TOOO many wires!

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  #1  
Old 01-15-06, 10:18 AM
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Unhappy TOOO many wires!

Is there anyone who can help?

I had to take down my ceiling fan because it was flickering. When I did, I noticed it had melted wires. Asside from that problem, I also noticed a bunch of wires coming out of the box. I changed a different fan before and there were definitely fewer wires. The ceiling box has 3 holes in it. All 3 have red wires coming out which are all capped off together. All three have beige wires coming out connected to nothing. The bottom left hole also has a yellow wire connected to nothing. The two bottom holes have 2 brown wires running through each other. Sadly, I do not remember what was connected to what on the fan. I just want to connect a light fixture. Help would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-15-06, 10:38 AM
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There are many, many ways to wire a house. That's why you need to be prepared for finding many different wiring configurations in the boxes you open up. The only reliable way to replace a fixture is to note the way the old one was connected, and connect the new one the same way. Regrettably, many people make the same mistake you did, and thereby make the job a hundred times harder than it needed to be. Hopefully each person only needs to learn this painful lesson once.

Some opening questions will help set the stage:
  1. Did the old fan have a light kit?
  2. How was the old fan controlled? With pull chains alone? With one wall switch plus pull chains? With two wall switches (one for the fan and one for the light)? With a remote control?
  3. What exactly do you mean by "2 brown wires running through each other"? How do wires run "through each other"?
  4. In what city do you live?
  5. In what year was the house constructed?
  6. Do you have any electrical test equipment? If so, what? If not, go to your home center and buy a $2 neon circuit tester.
 
  #3  
Old 01-15-06, 10:39 AM
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Need more info....Is/was the fan connected to a speed control or a standard switch? You need to see what wires were controling the fan. Are there receptacles or other lights not now working because of taking the fan down? How badly are the wires melted,what may have caused this? Is there enough slack in the melted wires to pull {NM cables will be stapled close to the box} some more wire into the box to make repairs? Get a circuit tester to check which wires are coming from the switch
 
  #4  
Old 01-15-06, 10:50 AM
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Red face Some more info.

Thanks for the help so far!!!

The ceiling fan did have a light kit. It worked with two pull chains (fan/light). There is also a wall switch to cut in on and off. The two brown wires are not going through each other. They are more or less coming in from one hole and going into another. You basically can't see either end of the wires. The house is around 40-45 years old. I am going to buy a tester now, but what will I do with it? Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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