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I'm trying to wire a ceiling fan and light. I have 2 wires coming from the ceiling. 1 is a black, white and ground where the black is constant hot. The second wire is a black, white, ground and red and is only hot when I turn the wall switch on. There are 2 wall switches, one for the fan and one for the light but only the one wire (black, white, ground and red). How the neck do I connect it to work? Right now, I capped off the constant black and white wire and hooked up the other, black to black, white to white,, and red to blue and turn the switches on and it doesn't work.....enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

  • How was it wired before? Pictures of the switch box(s) and the ceiling box. It sounds to me that your set (sheathed cable) BWG is your live power from the breaker, and therefore needs to be wired differently to feed power to the switch(s). – Jeff Cates Sep 27 '18 at 1:25
  • Well, I don't remember how it was wired before. It was hooked up to a fan with a remote...... – Jonathan Haga Sep 27 '18 at 2:04
  • So should I connect the constant hot black to the other 2 blacks and the whites together? – Jonathan Haga Sep 27 '18 at 2:06
  • Can you post a picture of the inside of the switch box? – ThreePhaseEel Sep 27 '18 at 2:36
  • The switch on the right controlled the light, the middle controlled the fan, and the left controls an outlet along the wall...... – Jonathan Haga Sep 27 '18 at 2:50
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This deal is sorely in need of some colored electrical tape. Seriously.

There is one /3 cable (black white red) since ground is not counted as a conductor. It is the same cable both in the fan box and the switch box. On this cable:

  • Mark both ends of the white wire with black tape, to designate that it is for "always-hot". Use of the white wire for always-hot is mandatory in this case, but also mandatory is the marking I just described. This is the only mandatory marking; the rest a done for sanity's sake.
  • You see in the switch box where the white wire joins a black and red wire in a wirenut. They are both short pigtails, also mark the red wire with black tape near each end, which will reduce confusion in that box.
  • The red wire exits the cable in the switch box, and hits a wirenut to connect to a red pigtail that goes to a switch. We'll leave that all red.
  • The black wire exits the cable in the switch box, and hits a wirenut to connect to a red (!!!) pigtail that goes to a switch. Annoying! So we will:
  • get blue tape, and on the /3 cable, mark both ends of the black wire with blue tape. Also mark the red pigtail with blue tape.

Ok, now counting the tape color, black = always hot, blue = switch 1, red = switch 2 and white is neutral. This just got a whole lot easier.

Up in the fan box, black gets nutted to black (which is the white wire remarked black, and NOT the black wire remarked blue).

Three wires remain: blue, red and white which is actual neutral. That is what your fan needs.

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