Electrical

Electrical Questions? Ask an Electrician Online.

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

I am converting from a ceiling fan to a light fixture. The…

Customer Question
Hi Pearl, my name...

Hi Pearl, my name is***** am converting from a ceiling fan to a light fixture. The box contains 3 black and 3 white wires, and appears that only one of the black wires is hot.

Contractor's Assistant: Sometimes electrical issues that that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix. The Electrician I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Tell me a bit more about what's going on so we can help you best.

The light fixture I am installing has a white, a hot and a ground wire. However the ceiling box has 3 black and 3 white. If I connect all whites and all blacks, the light is on when it turn the big power back on, but when I flip the switch to the light it pops the breaker. There is only one switch for this light, but I did find an outlet in different room that is connected.

Contractor's Assistant: Are you ready to speak with the Electrician now?

Yes

Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Electrical
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Answered in 1 minute by:
2/25/2016
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago
Wayne Roberts
Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 85
Experience: Electrican 6+ years
Verified

Hmm, do you have any wire testers handy?

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

The box that use to have the fan must have a crossed wire somewhere.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

Did the fan have two switches? one for light one for fan?

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
One wall switch, but the fan itself had two pull chains
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
When I took fan off, all three wires in box were tied together, none hooked to fan, and only one white was actually tied to the fan.
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

..the other two whites were together i am assuming

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

is sounds like the white wire that should have gone to the fan was tied to a white wire in the box.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
correct
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

take the whites apart, turn the breaker on, flip the switch, and test each white. you are looking for the one with 120v

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Found the hot white wire. Don't have a meter, only a voltage tester, but I did find the only white that is hot.
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

ok THATS the one that goes to the light

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

the live white wire will tie to the black on the light fixture

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

the white wire coming off of the might fixture will tie in with the 2 non live whites

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

light fixture*

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Ok, to clarify. The live white wire I just found is going be attached to the black on my new light fixture. And the two non live white wires from the box will be attached to the single white wire on the new light fixture?
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

correct sir ;)

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Ok, be back in one second. And what do I do with the tree black wires?
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Back.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Do I leave all three black wires from the box tied together? Independent of the light?
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

that depends on how they were when you took the fan off.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

most likely yes

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

did that switch control anything other than the fan originally?

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
The switch does not control anything else. When I took the fan off, all three black wires were tied together. I just tried that and it did not work. When I turned the breaker on the light came on flickering, when I actually flipped the switch in the room, light turned off and popped breaker.
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

This was after you tied the hot white to the black?

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
that was with hot white to black on the fixture, and not hot whites to white on fixture.
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

..turn the light switch to the off position, then turn the breaker back on. Turn the switch on.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

if the breaker tripped after you turned the light off, there may be a loose wire.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

if the short were in the light fixture, the breaker would not turn on.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

the flickering light leads me to believe there is a loose connection somewhere, or a damaged wire.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I will try that. It was odd to me that the light was flickering when the switch was in the off position.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Same thing. Light flickers in the off position, pops breaker when I turn the light switch to on
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

is there a bare ground wire in the fan box?

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
No, the light fixture has a ground which I have attached to the bracket. But no bare ground wire in the box
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

...hmm

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

you didnt touch the switch box at all?

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Correct
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I did test the wires independently before contacting you, and one of the black wires was hot.
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

that would be the feed for everything, that black ties into two other blacks, on of which goes to the line side of your switch, the live white wire is on the load side of the switch. when the switch is on the power goes to the white.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

the other two whites are not live..they are neutral...

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

the other black out of the 3 probably goes to a recepticale circuit

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
hmmm
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

if the light is flickering with the switch in the off position, somehow the fixture is getting power..

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

is it a dimmer switch? or..*fan speed control

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Nope, single flip switch
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Looking way up at the top of the fan box, I do see an exposed copper wire that appears to be screwed into the box... is that a ground
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

it may be, i was going to say tie the white from the fixture to the ground to test it.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

if the ground path is no good it wont work for the tes

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

is the box metal?

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
tie white from fixture to ground of fixture, or ground in the top of box?
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
metal box
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

im still jacked up wondering why the light comes on with the switch off, are you sure the white wire is live with the switch on and dead with it off?

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
just re-checked. this time with all black wires attached. Now I have two live white wires then the switch is on. BUT, when the light switch is off i have one that remains live (this is the one i had attached to the fixture when it was flickering.)
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

Cap that constant live white, we dont need it here

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

connect the white off the fixture to the switched white :)

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

excuse me

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

tie the switched white to the black on the fixture and the the white on the fixture goes to the non live white

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Ok! That works properly for the light! However i no longer have power in the outlet that is in the other room.
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

ok that constant live white was a feed for the rec.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

we need to find the wire that goes to the rec. it should be black.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
ok, should i separate black and test for the live one?
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

what you can do is tie the live wire to the dead ones (not in use for the light we got fixed) and see what one will energize the recepticale

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

that constant hot black should have fed the recepticals

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Ok, i have found the constant hot black, live when the light switch is on and off
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Did you want me to tie the constant live white wire (capped in previous steps) to the series of black wires?
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

yes, try it.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

one of those blacks is the receptacles

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
tried tying the constant white to each black. none worked, also lost power to the light during the process.
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

make sure that those receptacles are not on another circuit, they may be on another breaker?

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

id recap the constant white, tie the 3 blacks back together and wire the light like we discussed.

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

make sure all connections are solid

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

its odd that a fan box would feed a receptacle in the other room

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
ok, all three black are tied together, light is wired properly again. Constant white is capped.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Light works properly with the switch, just not getting power to the outlet in the other room. I know it is tied because all other circuits on the breaker are on. There is only one breaker box.
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

im guessing that constant live white ties into one of the black wires to feed the receptales

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

but they are both already tied to a hot and should be working

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

im at a loss, can i get a pic of the box?

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

wish i was there

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

one of those wires feeds the rec, its process of elimination

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

i wish i could do more to help!

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
ok, made some progress. Thanks for your help so far. Have a good night
Electrician: Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician replied 2 years ago

good luck my friend, let me know how it goes!

Ask Your Own Electrical Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with an electricianLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Wayne Roberts Your Own Question
Wayne Roberts
Wayne Roberts
Wayne Roberts, Electrical Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 85
85 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Electrican 6+ years

Wayne Roberts is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future.

JimmyBagley, IA

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Mike

Mike

Master Electrician

1,426 satisfied customers

Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer

Jason

Jason

Service Technician

3,958 satisfied customers

Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.

Mike G.

Mike G.

Master Electrician

8,290 satisfied customers

Proven Professional 49 years Experience

Kevin

Kevin

Licensed Electrical Contractor

4,414 satisfied customers

31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License

AssuredElectrical

AssuredElectrical

Master Electrician

3,264 satisfied customers

Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade

electrifier

electrifier

Master Electrician

1,458 satisfied customers

Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise

Rich

Rich

Master Electrician

1,117 satisfied customers

Over 35 years residential, commercial, industrial wiring, install, troubleshoot, service, maintain

< Previous | Next >

Related Electrical Questions
I am installing a ceiling fan instead of a ceiling light.
i am installing a ceiling fan instead of a ceiling light. in the ceiling i have two black, two white and two ground wires. in the ceiling fan, i have blue, black white and ground. when i hooked up, th… read more
Expert
Expert
Certified Journeyperson Electrician
86 satisfied customers
I have a light that keeps tripping the circuit breaker when
I have a light that keeps tripping the circuit breaker when I turn it off. The hot wire is coming to the light and the switch is coming from the wall… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
8,290 satisfied customers
I'm trying to replace a light fixture. The light fixture
I'm trying to replace a light fixture. The light fixture that I purchased has 2 white wires and 2 black wires times 2 sets while the ceiling box has a red, black, white and ground. The ground is a no … read more
Kevin
Kevin
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Diploma
4,414 satisfied customers
I live in a 1926 building. There are many wires coming out
I live in a 1926 building. There are many wires coming out of the dining room ceiling outlet box. But only one switch, so there should not be so many wires. There may have been a different configurati… read more
Kevin
Kevin
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Diploma
4,414 satisfied customers
I installed a new light fixture in place of an old one. I also
I installed a new light fixture in place of an old one. I also had to swap out the dimmer switch for a regular flip switch. The dimmer switch did not work with the new light fixture. The flip switch c… read more
AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical
Master Electrician
High School or GED
3,264 satisfied customers
I am replacing a 2 light ceiling fixture in my bathroom with
I am replacing a 2 light ceiling fixture in my bathroom with a chandelier light. There is one light switch in the bathroom to turn on the fixture. The wires from the ceiling are a white and black wire… read more
AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical
Master Electrician
High School or GED
3,264 satisfied customers
Am trying to switch a 3 way switch to an outlet, but we only
Am trying to switch a 3 way switch to an outlet, but we only have 3 wires at each switch...no other wires in the box at all. We have a red white and black at both switches.… read more
Kevin
Kevin
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Diploma
4,414 satisfied customers
I have similar issue as the one I just read on a light switch
I have similar issue as the one I just read on a light switch that had a dimmer. Difference in my issue is 2 black wires on dimmer and one green. However it was hooked up with one black, one white wir… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
8,290 satisfied customers
1974 house, replacing a light in the kitchen with 2 3-way switches,
1974 house, replacing a light in the kitchen with 2 3-way switches, one on each side of the kitchen. the dining room light is on the same circuit. in the ceiling box there are 3 wires...each wire cont… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
8,290 satisfied customers
Im replacing a light fixture with a ceiling fan. Two threeway
Im replacing a light fixture with a ceiling fan. Two threeway switches already installed. My question is I have three two wire cables through the ceiling, one each for the switches and another that po… read more
Alex
Alex
Owner
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
1,783 satisfied customers
I need some help reconnecting two half-switched outlets (both
I need some help reconnecting two half-switched outlets (both of which were ran on a single switch).… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
8,290 satisfied customers
installed a ceiling light fixture that will not turn off at
installed a ceiling light fixture that will not turn off at the switch. Switch controls power to one wall outlet in the room. Any way to reverse this to have the switch control the ceiling light?… read more
Alex
Alex
Owner
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
1,783 satisfied customers
I cant get a ceiling light fixture to work correctly after
I can't get a ceiling light fixture to work correctly after doing some remodeling to my home. When it is wired what should be correctly, it lights up when the wall switch is in the "off" position. The… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
8,290 satisfied customers
I am replacing a ceiling light. there are three electrical
I am replacing a ceiling light. there are three electrical feeds. two are White, Black, and ground. the third one is white, black, RED and ground. there are two switches that cotrol the light, one dim… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
8,290 satisfied customers
i am installing a chandalier to a ceiling outlet. The outlet
i am installing a chandalier to a ceiling outlet. The outlet has: Black wire (HOT) WHT wire ( NEUTRAL) Red wire Bare (Ground) The chandalier wiring is like speaker wire, two wires in two separate clea… read more
Mike G.
Mike G.
Master Electrician
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
8,290 satisfied customers
Am installing a fan/light combination where there was just
Am installing a fan/light combination where there was just a ceiling light. The fixture is controlled by a wall switch. I installed where everything was working correctly but it effected the light swi… read more
electrifier
electrifier
Master Electrician
Bachelor's Degree
1,458 satisfied customers
I have a ceiling light fixture box that has two three way switched
I have a ceiling light fixture box that has two three way switched connected to it on one circuit. Also coming into the ceiling box is another hot wire from a different circuit that goes to another li… read more
Sir Sparks
Sir Sparks
Owner
State & UK Certified Master electri
2,519 satisfied customers
I am wiring a light fixture in my dining room. I connect the
I am wiring a light fixture in my dining room. I connect the white power to one of the wires on the fixture and the black wire to the other wire on the fixture. I connect the ground wire from the elec… read more
Electrical Doctor
Electrical Doctor
Master Electrician
Associate Degree
8 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x