The Gang Box How I wired it There was a ceiling fan hanging and now there isn't and I need to install a plain flush mounted light.

Here's what I have: octogon box that has 4 wires coming into it, 3 of 4 wires have a black and white wire, the 4th wire has 2 sets of black and white wires.

It looks like all the grounds have been tied together. However, I tested the ground and the system is not grounded.

This is an older home. Any how. I have no idea how to wire this thing. Here's what I've figured out: one set is input power, one set of wires goes to a switch on the wall (presumably for the fixture that will be hanging), another set goes to the overhead range above the stove, I believe another set goes to the chandelier in the room because I disconnected all the wires and the chandelier no longer came on and there was some continuity there, the fifth set I have no idea what it goes to.

Here's what I did: wire nutted all the blacks together and then all the whites and kept that unknown pair wire butted together. Also connected the light fixture black and whites to the other black and whites. Turned back on the breaker. Light comes on when the switch is off, flip the switch to the on position and breaker trips.

I uninstalled the light, breaker still trips when the switch is flipped. And that's where I'm currently at. What's the 5th set of wires for?! Is that why the breaker is tripping when that one switch is flipped? The chandelier light switch works just fine and so does the stove range light. Just the one switch for that actual fixture is causing problems. I have no idea how this should be wired. Help! Please.

To Recap: 4 cables coming into box: 2 wires from switch (black and white) 2 wires from range above stove (black and white) 2 wires to ???? (black and white) 2 wires tied to other lighting circuitry in same space(black and white) SAME CABLE 2 wires power in (black and white) SAME CABLE) Ungrounded System

  • It's quite possible the ??? cable is a second switch-loop so the fan and light can be switched separately. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Dec 5 '16 at 17:03
  • With the arrangement shown in your diagram, the switch, when on, shorts hot to neutral, tripping the breaker. Also, connecting mysterious whites and blacks together is a recipe for tripping breakers (or worse, much worse) – RedGrittyBrick Jan 4 '17 at 10:43

Leave the ? wires unconnected. Take the white wire from the switch off and tag it with black electrical tape -- it goes to the black wire from the light fixture. Connect the white wire from the light fixture where the white wire from the switch once went. Enjoy your new light!


Connect the wires that were going to the ceiling fan to the light fixture. Now you have the switch across the supply if turned on it should trip the breaker. To correct the wiring with the power off. Remove the white white going to the switch at the wire nut. Now remove the black wire going from the wirenut to the chandelier at the wire nut. Connect the black and white wires together and mark the white wire with black tape. (A color other than white or green. Black and red are most common for switch loops). If the new fixture will not light with the power restored the switch may need to be replaced because of the current connections.

  • The chandelier wiring that is written there is wiring that goes to a chandelier in the same space. Without that wiring being connected somehow the chandelier will not work. I have no idea what wires were going to the fan originally. I'm going to try and draw out what the answer above suggested and post that. – Andrea Latrece Gaines Dec 4 '16 at 18:26

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