Tamie Geiss Evans
Tamie Geiss Evans
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  • Corydon, IN
Asked on Dec 17, 2012

Remove ceiling fan/ put in light fixture

Ron304581Tamie Geiss EvansMidlantic Contracting LLC / Midlantic Electric Inc
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Answered

I have removed our ceiling fan which is controlled by a light switch. I am replacing the unit with a basic light fixture. Here is what I have...3 capped black wires, 2 capped white wires. The ceiling fan did not have a light fixture if that is helpful.
ceiling fan to light fixture; too many wires
ceiling fan to light fixture; too many wires
7 answers
  • Sorry but this is generally when I would call in an electrician myself & recommend the same for you. In the future if you drop a light or fan down, make sure you get a picture with everything still connected I have a feeling the fan was wired for a light kit, but it was never installed

  • Be sure that you have the power off. Even if the light switch is off, As the power that runs to the switch and to the light may be a pair of the other wires that are in the box. It would not be pleasant if the wire nuts came off of the other wires and shocked you. A wire tester that beeps when it is placed near a hot wire should be used to confirm that the power is off to the box. If your just putting up a normal light fixture, i.e. bulbs only. The two wires that ran to the fan, single black and single white are the two wires you will be using on the new fixture. Also there will be a green wire as well, or a single bare wire copper color. this needs to be fastened to the box and ideally also to the twisted bare wires that are in the middle of the box that are connected to the little green screw. You will need to remove the screw put a new wire under it to create a little tail, then using a wire nut fasten the new wire, the light wire and the older wire that was once under the screw together. A red wire nut will be required to hold them together. You will be using an orange wire nut to hold the new fixture wires to the older black and white wires. Normally these come with the new fixture. Once done, I would suggest that you wrap every wire nut after checking that they are tight with black electrical tape. Only a few wraps are needed but be sure it runs over the wire nuts onto the wires to assure that they will not pop off. Push the wires back into the box. and complete the hanging part of the project. Hint. You will have to hold the fixture up while doing all of this work. It will begin to get heavy. By using an old coat hanger, cut it to create two hooks, One small to hang over the bracket and one bit larger to hang onto the light to keep it up near where your working. Once its all wired, you can simply unhook the fixture and fasten it into place. Lastly, If your at all uncomfortable in doing any of this, I would concur with what SLS said. An electrical contractor is in order. A fee for this will run around $150. Expensive, but they need to be paid for their time. However if you took down the old lamp I think this is a project that you can do yourself and succeed.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 17, 2012

    Like woodbridge mentioned above...there may be "other" wires in that box. In its simplest form the box would just have a black and white wire coming from the switch...but more often than not the power is in the ceiling box and a separate side circuit goes to the switch. as shown in this pic http://www.make-my-own-house.com/images/elcodedblack.jpg I call the short bit of electrical tape added to the wire nut a "seat belt"...I add those when the box gets crowded and more stuffing is needed...in an empty'ish box the wire nuts are less prone to getting knocked off...and you can tell if you get a good "bite" when the nut is installed.

  • Tamie Geiss Evans
    on Dec 17, 2012

    Thanks everyone for your help. I try to do every myself and I am wise enough to call in the big guns when I get in over my head. I have done everything around the house including plumbing, laying floors, and putting in electrical boxes but, when I seen this I said, "Holy crap!" I need some advice. Thanks for the picture very helpful. KMS. Sounds like I need a trip to ACE's hardware for a few extra things to wrap up the little job, Woodbridge Enviromental.

  • Looking at this picture I can see that it's not a proper fan box. Your lucky it didn't fall. Do you remember how many and which wire nuts you removed to drop the fan? I believe I also see a single white and a single black wire under orange wire nuts. I also see the bare wires are not properly spliced together, not twisted together right. These are indicators, but in old home wired electric, nothing is certain. Get your touch tester and see which one goes on/off with the switch. That would normally connect to the black wire from the light, . I would guess that it would be the single black with orange wire nut. One of the white wires should be the other connection to the white wire on the light. This is merely a starting place. It could be totally different and without testing it myself, it's only a guess, don't quote me on it. Good luck.

  • Tamie Geiss Evans
    on Dec 18, 2012

    I have touch tested all the wires; you are correct there is a bare ground wire. This is an old home where all of the wiring is crazy. When it was purchased I noticed a new electrical box on the outside of the house. Inside an old fuse box. What was so confusing was that though everything in the fuse box looked rewired outside everything in the fuse box was still live and hot. What a mess! I am slowly but surely taking it one day at a time to update all of the wiring. Thank you for your help Midlantic Contracting LLC.

  • Ron304581
    on Mar 4, 2014

    It seems like you have some older wiring. You may want to get an electrician to come in and test them. He can tell you what each wire does. You shouldn't need all of them for a standard light fixture. Ron Johnson | http://303carefree.com/Electrical-Service-Panel-Upgrade.html

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