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P.J.
P.J., General Contractor
Category: Electrical
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Installing a new light in kitchen, replacing a ceiling fan.

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Installing a new light in kitchen, replacing a ceiling fan. 3 wires RED, BLACK, and WHITE in the ceiling box, and 2 switches on the wall were used to operate old fan. Can I cap off the BLACK and hook up red to black from new light?

P.J. :

Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll be working with you today.

P.J. :

Yes. You can use either switch you would like and wire nut off the unused wire.

Customer:

I was going to cap of black wire in ceiling box, and hook up red from ceiling to black from new light... That will work correct?

P.J. :

Yes. That's fine.

Customer:

Ok. Thanks for your help, and both switches should still operate the light?

P.J. :

No. Only the switch operating the red wire will operate the light. If you are referring to a 3 way switch at two separate locations then they will both still operate.

P.J. :

If there are two switches at only one location then there is only one switch per wire.

Customer:

It has 2 switches that operated the old fan, light. They both have Black and Red hooked up on same said of switch, so I was figuring that the red is working as the hot wire?

P.J. :

Are the 2 switches in the same location or are they in separate locations?

Customer:

Different Locations, / different walls

P.J. :

Ok. You are describing a 3 way switch circuit. Typically the red wire is known as the traveler and only connects the two switches.

P.J. :

In your ceiling box you have the red, black, and white?

Customer:

yeah.. Red, Black, White... Red was hooked to blue on old fan

P.J. :

Ok. Are there any other switches?

P.J. :

It seems something is missing.

Customer:

No, just the 2 switches on different walls in the kitchen. Both switches that work it have RED, and BLACK hooked up on same side of switch.

P.J. :

Do you know if the fan motor and fan light worked independently before?

P.J. :

Or did the fan motor and light always turn on togehter?

Customer:

Yes they did.. Light worked from a pull chain

P.J. :

Ok. I understand.

P.J. :

I was the confused one.

Customer:

LOL

Customer:

Am I on the right page?

P.J. :

Typically when there are two switches to a fan with a light there is one switch for the light and another switch for the fan motor.

P.J. :

Was the black wire in the ceiling box also connected to the fan?

Customer:

yes, black to black, red to blue, white to white, and green to ground was how the old fan was hooked up

Customer:

I was going to do red to black(new) white to white and cap the black in the ceiling

P.J. :

That will be fine.

P.J. :

From what you describe I still say there must be another set of switches somewhere for that box.

P.J. :

Weird.

Customer:

Ok. Thanks for your help!

P.J. :

No problem. Take care. P.J.

P.J. :

I'm just sitting here thinking more about your connections. You mentioned that your light previously worked on a pull chain. I wanted to add that if your light would work on that pull chain no matter what the position of the switches then you will probably need to connect your new light to the black wire in the ceiling in order for your switches to work the light. It sounds like that red wire in the ceiling might have been hot all the time. Let me know if you have any trouble and we'll figure it out.

Customer:

yes, ended up black to black, white to white, capped the red wire. Tried the first time and switch would work light, after I changed, both switches worked the like just fine.

Customer:

Thanks again for you help.

P.J. :

Ok. That's what entered my mind after last chat. I'm glad it worked out. Take care, thanks again. P.J.

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