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A ceiling fan box hanging from the wire about to be attached to the bracket inside of the ceiling

Install a Ceiling Fan Using Old Wiring

Dear Mr. Electrician: How do I install a ceiling fan using old wiring to replace a light fixture in a house that was built in the 1970's?  The fan would be mounted onto an existing ceiling light fixture box on the first floor. Answer: To install a ceiling fan using old wiring it will most likely be necessary to remove the old ceiling light electrical box as it is not approved for ceiling fan support.  NOTE: Some text links below go to applicable products on Amazon or EBay. Before working on the existing old wiring shut off the circuit breaker for this particular lighting circuit. Start the removal process by disconnecting and separating the wires and identifying them with colored tape or numbers.  This will help when you put them back together. My Ceiling Fan Wiring Diagrams post will be helpful for you with trying to decipher the existing wiring. REMOVE OLD ELECTRICAL BOX FOR CEILING FAN Loosen the screw for the wire clamp or unscrew the locknut on the cable connector.  Remove the center screw(s) that holds the box to the support brace and carefully pull the box down while removing the wire from the box.  Do not cut or damage the wires. Removing the old ceiling box support bracket that is inside the ceiling can be difficult.  I usually just use my 24" bolt cutter's to cut it in half.  Then I swing the cut pieces forth and back to see if they loosen from the ceiling.  Most of the time they are nailed in and the longer the nail, the more difficulty there is in removing the bracket. I have some mini pry bars for just such an occasion.  I can get a short pry bar up in the ceiling and reach over and get it behind the nailed-in bracket and give it a few tugs to get it loose enough for removal.  Persistence is the key.  If you get frustrated with the old box removal, take a short break and then get right back at it. CLICK HERE to See all of the Ceiling Fans That Amazon Sells Once the old box and support has been removed you are free to install a new ceiling fan brace and fan rated box as per article 314.27(2)(C) in the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70).  Also read article 422.18.  The new ceiling fan braces are relatively easy to install.   The ends of the brace are made in such a way that they will position the box at the correct height as they rest on top of the drywall ceiling. Just line the brace up with the center of the hole and tighten it according to the manufacturers instructions.  The fan brace will expand as you turn it and will bite into the joists.  The brace should be straight and level as it goes from joist to joist and should be centered on the existing hole in the ceiling. Confirm that the fan brace is solid by giving it a strong tug.  Bring the wire into the fan box using a...