Tripping Breaker for a Ceiling Fan and Light
Billy in Virginia asks: I have a problem with a light circuit where I removed an old light fixture and hung a ceiling fan and wired it into the existing setup then powered the circuit and hit the wall switch to check functions and the breaker tripped.
Ceiling Fan Wiring
Electrical Question: I removed an old light fixture and hung a ceiling fan and wired it into the existing setup then powered the circuit and hit the wall switch to check functions and the breaker tripped.
I have a problem circuit that was wired dirty by the builder. I am confident that the idea was to wire 5 lights in parallel to operate independently with their own switch and as such they did. The problem came up when I decided to replace the mid 70’s dished square ceiling light in the kitchen with a lighted ceiling fan. I removed the original light and found five white and five black and grounds plus the ones from the ceiling light in the box for that light. All white is twisted into a red wire nut and all black matched and the grounds are tied into the box shell.
After I removed the old light fixture I hung the ceiling fan body from its hook to the box and wired it into the existing setup then powered the circuit and hit the wall switch to check functions and the breaker tripped. I’ve been through this 5 times, each time checking how I wired it up, replacing the wall switch, testing with a separate light and still no luck. I know that how this was originally wired up was legal at the time though it was a convenient short cut to save time and money, it’s causing me a headache trying to figure it out.
This electrical wiring question came from Billy, a Homeowner in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Billy.
How to Fix a Tripping Breaker for a Ceiling Fan and Light
Application: Tripping Breaker Problem for a Ceiling Fan Light.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor, or a Certified Electrician.
Electrical Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, and appropriate Safety Gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with tools, install electrical circuit wiring, and the available access to the project area.
Electrical Safety: Identify the electrical power source to the Ceiling Fan Light, turn it OFF and Tag with a Note before working with the electrical wiring.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for the Ceiling Fan Light should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing or changing home electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes as adopted in Virginia Beach, Virginia. A permit and inspections may also be required.
See more about Home Wiring for Virginia
Ceiling Fan Tripping a Breaker
This electrical wiring project is about Tripping Breaker for a Ceiling Fan and Light in the Kitchen of a Duplex.
Ceiling Fan Wiring Problem
- Billy, From what you have described, and if the wiring is the same as before, then it is possible that there is either a pinched wire or a mounting screw has penetrated the insulation of a wire and is creating a direct short.
- One way to check this is to disconnect and remove the ceiling fan, and then see if the circuit breaker trips off when the wall switch is operated.
- If the breaker does not trip off then be sure the wiring is not being damaged when the ceiling fan is installed.
- If the circuit breaker does trip then there is a problem with the way the wiring is configured.RESOURCES:
Here are some Specific Resources that will help with a Ceiling Fan Problem :How To Solve Ceiling Fan Wiring Problems
How Can I Fix a Wiring Problem with my Ceiling Fan and Switches? How to Identify Ceiling Fan and Light Switch Wiring Problems, Troubleshoot and Repair Ceiling Fan and Switch Wiring.
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.
Help with Ceiling Fan Wiring
How to Install and Make the Electrical Wiring Connections for Ceiling Fans and Switches
How Can I Discover What is Tripping Off my Circuit Breaker?
How can I find out what is tripping a circuit breaker? How to Identify an Electrical Problem and Circuit Failure.
More about Wiring a Ceiling Fan and Light
How to Install 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.
How to Install Ceiling Fans and Wiring
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
Kitchen Electrical Wiring
Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Kitchen Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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