Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


04:37AM | 06/08/02
Member Since: 06/07/02
1 lifetime posts
I'm installing a ceiling fan. The wires coming out of the ceiling have the following colors: two black, two white, and one green. The wires on the fan are black, white, and blue. Also, one of the white wires coming from the ceiling has black tape on it possibly indicating that it is hot. The wall switch only has two wires-one black and one white. Any ideas how to hook this up?

[This message has been edited by symphonyxrocks (edited June 08, 2002).]


06:59AM | 06/10/02
Member Since: 03/13/00
1674 lifetime posts
Are the 2 black wires in the ceiling currently connected to each other (were they before you removed the light fixture) or are they separate?
Are the 2 white wires in the ceiling connected to each other or are they separate?
What color is the single wire going from the switch to the ceiling fixture?

[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited June 10, 2002).]


09:15PM | 06/16/02
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
The short story: You have a commonly-wired circuit with the switch at the end of the circuit. Turn the power off and disconnect all the wires. With all the wires exposed and far from each other, turn the power back on and determine which of the two black wires is hot using a tester. There should be only one hot wire when everything is disconnected: the other black wire should be dead right now. Connect the hot black to the TAPED white wire. Connect the OTHER black wire to both the blue and black wires on the fan. Connect the white wire on the fan to the other, untaped white wire in the ceiling box. Connect the ground to the fan. Done.

The long story: The white wire is always neutral unless it is taped in a color other than green to indicate that it is hot in that run. Any colored wire or tape (other than green) usually denotes a hot wire.

The black and blue wires on the fan are the hot wires, one for the light and one for the fan. They allow the light and fan to be switched seperately so you can turn the fan and light on and off independently or put a dimmer on the fan and not the light, etc. Doing so requires the circuit be wired that way, though: with two hot wires running between the switch and the ceiling box and then returning: leaving at least four wires in the switch box and four corresponding wire in the ceiling box. It does not sound like you have the wiring to do so because you only have two wires in the switch box: you only have enough for one switch. If so, you just connect both the blue and black wires from the fan together to the same hot wire (black) in the ceiling box.

Because you have only a hot and neutral in the switch, and a taped white wire in the ceiling box, it sounds like the switch is at the end of the cable run. The circuit thus runs from the source (breaker) through the ceiling box, then to the switch--which turns the current on and off--and then returning to the ceiling box.

The taped white wire goes from the ceiling box to the switch along with the dead black wire. The taped white wire is coded for hot because these two wires carry hot current from the ceiling box to the switch. The cable in this run does not have a neutral wire: it only has a outbound and returning hot wire. The white wire in the switch box should be taped ("coded for hot") as well. If not, tape it.

The general scheme is that the hot current will bypass the fan when it first enters the box through the black wire that connects to the breaker, goes to the switch, and then returns to connect to the fan. Again, determine which black wire is hot when all wires are disconnected. There should be only one. You connect that hot wire to the TAPED white wire, which will then travel to the switch, which can turn the current on or off. The hot wire/current then returns through the black wire to the ceiling box. You connect THAT black wire to both the black and blue wires of the fan. That second black wire in the ceiling box will only be "live" when 1) the switch is on, AND 2) when the "live" black wire is connected to the taped white wire in the ceiling box. Otherwise, the current does not reach that second black wire in the ceiling box.

The untaped white wire is the neutral coming from the breaker. It does not need to (and does not seem to) run to the switch. (Switches switch the hot current on and off; neutrals always bypass them or (as in this case) don't run to them.) Connect it directly to the fan.

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited June 17, 2002).]


02:56PM | 01/11/14
Thank you Bob Vila


10:22AM | 07/18/14
One copper one white one black and one red coming out of the ceiling. A green white and black coming out of the fan so white to white black to black and copper to green what happens with the red wire


08:41AM | 07/19/14
You cap it off with a wire nut.


12:37PM | 08/06/15
I have two sets of wires. One set black and white. The other set black and white. Im trying to wire a ceiling fan. The wall has a dimmer switch plus a double light switch beside it. Do I connect the hot black with the white in that set or with the white from the other set.


12:29PM | 07/10/16
I am wiring a ceiling fan, the fan and light are working however outlets are not. The wiring consists of two black already tied together in the ceiling, two white and one red hanging from the ceiling. What would be the proper way to wire this safely?


03:09PM | 07/18/16

Would the described situation with two sets of wires be the same but instead of two in a set, four in a set (four white/four black) with a hot white?


12:45PM | 10/30/16
I have 2 black wires one white one of the black is capped with a bare wire wanting to put ceiling fan in which has black blue white and green


03:19AM | 04/14/20
from the ceiling I have 1 white wire, 1 black wire (or white with black paint on it), 1 red wire (or white with red paint on it), and one stiff wire that I believe has paint on it only (would that be the bare wire?)

from the fan I have a white coated wire, a black coated wire, a blue coated wire, and a green wire on the bracket.

I connected the two white wires, the black and blue on the fan to the black wire from the ceiling, and the green wire to the painted white wire (after scraping paint off the ends). I left the red coated wire caped and attached to nothing as the diagram appeared to show.

when I turned on the power, nothing happened either by flipping the wall switches (there are three and no other light source in the room), I pulled the chains and flipped switches again. nothing.

what did I do wrong

Julie Hardy


11:16AM | 04/26/21
I am replacing a ceiling fan and thought that it would be pretty straight forward. In order to turn the ceiling fan on their are two single switches that need to be on. I have two white wires and one black wire coming from the ceiling. The two white wires were combined with the white and blue wire from the ceiling fan and the black to black. When I connected everything, the fan worked but the lights did not come on. I tried to again by putting one white to the blue and one white to the white. This time the lights would work and the fan ran a slow speed only. The lights changed by pulling the fan cord...


04:20PM | 02/01/22
There's a ton of videos on YouTube you can find different scenarios to wiring a ceiling fan, no need for an electrician to charge you out the wazoo.


04:21PM | 02/01/22
There's a ton of videos on YouTube you can find different scenarios to wiring a ceiling fan, no need for an electrician to charge you out the wazoo. And why isn't Bob Vila answering this?

Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button