Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


05:57PM | 07/20/07
Member Since: 07/19/07
1 lifetime posts
Replacing a ceiling fan with a standard 2 bulb light fixture

Hi, After removing the ceiling fan there were two cables of wire coming into the junction box in the ceiling. One cable (I think from the wall switch) has a red, black, white, and bare copper ground wire. The other cable in the junction box has a black, white, and bare copper ground wire. When I installed the new fixture I first capped off the red wire then connected all the white wires together, all the black wires together, and the ground wires together (attached to the base plate). Well, when I turned on the main power at the breaker panel the light fixture is on constantly and no on/off control from the wall switch. I did take off the switch plate at the wall switch and low and behold the red and black wires are coming off the switch. How do I tie in the red wire at the ceiling junction box with the light fixture and the other incoming cable??? HELP!...Thanks in advance!!!


07:02PM | 07/20/07
Member Since: 01/09/07
199 lifetime posts
Probably, the power comes to this circuit via the 2nd cable in the ceiling -- the black/white/bare one.

You need to send power from there to the switch on the black wire, and have it come back on the red wire from the switch to the black wires of the light fixture.

So all you need to change is to disconnect the black wires of the light fixture from the other black wires, and connect them to the red wire from the switch. Leave everything else connected as is, and it should work for you.


04:53PM | 07/21/07
Member Since: 01/30/05
360 lifetime posts
First off you need to check what was connected at the switch.

If you have just a single switch at the box, likely your former ceiling fan was wired so that power was always on to the fan (and the pull chain was used to adjust speed and turn it off when desired) and the switch just controlled ON/OFF to the light.

If you have two switches at the switch box yet another way to configure.

Either way just wire-nutting off the ceiling box side of the red cable would not be the thing to do, it could be set up presently AT THE SWITCH BOX to be ALWAYS HOT or be the HOT leg a switch leg.

You can't know for sure if power from the panel is at the ceiling box or at the switch box untill you check out the switch box too - your ceiling fan box could next lead "downstream" in the circuit to yet another one. do NOT wire-nut the three white wires from both cables together with the white leads from your ceilingfan/light.

You need to do more investigation and supply more information. 2 switches (or a combo switch) or one for this fan & light at this location? controlled from another location also? (3-way switch loops?).

How many cables and what are their configuration in this switch box? which are connected to which screws on the switch - and which are connected together.

If it turns out that power is in to the ceiling box, then there should have been re-identification. Was there any black marker or colored electrical tape marking on the white wire of the 3-wire plus bare ground cable in the ceiling box? how about the switch box? (hint - there should have been either re-identified - or else it shouldn't be connected in either location and simply wire-nutted off to itself in both the ceiling fan box and the switch box).

Which is why if there was only one switch at the switch box, and if there is no second location for switching (not a 3-way switch) then I'm thinking its quite likely unswitched power goes on FROM the light box, and that power FROM THE PANEL is at the switch box.

Unless previously the fan was wired to always ON (not via the switch - and controlled by a pull-chain for speed and off) and the switch only controlled the light fixture - there would have been no reason to use 3-wire plus ground cable between the switch and the fan.

When you removed the original light/fan fixture was there a pigtail piece of wire in the box originally?

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