Old wires - trying to install ceiling fan

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Old 05-16-14, 12:47 PM
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Exclamation Old wires - trying to install ceiling fan

I'm hoping you can help me. I'm trying to install a ceiling fan in my kitchen however, there are a lot of wires and it's so old that the insulation is falling off of the wiring inside the box (like old pieces of cloth) leaving bare wires in the box.

1 - How do I correct that? Can I wrap it in electrical tape?

2 - Which wires should I be connecting to? If open are only red and black.
I've included the instructions too.

Please help as I'm trying to get the done today ... the power is off which means the heat is off and it's getting cold in the house.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 05-16-14, 01:41 PM
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I wouldn't count on getting this done today. You don't need to turn the whole house off, just the breaker to the light. You have only showed us half the circuit. The other half is at the switch box. In the ceiling there should be a white wire. It is such a mess I can't tell which it is. Honestly I wouldn't try to fix that mess. I'd run all new.

Are you sure the box is fan rated? Give us a picture without the fan bracket.

Do you have a multimeter, preferably analog?
 
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Old 05-16-14, 03:07 PM
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Fan works...but still unsure about the exposed copper of the wires - please help

So I figured out how to connect it - one of the wads of wires were actually all white with a black tip so it was actually supposed to be white - then the red was my hot wire and I don't have anywhere to ground it. The others were wads of black wires.

I've turned on the power briefly to make sure that it works - it does!!

However, I'm still concerned with all the crap that fell out while I was working on it today because some of the wire coatings cracked exposing the copper beneath it. The other one was in my original post - I'm concerned about the stuff that looks like rope that would have been covering a couple of the wires. I'm afraid that now that it's all hidden, I might have issues and not realize it until it's too late. How can make this safer?

Anxiously awaiting your replies - I currently have the power out to the parts of the kitchen that control the light until I hear back from some of you. If it's ok, then just let me know that so I can enjoy my efforts today. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-16-14, 03:13 PM
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I can 't tell if the box is fan rated - it was holding a drop chandelier for years so we figured we would try a fan - is the rating to make sure it's strong enough to hold the weight?

No I don't have a multimeter.

How would I run all new wire?? I have no idea where it all runs. The kitchen is all plaster walls. It was built in the 40's
 
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Old 05-16-14, 04:43 PM
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You can slip heat shrink tubing over the wires. You should use wire nuts no tape on all connections unless they were soldered. If soldered a layer of rubber tape the electric tape. Fan rated boxes are designed for both weight and dynamic loads. That is probably a static load but trying to replace the box without damaging the wires even more is probably impossible.

If there is an unfinished attic above running the cables without damaging the walls or ceiling is usually easy. You run a cable from the breaker box through the attic to the wall where the switch is. You remove the switch box and fish the new cable in place. You remove the old ceiling box and install a fan rated box. You run a cable in the attic from the ceiling box down through the wall to the opening where the switch box was removed, You install an old work box to replace the switch box and your done. There are though several what-ifs you may encounter so it could be more difficult.
 
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