I recently did a full home remodel as a result of a major insurance loss. we decided to upgrade and had the contractor install 4 LED recessed lights in the bedrooms where there was previously only one flush mount ceiling light.

I now want to add a ceiling fan (without light kit) in the place where the old ceiling light was. I was happy to find that the box is rated for a ceiling fan. However, I'm having trouble understanding the wiring and how I would connect the new fan, using the switch on the wall to control (the rocker switch currently controls nothing). The green ground runs through the knockout into the conduit and it feels connected when I tug on it. Maybe the electrician used the wires in this box to install the recessed lights?

How would I wire in a ceiling fan in this setup?

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  • Did you take pictures when you removed the old fixture? The new one should go in the same way... I am guessung you are looking at a switch loop setup with orange used for that loop, but to confirm that requires some testing an probably examining the connections at the switch box.
    – keshlam
    Dec 2, 2022 at 1:45
  • Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the previous wiring
    – Jdv590
    Dec 2, 2022 at 2:27
  • 2
    @Jdv590 -- can you get us pictures of the inside of the switch box (without disconnecting any wires) please? Dec 2, 2022 at 4:25
  • @keshlam, I'd guess the original wiring was removed as part of the major renovation that (it sounds like) was done by a contractor, therefore our OP wouldn't have had the opportunity to take any pics.
    – FreeMan
    Dec 2, 2022 at 13:27
  • 1
    @FreeMan thanks for the tip. I’m new here. So I’ll make sure to do that going forward!
    – Jdv590
    Dec 6, 2022 at 3:17

1 Answer 1


You appear to have wires in conduit. You'll need to do some testing to sort this out, though pictures of the switch that now does nothing pulled out from its box but still connected might help speculation. But without testing speculation is as good as it gets, here. Verify before proceeding.

My current speculation is that your switch has two orange wires connected to it, and a white (neutral, since this is a conduit install) probably capped off. One orange brings constant-hot from the yellow, and the other brings back switched hot. The fan connects between the lone orange (fan black) and the pair of whites (which, again, we know are neutrals if this is a code-compliant competent conduit installation, where white or grey wires must be neutrals, unlike with cables.)

However, it's also possible that some other arrangement is in force, such as the orange being switched with the room lights, and (being conduit) you may end up pulling additional wires. But my speculation is that since you have a switch, the electricians made it useful, even though it's presently not doing anything, so it should switch a wire here, if that's true.

  • Thank you for your comment. I’ve added additional close up photos of the ceiling box and inside the wall switch in case that helps form a more concrete answer. Thank you!! share.icloud.com/photos/02e6Ekb8HHVGz0RJLXUBNCW3w
    – Jdv590
    Dec 2, 2022 at 19:06
  • OK, looks like one orange is the rocker switch switched hot (presumbly the disconnected one) and one orange is the dimmer switch switched hot, presumably for the lights For fan purposes, no change - white to the whites, black to the isolated orange.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 2, 2022 at 22:09
  • You’re awesome. Thank you. Last question. What about the ground wire? It is running out of ceiling box through the knockout and it seems connected when I tug on it. What would I connect the fan ground wire to?
    – Jdv590
    Dec 2, 2022 at 23:05
  • You're in metallic conduit. The conduit is the ground. The box is grounded. you connect your ground wire to the box grounding screw, or you connect a pigtail to the box grounding screw and connect your ground wire and the other grounding wire to the pigtail.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 2, 2022 at 23:08

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