replacing ceiling fan with light fixture

Old 02-22-04, 03:23 PM
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Question replacing ceiling fan with light fixture

After disconnecting celing fan, notices 3 sets of wires, each with a black and white wire. One of these sets goes to the wall switch however, I can't find the correct way of connecting the wires. I've tried connecting all black wires and all white wires together, which caused the wall switch to work in reverse, that is it turned the light on when it was in the off position. Additionally, this connection trips the circuit breaker after only one flip of the switch. I also tried connecting the black wall switch wire to the other white wires and connecting the white wall switch wire to the other black wires, with the exact same result. I noticed that if I connect only the white wall switch wire to the other white wires, then the switch does not work, but the bulb is continously lit. I would greatly appreciate any assistance in connecting these wires correctly. House built in 1957. Wires are a single thick piece of metal, not the many separate fibers that are in the light fixture.

Old 02-22-04, 03:37 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
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You're supposed to notice these things before you disconnect the ceiling fan, not after.

The symptoms you describe after connecting all wires by color are classic. They happen every time when you have a switch loop. Those exact symptoms have been reported here hundreds of times before.

Assuming you know for sure which of those three pairs of wires go to the switch, here's what to do:
  • Connect all the black wires except the one to the switch together, and to the white wire to the switch (yes, you read that right--connect black wires to a white wire). None of these wires connects to your fan. This is the key.
  • Connect the black wire from the switch to the black wire of the fan.
  • Connect the remaining white wires (which does not include the white wire to the switch) to the white wire from the fan.

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