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Electrical Wiring in the Home/Multiple wires in intended ceiling fan box


wire cluster
wire cluster  

ceiling brace
ceiling brace  
I am a beginner when it comes to home electrical wiring, so bare with me.  My goal in this project is to install a lighted ceiling fan where a light fixture used to exist.  The issue I'm having is when I removed the existing light fixture, there was an abundance of wires. (at least more than I was expecting)  *Included is a picture.  
I went into the attic to view from top.  I discovered that there are 4 sets of wires entering the box.  One that goes to the electrical box, and the other three, I assume, go the adjacent room and bathroom.  I also discovered that the box is not connected to a joist.  Only a metal bracket between the two joists.  
So, I guess I have multiple questions...
There are a black and white wires that seem obvious that they are the power and neutral wires, but they are already *pigtailed? Is this the correct term?  Is it ok to connect to these?   There is also a cluster of at least 4 black and even a red wire connected together, that I'm guessing is the grounds?  I don't know how I would connect new ground wire to these ?   
Also, I know I need to add support to the box but not sure which way to go about it?  Should I nail a 2x4 perpendicular and screw to box from side?  Should I do it on both sides so fan will not shake?
Thank you for your help


Connect the white wire from the fan to the white wire in the box. Connect the black and any blue or striped wires to the black wire in the box.  I would not worry what is already up there.  It is hard to second guess what the electrician did.

Black and red are hot wires.  The ground is the metal cover of the cable.  That was OK at the time your house was built.  

They make special fan boxes.  However, you would have to take the old box out and rewire everything.  That might be a little over your head right now.  Adding extra support would help.  If it is a heavy fan, like the Original Hunter, you definitely would need a fan box.  You can probably get by with just adding a stud if the fan is not heavy.
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Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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