Re: Replacing old ceiling fan w/ light. 7 black wires?
One of the pairs of black/white wires likely goes to the switch. The way you describe what you've done, when you turn on the switch it creates a short circuit causing the breaker to trip.
First, turn off the p0wer at the circuit breaker.
Then, remove the fixture and undo all of the wires, so nothing is connected to anything else.
Turn the switch ON. Using a voltmeter set to "ohms" test each PAIR of black+white wires (you should be able to identify the pairs, as they will likely enter the box together) until you find the pair that reads zero ohms. For an analog meter, the needle will swing all the way to the right.
(With the old cloth-covered wires, it can be tough to tell which is black and which is white, because the color fades until they look about the same. Look closely; you may find subtle differences in color that will help you out. It's a bit odd to have seven wires; perhaps you have knob & tube wiring in which case you have no "pairs.")
Verify that you've identified the correct pair by turning the switch off, then testing again. This time, you should not get an ohm reading; the needle on the meter shouldn't move at all. Mark this pair by wrapping each wire with a piece of black tape.
Now, connect all of the other BLACK wires together along with the black switch wire.
Connect the white wire from the switch to the black wire from the light fixture.
Connect all of the other white wires together along with the white wire from the light fixture.
In this way, the black wires (the "hots") are all tied together, the whites ("neutral") are tied together, and the switch acts like a valve to control the flow of electricity from the hot to the fixture.
Last edited by Fencepost; 02-27-2011 at 06:47 PM.
The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.