I’m in a 1950 home with all kinds of weird wiring. I went to replace a bathroom light with an exhaust fan w/light. The power line in the attic came into the ceiling light junction box and then continued into another hall light (no switch) and from there into a bedroom and living room wall sockets. There’s a switch for the old bathroom ceiling light that tied into the junction box above the old bathroom light. Old stuff. Pulled it open and have the power line (black and white wires) the black and white wires that continue to the hallway and beyond and the black and white wires for the switch. I’m at a loss on how to connect the fan into the unpowered wall switch, the incoming power line, and the continuing power line without problems. Fan & light has blk/wt/green for the fan and brown & blue for the light. Limited access to everything, especially that hallway light that is tied into the continuing power line without losing something down the line. I’m sure there’s some basic wiring involved but this doesn’t seem to be. Any suggestions?

2 Answers 2


Without putting new wires/cables in your switch will only work the fan and light together, both on or both off.

The black from power is connected to the white from the switch, marked on both ends with black or red(tape/paint/ink), and connected to the other blacks. Wire nuts come in different sizes for the amount of wires. 1950s would the wires are probably 14 gauge, but would need a wire gauge or label on the wire/cable to be sure.

The black from the switch is connected to the black of the fan, and probably brown of the light.

The white and blue of the fan/light are connected to the other whites.

All grounds are connected together plus with the box.

If you have a multi-meter, can check which of the brown, blue wires is attached to the centre post of the light to make sure, which one should be connected to power.


Agree with Crip659. This is what's known as a switch loop, and was common during the 40's thru the 60's. The light/fan will get it's neutral from the white wire of the power line coming in, as well as the additional load lines feeding the other rooms. The switch doesn't need a neutral so you just send the power down the white wire,and bring it back up to the junction box via the black wire.

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