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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2931
Experience:  29 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
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I have an older house with a fan/light that is controlled by

Customer Question

I have an older house with a fan/light that is controlled by 2 switches. When I went to replace with a new fan. This is what I have. It appears I have 3 whites and 3 blacks (no ground). They seem to be spliced together
What is my easiest course of action to fix this? I don't need any switches for it as its a new fan with remote. Which wires are should I use and which wires should I cap?
https://imageshack.us/i/idg7r1ilj
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
Hello.....my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!

1) Based on the wires shown in the picture, it appears that the 2 wall switches are 3-way switches and not 2 separate single pole switches that currently control the ceiling box.

Is this correct, you have (2) 3-way switches? The switches are located in different wall boxes and either switch can control the ceiling box?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes that is correct. 1 switch on one side of the room, and 1 switch on the other side.
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the confirmation.

1) Since the home is older, I recommend leaving the existing 3-way switches wired "as-is". Reason being is that on older homes, 3-way switches were wired much differently than we wire them today. Back in the day, electricians used a more complex wiring method on 3-ways called either "California" or "Carter" switching methods. If disconnecting the existing wires, it may become a challenge in the future to get those 3-ways working properly again if the need ever arises. Even disconnecting the switches and making the proper wiring splices inside the wall box presents a challenge. Best to leave both switches "as-is". Not worth the aggravation in my opinion.

2) The fan can be wired directly to the ceiling box using the lone switched black and the lone white neutral wire. The fan remote will work fine, but one of the 3-way switches will always need to be turned ON in order for the remote to work.

Leave the other ceiling box wires spliced as is but remove the black tape and use wire nuts. Wire splices should have plastic wire nuts to securely splice wires together. Back in the day, splicing and taping wires was a common method, but also presents a potential safety issue without a wire nut.

3) If worried about accidentally turning OFF the switches, you can install 2 switch guard covers to prevent this. See link shown below for the switch guards sold at Home Depot.

Amerelle Switch Guards (2-Pack)

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Amerelle-Switch-Guards-2-Pack-CSG1/100628705

Hope this helps………If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.



The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at: http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician ……….Thanks…………..Kevin!

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

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