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Smoke, sparks and pops from ceiling fan - need assistance on proper wiring

Smoke, sparks and pops from ceiling fan - need assistance on proper wiring

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  #1  
Old 07-13-11, 05:21 AM
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Smoke, sparks and pops from ceiling fan - need assistance on proper wiring

Hi there..

I installed a harbor breeze springfiled fan about 1.5 years ago..thought i did it right but things always seems amiss

Wall switch was a GE speed control unit and the "dimmer" on it controlled motor and light speed/brightness and it made a loud hum at low speeds until it was turned up a bit..

Anyways 2 weeks ago out of nowhere with just the fan running and lights off got some popping noises, a little smoke and a little shooting blue flame out of the fan..was quite a way to wake up..

I don't want to write the fan off just yet - it seems fine upon taking it down and looking at it.

Pretty sure that either the speed control should not have been used with the motor and/or it was miswired in the ceiling..

I don't hve pics of how it was wired..not enough arms/hands to take a pic when i was taking it down.

But you can see in the pic here that something was def wrong..got some partially fried wire housings..if you cant make out the pic there's 3 wider guage house wires in the box with a smaller guage white and black wire attached to the center house and the right house wire.

Already bought a simple on off switch and want to try rewiring for switch = light turn on / off and chain for the motor..

Can you please tell me what you think might have gone wrong and what would be the correct way to go about wiring in the fashion i just mentioned? I know this is bordering on "get an electrician you dummy" but i really do think there was a basic improper setup that be quickly fixed.

Thanks!

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  #2  
Old 07-13-11, 05:50 AM
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Tell us the wiring at the switch.
 
  #3  
Old 07-13-11, 03:33 PM
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Also, before reinstalling the fan, install a fan rated box. This one looks to be held up via a narrow spanner bar between joists, and may not be fan rated.
 
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Old 07-16-11, 11:39 AM
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Hi there,

just knocking this out today. Ok so:

Outlet just has 2 wires, both black and i cant seem to find a ground. i have a new single pol switch im going to install. Both black outlet wires are reading as hot. Does it magtter which one goes to the top or bottom screw on the new switch?

I bought a rated ceiling fan box for the ceiling just in case the exsisting wasnt...is there a proper way to diagnose if the exsisting is or is not rated. I think my tester is indicating there might be some current going through the box itself due to poor wiring up there maybe..

As for the wiring up there it looks like i have 3 total feeds coming into the box: 2 of them (each with 2 sets of wires, both black and white i believe) are defintately older and a thicker gauge and don't look to be in the best of shape, and also one pair of newer, skinnier gauge...it seems as though all 3 pairs are connected or looped together somehow.

Should i take off the box anyways for inspection and then i'll be able to take and provide a better picture or the setup or do you think you have enough info? Thanks!
 
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Old 07-16-11, 09:50 PM
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didn't see any white or ground wires in switch box..totally pulled it out too..

here a diagram of the situation in my ceiling box. I know I tied the fan into the uncapped whire at location C but dont remember what i did with the fan's black and blue..when i took it off i didnt have enough slack to leave wires in tact.

Seeking to have wall switch turn on/off light only and have pull chain operate fan.

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Old 07-16-11, 10:22 PM
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Is this cable or conduit? Can you post pictures of the wiring? I ask because you say two black wires at the switch but if it is cable there should be white wires also.
 
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