Which wire is which?


Old 02-23-05, 07:38 AM
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Which wire is which?

I have removed a ceiling fan with attached light in order to install an "antique" chandalier. There are two switches on the wall: one for the light and one for the fan. When I removed the fan/light from the ceiling I noted that there are four wires: red, black, white and bare. The chandalier I am installing has only two wires: both copper and unmarked. Now I don't know what to connect to what. Any advice before I hire an electrician?
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Old 02-23-05, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,599
both copper and unmarked
Does that mean bare? You must have a black and white wire from the new fixture. Connect to the black and white from the old fan and cap the red with a wire nut. If the wrong switch operates the new fixture swap the black and red wires.
Old 02-23-05, 07:58 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Dry Side of Washington State
Posts: 738
Use either the red or black to the feed the chandalier. Turn off the circuit before you do anything! Be sure to disconnect the unused hot wire at the switch you're not going to use. Note which wire is spliced to which wire in the switchbox before you disconnect anything.

Give us a description of the insulation on the chandelier's wires.
Old 02-23-05, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
One of the two chandelier wires should have a very tiny stripe or ridge on the insulation. That one connects to the white wire from the ceiling. The other one connects to the black wire from the ceiling.
Old 02-23-05, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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Note that it is not necessary to disconnect anything at the switch. You certainly can, but you don't have to. You do want to cap the unused red or black wire at the ceiling connection.
Old 02-23-05, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 132
In most cases you would use the red wire. You have to be careful putting lights on boxes pre-wired for fans. Sometimes the light is on a three-way circuit, but the fan isn't.

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