ceiling fan wiring


Old 05-15-01, 07:01 PM
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Hey all.. I've bought a new ceiling fan and am having problems with the wiring. I should have written down how the old one was wired (I'm trying to replace it), but I neglected to do so. Most diagrams are written for 3 wires coming out of the ceiling- but I have 6! it seems that there are 3 cables in the ceiling, and each cable has two wires coming out of it. 1 of these cables is for the switch (which means there are 2 wires for the switch alone). I don't know what the other 4 wires are for. I know that no 2 wires that are coming from the same cable are supposed to be together.. but other than that, I'm clueless as to how to properly wire the fan. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

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Old 05-15-01, 07:52 PM
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Well, you're right about two things: (1) you should have written down how the old one was wired, and (2) one of the cables is probably for the switch.

Because you only mentioned one switch, I'm going to assume the fan has no light, or if it does have a light the same switch turns on both.

I'm also going to assume that the switch controls only the ceiling box and nothing else (not even an outlet).

Stop now if either of the above assumptions is wrong.

So you have three cables. I'm making an educated guess that cable "P" is the incoming power. Cable "S" goes to the switch, and cable "D" carries unswitched downstream power someplace else (perhaps some outlets).

The problem is figuring out which cable is which. That's not trivial. Determining which cable is "P" can be done with a simple voltmeter or neon circuit tester. Determining which cable is "S" is easiest done with an ohmmeter, but can also be done with a voltmeter and a bit of creativity. Once you figure out which cable is "P", then hook Pb (cable P black wire) to one of the other black wires that you are going to assume is "S". If you only get power between Sw and Pw with the switch on, then your assumption is correct.

So now let's assume you've figured out which cable is "P" and which is "S", and thus which is "D" by elimination.

Make the following connections:
(1) Pb to Sw to Db.
(2) Pw to Dw to the white from the fan.
(3) Sb to the black from the fan (and the blue from the fan too if it has a blue wire for a light).

Put bit of black tape on the white insulation near the end of Sw to relabel it as a hot wire.

Post back with further questions and let us know how it comes out. Of course, next time you'll remember to write down how the connections were made before.
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