I have a new ceiling fan. I removed the old light fixture. The ceiling fan suggests connecting black wire to black, blue to blue, white to white, green to green. Makes sense. When I removed my ceiling light, there are two black wires and two white (The light had a thin copper wire attached to a screw - I assume that was the ground). Can you please help me figure out which wire is which?

  • You're not only going to have to worry about how to wire the fan, but also if the box in the ceiling can physically support a fan.
    – Tester101
    Jun 8, 2015 at 14:20
  • How was the old fixture wired? Diagrams and/or photos would be helpful.
    – Tester101
    Jun 8, 2015 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


Two part answer:

The North American wiring coloring standard is black for hot and white for neutral. But unless you've performed the wiring installation yourself, you can never assume black is hot. You should obtain a house wiring tester and test which wire is hot and which is neutral. Consult your fan instructions and connect the hot wire to the hot wire and neutral wire to neutral wire (assuming end or parallel installation).

For the weight of the fan itself, it is best to determine if the ceiling box (if you have one) is attached to a structural member of the ceiling with a lag bolt. If it isn't, consider adding a new ceiling fan box that would attached to a structural member. You would have to patch some drywall but it's safer than having the fan fall down at an unexpected time.

  • You don't necessarily have to patch drywall. They make braces which you can slide into the box hole and extend between joists without wrecking drywall.
    – maplemale
    Jun 8, 2015 at 20:24

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