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Old 08-25-2014, 12:52 PM   #1
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Ceiling Fan wiring


I need some help. I am installing a ceiling fan to replace a light fixture. When I disconnected the light fixture, it had white wire and black wire. The electrical box has two white wires and one bare wire for ground. When power is on, my volt meter shows 120 volts on one white wire but none on the other. Is the one white wire with no voltage considered a neutral? Whats more confusing is I could have sworn the light fixture I took down was connected to the neutral... Is that possible? The wiring instructions say to connect one wire from the fan to the neutral and two other wires to the hot. I just want to make sure I am understanding this correctly before I proceed.

Thanks!

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Old 08-25-2014, 01:03 PM   #2
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Ceiling Fan wiring


In the ceiling box...

Black (power) to black (light power) and blue (fan power) or whatever combination your manufacturer uses.

White (neutral) to white (fixture neutral) - sometimes multiple.

Ground the fixture to the box.


In the switch box, are you sure you don't have a relabeled black? Two whites and a neutral make no sense, you should not be switching the neutral.

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Old 08-25-2014, 01:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 95PGTTech View Post
In the ceiling box...

Black (power) to black (light power) and blue (fan power) or whatever combination your manufacturer uses.

White (neutral) to white (fixture neutral) - sometimes multiple.

Ground the fixture to the box.


In the switch box, are you sure you don't have a relabeled black? Two whites and a neutral make no sense, you should not be switching the neutral.
Thank you for your reply. I am good on how to hook up the ceiling fan. What I am confused about is just figuring out what wires I have in my ceiling box. In the ceiling box, it has a bare wire and two white wires. One of the whites has voltage and the other does not. Is it a safe assumption to say the white without voltage is the neutral? Or can that be completely wrong? Sorry for these questions, I have no electrical experience.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:14 PM   #4
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Ceiling Fan wiring


Also, is it unusual to have a non black hot wire? In my case the white with voltage. Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:33 PM   #5
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Ceiling Fan wiring


Ok, I just keep making a fool of myself. I am looking deeper into the ceiling box is I think this is what I see. Looks like the main 3 pair lines were cut in half. The black and reconnected with a screw connector and electrical tape. The bare wires are reconnected as well. The white is not. That is why I was seeing two whites. So my questions are, is it normal for the white to be hot? Does this mean the black is neutral? Sorry for these ignorant questions.

Thanks
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:34 PM   #6
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Ceiling Fan wiring


What is coming into the light fixture? Romex, wires in conduit, MX cable? I am sure there is no Romex with 2 white wires. Are you sure one isn't black and just got painted before the light was first installed?
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:12 PM   #7
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Ceiling Fan wiring


A picture is worth a thousand words. If you can get a decent picture of what you have it may expedite getting the correct answer to your question.

Also, was the previous light there controlled by a wall switch?

Last edited by clw1963; 08-25-2014 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by miken79 View Post
Thank you for your reply. I am good on how to hook up the ceiling fan. What I am confused about is just figuring out what wires I have in my ceiling box. In the ceiling box, it has a bare wire and two white wires. One of the whites has voltage and the other does not. Is it a safe assumption to say the white without voltage is the neutral? Or can that be completely wrong? Sorry for these questions, I have no electrical experience.

Thanks again!
Sorry, I misinterpreted what you were saying/read wrong.

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Also, is it unusual to have a non black hot wire? In my case the white with voltage. Thanks!
Yes. Black should always be hot. White neutral.

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Originally Posted by miken79 View Post
Ok, I just keep making a fool of myself. I am looking deeper into the ceiling box is I think this is what I see. Looks like the main 3 pair lines were cut in half. The black and reconnected with a screw connector and electrical tape. The bare wires are reconnected as well. The white is not. That is why I was seeing two whites. So my questions are, is it normal for the white to be hot? Does this mean the black is neutral? Sorry for these ignorant questions.

Thanks
Please get a pic. It sounds like the old fixture was being switched on the neutral, which is incorrect.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:21 PM   #9
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Ceiling Fan wiring


How is power turned off? Is there a wall switch? White wire is often used in a switch loop as a hot wire.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:00 PM   #10
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Sorry, I misinterpreted what you were saying/read wrong.



Yes. Black should always be hot. White neutral.



Please get a pic. It sounds like the old fixture was being switched on the neutral, which is incorrect.
I think you are right. I talked to a buddy of mine who said the same thing. I think I have made sense of all of this now. I appreciate everyone's help.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:02 PM   #11
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I think you are right. I talked to a buddy of mine who said the same thing. I think I have made sense of all of this now. I appreciate everyone's help.
A good step would be to pull the switch and see what's going on in there before taking any further measures.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:33 PM   #12
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A good step would be to pull the switch and see what's going on in there before taking any further measures.
I tried that by turning on the breaker, but turned the wall switch off. Test ed each wire and none were hot.

Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:49 PM   #13
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I tried that by turning on the breaker, but turned the wall switch off. Test ed each wire and none were hot.

Thanks!
I was wrong, when the break is on and the wall switch is off. The black wire is still hot. So looks like they were using white is being used from the switch? So my problem is, what do I use for neutral?
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:11 PM   #14
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How is power turned off? Is there a wall switch? White wire is often used in a switch loop as a hot wire.
Thanks for your response. I think you may be correct.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:32 PM   #15
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Ceiling Fan wiring


I think you really should get a picture. And I would recommend you read a basic wiring book before you proceed...

If you have a switch loop then you have a switched hot white wire, which is only hot when the switch is on (should be taped black though).

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