Old Wiring Basic Question

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  #1  
Old 08-21-04, 10:16 AM
Jnickol
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Old Wiring Basic Question

We have old wiring in our house and are trying to install a new ceiling fan. How do we tell what color the wires are supposed to be. There are three taped together that appear to be black/white. These were not hooked to the old light. There are two more that both look tan (faded over time?). One of those has black electric tape wrapped around the wire. Do I assume this one is black and the unmarked one is white?
 
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Old 08-21-04, 10:38 AM
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Location: Central New York State
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Do not assume anything. You could kill yourself or burn your house down by making a bad assumption.

Use a tester to determine what each wire is.
 
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Old 08-21-04, 11:25 AM
Jnickol
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What kind of tester and can it be purchased at any hardware store?
 
  #4  
Old 08-21-04, 11:55 AM
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There is another post from today that asks the same question. This answer is also available in books on electrical wiring.

You can use either a regular tester or a coltage tick tester. A tick tester will tick when placed near a hot wire. It will help you figure out which wire is hot and which is grounded.

A reguar tester with a small light in it will work when connected between a hot wire and a good ground source. It will not work when connected between a grounded wire and a good ground. A good ground is either the ground on a properly grounded recepticle outlet or a cold water pipe.
 
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