Wiring ceiling fan, 4 wires coming from box, 3 hot, all appear to be black?

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-07-16, 03:30 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 63
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wiring ceiling fan, 4 wires coming from box, 3 hot, all appear to be black?

I have 4 wires coming from the box which I believe is a junction box of some sort because with wires hanging down, disconnected, outlets and lights in other rooms do not work. Before I disconnected the wires from the light that was previously installed, 2 wires were jumped together. 3 of these 4 wires are hot when the breaker is on and they all appear to be black (Maybe because of age, its a 1920's home). There is no bare wire hanging down for the ground.

The fan motor has a black wire and a blue wire which they instruct to wire both to a hot black wire, and there is 1 green wire for ground.

How should I go about wiring this? Where do I wire the ground from the motor to?

Any and all help in wiring this fan greatly appreciated! Thank you, Adam.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-07-16, 03:40 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,028
Received 48 Votes on 42 Posts
Were you using a non-contact voltage detector? They are not what you need in this situation. They are too prone to false positives, especially with older wiring. You need a solenoid type meter.

You probably have two hots and two neutrals, or a hot cable and a switch loop.

I doubt you even have a ground given the age of the house.
 
  #3  
Old 07-07-16, 03:58 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 63
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes I was using a non contact volt detector.

Something I forgot to mention. When I removed the light, I noticed they had a thin copper wire running from the light up around a metal plate in the box. Should I just do the same for the fan motors ground?

If it is 2 hot and 2 neutral, should I wire both black and blue wires from motor to just one hot wire or both?
 
  #4  
Old 07-07-16, 04:13 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
That is only half the circuit. the other half is at the switch. We need to know how many 2-conductor and 3-conductor cables are there and how they are connected.
 
  #5  
Old 07-07-16, 04:14 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,028
Received 48 Votes on 42 Posts
Is there a switch involved? Do you remember how the old light was connected?

Running the wire to the metal box will not do anything if there is no ground.
 
  #6  
Old 07-07-16, 04:16 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 63
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I cant tell, its hard to make out the wiring, would a picture help?
 
  #7  
Old 07-07-16, 05:00 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 63
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The one wire (not hot) was connected by a jumper wire to a second wire (hot), then the other 2 wires there were connected to the light.

*I just started messing around with it and reconnected the jumper wire connecting the 1 wire (not hot) to the other wire (hot), and now our outlets work again.

*Another update- I used my voltmeter to test the wires. Using the 2 wires that are jumped together, I found out when the other 2 wires are hot. One is hot constantly and the other is hot when switched on.

So at this point, I have 2 wires jumped together and 2 wires hanging. Any thoughts?
Colored wires would really come in handy
 

Last edited by Airman89; 07-07-16 at 05:18 PM. Reason: New info
  #8  
Old 07-07-16, 05:33 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 63
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Is it possible to have 2 continuously hot wires, 1 switch wire, and one neutral? I feel like that's what I have. If that's the case, how would I wire this ceiling fan?
1 blue
1 black
1 neutral
1 ground
 
  #9  
Old 07-07-16, 07:01 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
We know the colors for a fan. What you need to know is which wires are neutral and which are hot. This can be done using an analog (not digital) multimeter* (or a neon test light or a solenoid tester). You will then use an extension cord plugged into a known correctly wired grounded receptacle as a reference point to determine which wire are line and load and which line wire is hot and which line wire is neutral.

* An $8-$15 analog multimeter will be fine. Don't buy a digital multimeter. The cheap ones can give misleading results.
 
  #10  
Old 07-08-16, 08:46 AM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,028
Received 48 Votes on 42 Posts
The black or blue could be connected to the switched hot so the switch would operate either the fan or the light. If you want to use the pull chains for the fan, connect the fan black to the constant hot from the ceiling. The blue could connect to the switched hot so the switch will operate the light.
 
  #11  
Old 07-09-16, 12:36 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 63
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ok perfect, I will be installing the fan to operate from the hot wire and the light to be switched hot. Where should I run the ground to? Can I just run the ground with the neutral into the box neutral? Thank you for all the help
 
  #12  
Old 07-09-16, 12:40 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Can I just run the ground with the neutral into the box neutral?
No, that would create a safety hazard. The ground should be left disconnected.
 
  #13  
Old 07-09-16, 01:39 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 63
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well I wired it up and the fan and lights work perfectly, the outlets in other rooms work fine, but the lights in the ceilings still don't work.. Any thoughts?

Neutral in box is jumped to hot wire (which made outlets work), fan neutral also wired to those 2 wires, switched hot in box wired to lights, constant hot wired to fan motor.
 
  #14  
Old 07-09-16, 02:25 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Neutral in box is jumped to hot wire (which made outlets work)
You are misidentifying one of those wires or something is very screwed up. Neutral to hot is a dead short and goes boom while you breaker dances. Remember just because a wire is white doesn't always mean it is neutral.
 
  #15  
Old 07-09-16, 02:32 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 63
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ive never wired anything in a house or anything ac so this is all new to me. I think I've finally got it figured out. Should both of the continuous hot wires be connected together, as well as to the neutral wire in the box? In ac is it ok to connect 2 hot wires together? Will the voltage in those wires still find their way to a ground or neutral if connected?
 
  #16  
Old 07-09-16, 03:43 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
In ac is it ok to connect 2 hot wires together?
Yes, if they are on the same leg of the 240 volts to your house* and from the same breaker or fuse but never to a neutral.
Will the voltage in those wires still find their way to a ground or neutral
They should NEVER find their way to ground. Ground is strictly foe clearing electrical faults by tripping a breaker or blowing a fuse. Assuming the item being powered has a neutral attached, yes.

Your questions are a bit scary. They indicate the lack of even basic electrical knowledge needed to do simple DIY. I would strongly suggest you buy the book Wiring Simplified and read it cover to cover before doing any more electrical work.

*Your house is supplied with 240 volts. The 120 volts comes from either leg of the 240v and the neutral.
 
  #17  
Old 07-09-16, 06:45 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 63
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sorry I just seen your message before my last one Ray. Maybe I am misdiagnosing the wire with no power. If a wire is not hot and remains not hot when switched, could it be something other than a neutral?
 
  #18  
Old 07-09-16, 07:43 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
If a wire is not hot and remains not hot when switched, could it be something other than a neutral?
In a 120v junction box you can have a hot and neutral that when measured with a meter shows 120 volts. This is called "line". You can also have two wires called load. The line provides power to the load. If the load is disconnected from the line it will still consist of a hot and neutral but will not read any volts on a meter because it is not connected to a power source, the line.
 
  #19  
Old 07-10-16, 03:38 PM
A
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 63
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
With 2 of the lines being hot, I tried connecting each of them to the line that reads no voltage while disconnected. When 1 of the lines are connected to that line, the outlets work. When the other one is connected, nothing happens. Does this mean that the wire that gave power to the "powerless wire" is the load, or the line?
 
  #20  
Old 07-10-16, 05:57 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
The wire that gives is line. The wire that receives is load.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: