Replacing light fixture with ceiling fan in old house

Old 08-09-20, 07:18 PM
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Replacing light fixture with ceiling fan in old house

I've removed the old ceiling light fixture and mounting plate, but confused at the wiring I've found. The house was built in 1940 and this is the first I've replaced this light. You can see the following in the picture at the bottom that there are 3 sets of wires and only one of those is a lone wire. The other 2 have 3 wires coming together and capped. The wires hanging out were connected to the prior light fixture but that wire did not have any indication of a color so I don't know what color to connect the new fan that is perfectly labeled, the wire looked like a standard cord to a lamp that was split (see pic).

<img src="" width="463" height="454"/>
wires from light fixture removed from ceiling

It appears the wires in the ceiling may have been painted white, black and red (with the red almost totally faded) but I can't be certain.

Any thoughts on which would be the live one, assuming it's the bundled one painted white (3 together and capped) or the lone one painted red since they were the only used? Also, thoughts on how to connect the black, white & red wires from the new fan/light combo?

Any help is appreciated.
<img src="" width="459" height="500"/>
wires from the ceiling after removing light fixture

Old 08-09-20, 07:39 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

When you remove a light fixture you need to label the wiring before disconnecting it.
That looks to be standard wiring.
The three white wires are neutral and the single red is most likely the switched hot line.

Several problems there.....
- that is older wiring and will crack if you move it too much.
- that is not a fan rated electrical box. It will need to be upgraded.
Old 08-09-20, 07:41 PM
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The whites are the neutrals and the red is the wire being controlled by the switch (switch leg). The black is likely a constant hot. How you wire it will depend on how you want the fan controlled. If you want the fan and light controlled by the switch you would just connect the red and black to the red. If you want only the light controlled by the fan you would connect the red to the red and the black to the other blacks.

That box is not rated to support and needs to be changed to a fan rated box. They do make retrofit boxes/brackets that can be installed with minimal damage to the ceiling.

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