Problems installing a ceiling fan


Old 08-21-13, 08:48 AM
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Problems installing a ceiling fan

So my mother asked a neighbor to install her ceiling fan and when **** hits the fan, he bails. I come and see the following mess.

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As of now, if I were to flip the switch to ON within the circuit breaker, there would be no power in her room or the bathroom across the hall.

Here's what I've been able to determine thus far:

Now I'd like to call an electrician, but I wanted to see if I could do it myself first. I determined where the main feed is, via DMM and the neutral still had its white coating. The two wires labeled as "???" have no current running through them (or a very tiny amount).

Any suggestions on how to determine which wire does what? I'd like to get power into this room at the very least!

Edit: Shoot, I was exploring your forums and thought I posted this under lighting! Sorry for the incorrect placement Is there a moderator that could move this thread? Sorry!!
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Old 08-21-13, 10:06 AM
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Post moved as requested.

For liability reasons given the condition of some of the wires I'd suggest having an electrician do it since it isn't your home. Also the box does not appear to be fan rated. That will need to be changed.
Old 08-21-13, 10:15 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

I think the way the wires are connected are the least of your/her problems. It looks like that's knob and tube wiring, and quite degraded at that. Unless the rest of the wiring to this box looks better than what's in the box, I would look into replacing it, or having an electrician replace it as Ray says.

At a minimum, the bare wires should be sleeved in heat shrink tubing - again, only if the rest of the wiring around that box looks reasonably safe.

As for the actual wiring, it's really hard to tell how many wires are there and how they come into the box. Typically, you'll probably see the main feeder, then a switch loop to the switch. Then again, with knob and tube wiring, they did wacky things that you'd never see nowadays. There are 4 wires in the box?
Old 08-21-13, 02:41 PM
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I'm not sure whether you have K&T or early Type NM. When was the wiring originally installed? Either way, no black wire should be used as a grounded conductor.

The actual wire insulation looks OK, and you may be able to use that box to support a fan.

Can you see the wiring above the ceiling and describe it, or post a picture of it? Also, how is the box supported?
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