You are here:

Electrical Wiring in the Home/new ceiling fan install with extra wires in junction box


I have 4 black wires and 4 white wires in ceiling junction box. Discovered by trial and error 2 of each are for wall outlets. I have no control of ceiling junction box with wall switch. I have tried every combination possible. When I hooked the fan motor wire with hot wire it kicks off the breaker.  When I hooked the light with hot wire it kicks off the breaker as well.  Any ideas?  Just moved into house 6 weeks ago.  Thank you.


You should always use the same wires when you replace a fixture or fan.  If there was nothing there, or it is too late, then I will try to help.

With 4 wires, most likely two are to the outlets like you say, one brings the power in, and the 4th wire goes to the switch.  The white wire that goes to the switch is really hot, so it should be connected to a black wire.

If you know which 2 wires go to outlets, then you need only separate the switch wire from the power wire.  You can carefully use a tester to see which wires have power when everything is disconnected.  The remaining wire is the switch.  Put a piece of black tape on the white wire to show it is hot, and connect to the the black wire of the fan.  Then connect the remaining white wires together, including the fan.  Then connect the remaining black wires together.
About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 All rights reserved.