Installing Ceiling Fan w/ Light and Remote in Older Home


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Old 01-15-16, 06:07 PM
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Installing Ceiling Fan w/ Light and Remote in Older Home

Hello All,

This is my first post. I have a Westinghouse ceiling fan and light w/ a remote that I'd like to install in my home. The home was built in 1938 and still has a lot of the old braided wiring, and no grounded light or outlet boxes. There was a ceiling fan and light already in place, and it's connected to a switch on the wall. When I removed the old fan, it gave way and almost fell to the ground. Unfortunately this pulled the fan wiring from the house wiring w/o allowing me to check out the connections first.

In the ceiling box I have: 1 braided black and 1 braided white wire entering the box in a conduit coming from one direction. Then, entering the box in a conduit from the direction of the wall switch I have 1 each of the following color wires - black, white, red, and blue. These are newer, rubber coated wires.

In the box in the ceiling, the braided white wire is wire-nutted to the rubber white wire, and the braided black wire is wire-nutted to the rubber red wire. The rubber black wire is not connected to anything, but has a wire nut on its end. The blue rubber wire is not attached to anything, and does not have a wire nut on its end.

It looks like the controller for the fan remote expects a black, white, and blue wire from the fan, and only a black and white wire from the ceiling.

Having both the red and blue wire in the ceiling is confusing me. I'm sure it's fairly obvious from my description above that I'm not an electrician. I do understand hot, common, ground, switched..., and I have enough common sense not to do this if I get feedback warning me not to. Does anyone have any advice on how to proceed given my description above? Thank you in advance.
 
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Old 01-15-16, 06:50 PM
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The wiring is easy but if you really have conduit this may be difficult. The box is probably not fan rated and changing out a box on a conduit system can be tricky. Please post a picture of your ceiling box. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html
 
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Old 01-15-16, 06:51 PM
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I suggest you shut off the power and then remove the wall switch and tell us how it's wired.

Is there just a single switch on the wall?
 
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Old 01-15-16, 07:51 PM
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Thank you for your replies. The first two photos should show the box in the ceiling w/ the wiring. You might not be able to see it, but the two commons end in a pigtail coming off of the wire nut. Also, I think I mis-typed when I used the word conduit in my previous post.

I've included two photos of the switches. The switch on the left, closest to the camera, is the ceiling fan switch. The switch on the right controls a light over the kitchen sink.

Now that I've opened up the switch box and seen the other switch to the kitchen sink light, I would assume that I leave the red/black wire connection in the ceiling alone; that it's just passing through the box in the ceiling. So, I would guess I connect my fan's black to the rubber black in the ceiling, the fan's blue to the blue in the ceiling, and the fan's white the white pigtail in the ceiling. Am I close? Still don't know what to do w/ the ground coming off the fan assembly.

Thanks again for all your help.
 
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Old 01-15-16, 08:12 PM
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The blue wire and the nut in the ceiling box seems to indicate conduit. The box is not fan rated. Do you have a multimeter you can use for testing?
 
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Old 01-15-16, 08:19 PM
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Here's a diagram from the instructions. I think I may have gotten a little turned around guessing which wires connect with what in my last post. Name:  IMG_3849.jpg
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Old 01-15-16, 08:22 PM
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I do have a multimeter, just not sure how to proceed w/ it to test.
 
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Old 01-15-16, 10:51 PM
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The wiring is the easy part. The black and white cable is BX.
The other series of wires seems to be in conduit.

In the diagram...........
The two neutrals are combined and fan white connects here.
The black is always live. Connect to fan black if you don't want any wall switch control.
The blue is switched. Connect to fan black if you want the switch to turn fan off.
The red is connected to the right switch and looks to be controlling a light somewhere.

Most likely you'd cap the blue off and use the black to feed the fan.
The switch in the wall with the blue wire would do nothing.

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The hard part is that is an old style steel bar box and technically should be changed. That bar box will probably be nailed into the bottom of the joists with nails. Then covered with plaster.

It will be almost impossible to change without making a mess.

I have seen fans attached to those boxes and the only saving grace is that since the boxes are old and made with heavy gauge steel.... the threaded section is very strong and not likely to strip out with the weight of a fan.

We can only recommend changing the box..... what you do is your call.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 01-15-16 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 01-16-16, 04:43 AM
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I have remote controlled fan, light combo's with double switches like yours and I could only use one switch and had to cap off the other switch. Light and fan are controlled by remote. I only use switch when not planning on using fan or light.
 
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Old 01-16-16, 07:34 AM
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I'd rather not chance it so I'm going to make the mess and install a proper fan-rated box in the ceiling. This new fan is a bit heavier than the last, and I've got a 3-year-old running around the house. Thanks again for the very helpful posts.
 
 

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