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Circuit Breaker Trips In Home Wiring


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

I would disconnect the ceiling fan from the black wire, cap the black wire, reset the circuit breaker and turn the wall switch on again. If the circuit breaker trips off again then…

Electrical Question from RIPAN about Ceiling Fan Wiring

Question: This is new home construction. I am trying to install ceiling fan with light kit. I choose an option of separate switch for light and fan in my bedroom. so there are two hot wires in my outlet box in ceiling.

Total there are four wires in my ceiling outlet box
Black,Red,Light Yellow(Which I assume to be white – for neutral) and Bare copper for Ground. Now I connected following…

Black from Fan – Black of Outlet
Blue from fan(light) – Red of Outlet ( for light -as I have separate switch for fan and light)
White from Fan – Yellow ( may be white ) – for neutral
Green from Fan – Bare copper – Grounding

While I turn switch on for lighting which carries red wire from ceiling outlet box to switch box on wall, it runs good. Now while I try to switch on for fan which carries black wire from ceiling outlet box it trips my circuit box.

I followed all instructions while connecting cables and also I tried to interchange connections from black and red wire and still same results. i.e..

Black from Fan – Red of Outlet
Blue from fan(light) – Black of Outlet
White from Fan – Yellow ( may be white ) – for neutral
Green from Fan – Bare copper – Grounding

Also I am sending picture of my existing connections at ceiling outlet box.

Please help me.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question.
Hi Ripan – I sounds like you have a short in the black switch leg wire.  I would disconnect the ceiling fan from the black wire, cap the black wire, reset the circuit breaker and turn the wall switch on again. If the circuit breaker trips off again then pull out the switch and make sure that nothing is coming into contact with the switch terminal screws, especially a ground wire. Every once and a while when a switch or outlet is wired up and screwed to the junction box the ground wire can make contact with a hot terminal screw of the device which will cause the circuit breaker to trip.

The Following links will assist you with your electrical question:

For more information about Ceiling Fan Wiring
Ceiling Fan Wiring

This link is helpful as a Homeowner
Do-It-Yourself Electrical

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2 Responses to “Circuit Breaker Trips In Home Wiring”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Brian,
    If this is a new installation then I would double check the wiring.
    See How to Test Electrical Wiring, and check the switch wiring, compared to the switch wiring diagrams section.
    If this is an existing unit then I would check the motor paying special attention to the blower where dust can accumulate and cause the motor to spin slower and overheat. Pull out the fan blower assembly unit, clean and lubricate as specified.
    Dave

  2. Brian says:

    Greetings. I’m sort of having the same issue, except my fan/light will work for maybe an hour or two and then it will trip the circuit… Any tips/ideas?