Replacement Ceiling Fan Wiring Configurations
How to Fix Ceiling Fan Wiring Problems: Common Problems with Ceiling Fan Wiring and How to Fix Them, Identify the Ceiling Fan Wires for the Right Connections, Wires for Ceiling Fan Light Fixtures, Wiring Connections that Cause a Tripped Circuit Breaker.© By: Dave Rongey
Guide to Wiring Connections when Replacing a Ceiling Fan
Electrical Question: I replaced a ceiling fan and when I turned it on the light worked but when I pulled the chain for the fan the circuit breaker tripped off.
- I just installed a ceiling fan with a light to replace a similar unit.
- There were 3 wires coming from the ceiling that are white, green and black, and the same 3 colors coming from the fan.
- I connected all like colored wires together, and screwed in the motor. Then, I connected 2 more sets of wires, this time, the wires ended in plastic blocks that were supposed to connect to each other.
- All seemed to go well. The light turned on immediately, but when I pulled the chain for the fan, there was a small spark from the fan and the breaker was tripped.
- The light continues to work, but nothing from the fan, but consequently, one of our 3 outlets on the same circuit no longer works as well.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
This electrical wiring question came from: Megan, a Homeowner from Brooklyn, New York.
Thanks for your electrical repair question Megan.
How to Fix Ceiling Fan Wiring Problems
Application: Wiring a Ceiling Fan.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced, Best performed by a Licensed Electrician or Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a non-aluminum ladder and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and access to the switched outlet wiring and the location for the replacement ceiling fan.
Precaution: Identify the ceiling fan and outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring
Common Problems with Ceiling Fan Wiring and How to Fix Them
- Identify the Ceiling Fan Wires for the Right Connections
- Megan, the two wires that you mention as supposed to be connected to each other may be the problem.
- The last wire connections should be taken apart until you can identify the wires as described in the installation manual that came with the ceiling fan.
- Wires for Ceiling Fan Light Fixtures
- Some ceiling fans come with pre-wired connections for an optional light kit which may not be installed from the factory.
- The wiring for the optional light fixture should be capped off and not connected.
- If desired, a compatible light fixture may be added to the ceiling fan and wired to the provided wires.
- Wiring Connections that Cause a Tripped Circuit Breaker
- Connecting a Power wire and a Neutral wire together will cause a direct short.
- If this is the case with your ceiling fan then connecting the last two wires together may have cause a direct short which would cause the circuit breaker to trip off.
- Separate the two wires and cap them off with a wire connector.
More about Wiring a Ceiling Fan
- Wiring ceiling fans
How to Install and Wire Ceiling Fans
Take the mystery out of ceiling fan wiring. Ceiling Fans are a great way to lower your energy bill and brighten up one of your favorite rooms.
- The most commonly asked questions about installing Ceiling Fans, controls, light ceiling fan fixtures and other ceiling fan wiring questions and answers.
Installing a Ceiling Fan
Ceiling Fan Installation
- This series of photos show the electric wire to ceiling fan box, preparing to mount the ceiling fan box,wire into the ceiling fan box through a wire bushing, attaching the ground wire, mounting the cradle bracket, the ceiling fan wires are connected, close the canopy, attach the fan blades and wiring a double stack switch,installing double stack switch, and explain how to connect the ceiling fan wiring blue wire.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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