Adding a Ceiling Fan - need some wiring help

Old 07-19-15, 07:58 PM
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Adding a Ceiling Fan - need some wiring help

Hello. I am adding a ceiling fan to a bedroom and when I took out the existing light fixture (florescent work shop/office lighting) I found a mess of wires. The florescent work shop/office lighting is not original and was installed sometime after the original lighting. As you can tell from the photos this is very old construction. There are a total of 4 sets of wires coming into the box (1 assumed to be coming from the switch, 3 others going to unknown locations). When I took the old fixture out, the hot wire was connected to the black wire all the way on the left in the picture (assumed to be coming from the switch). The neutral wire was connected to 3 other neutral wires all the way to the right. The previous light worked without any issues.

It appears to me that the neutral coming from the light switch is connected to the 3 other hot wires. When I tested at the switch both the hot and neutral were hot while the switch was in the "off" position. When I tested at the fixture everything was hot except the group of neutral wires on the right regardless of the switch position.

Again, everything was working fine before. Is there a reason that neutral would be connected to the hot wires? Should I leave it as is because it was working before or should I move that neutral to be with the other neutral wires? I am not sure if this was DIY'd improperly or if there is be a reason for it.

I am a novice as my electrical experience consists of installing 3 light fixtures, 2 ceiling fans, replacing some receptacles, moving a few light switches, and adding some lights to a closet. Any and all help is appreciated.


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Old 07-19-15, 08:46 PM
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When I tested at the switch both the hot and neutral were hot while the switch was in the "off" position.
If you are using a non contact tester give it to your kid to play with. They can not be used for real testing. For that you need a multimeter, preferably analog (or a neon test light or solenoid tester). Test must be made with wires disconnected. If there is only one 2-conductor cable at the switch there is nothing to test. Even if you do have two cables no need to test if the light was working correctly

If the light worked then the fan will work with the same connections and the others should remain the same. Your main problem maybe that box isn't rated for a fan. If it just has ears for mounting the fixture and the fixture screws are 8-32 it isn't fan rated.

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Old 07-19-15, 08:55 PM
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You have a switch loop setup there. One cable in is hot. Two cables are hot out. The fourth cable is the switch loop.

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My diagram only shows the feed in cable but the two feed out cables are just connected in parallel to the same colors.

Your biggest problem is replacing that box for a fan box. Those cables look to be BX's and will be short and tough to work with.

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