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Was expecting to find just 3 simple wires (b, w, g) and be able to hook up this ceiling fan quite easily but found this when taking out the old fan...3 sets of wires, #1 with 2 black and 1 white, #2 with 2 white, and #3 with 1 black. How would I go about wiring this to the new ceiling fan? Thanks!

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The 2 black + 1 white is your always-hot bundle. You won't use it (unless you want to power the fan 24x7 and use a remote on it).

The 2 white is the neutral bundle. Your fan will need that.

The loose black is the switched-hot from the switch. (it is the partner wire to the oddball white from above). This is the switched-hot for the fan.

The switch is a switch loop, meaning power comes to the fan (and also goes onward to serve other things)... and the switch merely gets always-hot and switched-hot. It was legal to wire switches that way as recently as 2011. The white could be a real source of confusion, since it's not a neutral, so two special rules apply: #1 the always-hot wire must be white (to make it more obvious that it's not a neutral to people probing it with voltage testers), and #2 the white wire must be marked with black tape or paint to indicate it's a hot.

Without that marking, which was overlooked in your box, it is impossible to distinguish a switch loop from other wires. So it is most important you don't allow the 2 black + 1 white to become separated/confused. It is common for important information like this to only exist in wire position. This is why I own 10 colors of tape.

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    yes, now would be a good time to mark that white wire with a black paint marker or some black tape. if you're also replacing the fan control do it there too. – Jasen Jul 28 at 6:03
  • So if the fan I bought has 2 ground (green), 1 blue + 1 black, and 1 white wire, how would I go about connecting the wires via nuts, to the mentioned 2 bundles and switch? Thanks again! – Russell Lubinski Jul 28 at 12:51
  • Is is no longer legal to run a switch loop (with no neutral)? If not, I'm assuming there's now a requirement that the circuit neutral has to be present in every junction box. – Jonathon Reinhart Jul 28 at 17:07
  • @JonathonReinhart That would be relevant if he was wiring a switch loop. He's installing a fan. The switch loop wiring is "grandfathered", the mere fact that Code changes does not oblige you to retrofit everything that was installed before. – Harper Jul 28 at 17:14
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    @JonathonReinhart In the US the NEC rule change was 2011, see article 404.2(C). – J... Jul 28 at 23:01

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