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I am installing a fan where a light fixture use to be. My house is pretty old, built around 1938 and retro fitted. When I went to install the fan I found that there is a red wire which both are live. However on the switch. Both red and black are connected to the switch while being live with it on or off and the neutral(white) are tied off and not connected to the switch. I don't know how to wire up the fan because I don't have two switches which the red wire would go to the other wire so I really don't know what to do. cieling electrical box

switch

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    If the red wire for the light is the same red wire at that switch, then the switch should turn it on and off, not be live all the time. The blacks should be always live, but having the short black from the nut in the ceiling is odd/unneeded for a light.
    – crip659
    Jul 3 at 21:13
  • We had to redo the entire box to hold the fan. So the short nut is just what we put onto it. However I believe that's how it was before but checking it the red/black are always live no matter if the switch is on or off. I'm kind of baffled.
    – coopmaster
    Jul 3 at 21:24
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    Sure you have the right switch? Switch could be busted and is not turning off, but is rare. Are you using a multimeter or just a non contact tester(will read live if a live wire nearby)?
    – crip659
    Jul 3 at 21:29
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    Might be a false positive reading(hope so).
    – crip659
    Jul 3 at 21:38
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    What is up with the cable entries into that box? It looks like they are just all pulled in one hole, and there are no cable clamps. Jul 3 at 23:14

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It looks like the box for the fan needs to be changed out to a fan rated box, but to answer your question the red wire in the ceiling box is your switched conductor, that is where you would wire up the fan. The black in the box is a constant hot that is feeding power else where, probably another outlet or room. Without doing more investigating this is what it appears to be.

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  • That is what it should be, but OP is saying red is always live. Need to see if false positive from non contact tester.
    – crip659
    Jul 3 at 21:36
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    Probably a false reading of the non contact tester, I don’t trust those one bit. They can even pick up induced voltage if he is actually pointing it to the red conductor.
    – D Spear
    Jul 3 at 21:38
  • We changed the electrical box out for one that is fan rated that is in the picture. There is no false positive as I can see very clearly the tester turning off but I have an electrician coming over and will update with the answer.
    – coopmaster
    Jul 4 at 0:44

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