So I am changing out an old fan in my house..

there is NO ground.

There is TWO white wires and then a wire that has some type of black cloth around it tied together with 1 white wire coming out of it.

There is TWO black wires and ONE white wire and ONE wire that has the same black cloth stuff around it all tied together with NO wire coming out of it.

There is a single black wire coming from the electrical box.

When I hit the breaker switch it shut off 3 rooms. Also multiple break switches shut off this room. I’m no electrician but this doesn’t seem safe! Any suggestions?enter image description here

  • to old for me :P
    – knowitall
    Jun 17 at 20:56
  • If the Old fan was running, just connect the new fan the same way.
    – knowitall
    Jun 17 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


The two white wires with the wire coming out is your neutral. The black "cloth" is probably friction tape which was popular way back then. The other bundle is your always hot with the same friction tape. The white wire is more than likely a part of a switch loop. The single black would be your switched hot from the switch. Having no ground isn't a problem since none of the wiring back then had grounds. Unfortunately, you will have to replace that junction box since it won't be rated for a ceiling fan. Even if the box is securely mounted to the joists, the bracket holes in the box for the fan won't be strong enough.

It's not uncommon to have more that one breaker for a room. Way back when, it was normal to have back to back walls on the same breaker instead of separate rooms.

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