing how the wires there were set up, it was just a matter of temporarily hanging the fan, turing on the power, and posting my wife at the switch to turn it on and off. Then it was just testing which wire went where.

Thanks, everyone.

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