I pulled the old ceiling down and found it had the green wire hooked up to the bare wire, white with white, but black was connected to a cut red wire.

Am I not supposed to connect the new fans black wire with anything? Do I only connect white with white and green with bare?

ceiling fan mount showing very short red wire

  • Need to connect to black or red wire(both colours are used for hot/power markings). Picture of the controling switch showing how the wires are connected will help(edit into question). Wires should be six inches so you can work with them, might be able to pull some more cable down.
    – crip659
    Apr 13 at 10:41
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    And you pulled the old fan down because it didn't work, perhaps? It was not connected to power...
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 13 at 11:32
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    This is a good reason to take pictures before removing wiring. Of course, that can be difficult, balanced on top of a ladder and holding a ceiling fan, but that's what helpers (and a 2nd ladder) are for.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 13 at 11:39

1 Answer 1


The red should be the same length as white and ground, someone goofed.

Imagine they used a 12/3 cable instead of just a 12/2(black, white, plus ground), because it was handy.

Red should be switched hot and you connect the fan black to it.

You really should try to get more length from the cable, but if you can't you are allowed to wire nut a six inch piece of same gauge wire to the red to connect to the fan black. Will need to strip 1/2 inch of the wire covering, which probably will be a pain to do.

  • In order to make it easier to strip back some of the insulation from the red wire, you could take down the black fan mounting bracket - that will give you room to get your hands and tools in there. Depending on the mount for the new fan, that may have to come off anyway.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 13 at 11:38

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