Need help wiring a ceiling fan


  #1  
Old 08-22-04, 05:08 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Question Need help wiring a ceiling fan

Hello, I am in the process of replacing an older ceiling fan and have run into a problem with the wiring. I am a novice, so I thought I would ask for help instead of electrocuting myself. The ceiling box has 2 gray wires, 2 white wires, and 1 copper ground wire. My new Harbor Breeze fan "Model 5183" has 1 black wire, 1 white wire, 1 blue wire, and the green ground wire. If it helps, the home was built in 1984. Any suggestions as to which wires to connect would be much appreciated. Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 08-22-04, 07:12 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
First, I must assume that the gray wires aren't really gray, but somewhat faded black wires. Code assigns specific meaning to gray wires, and this can't be it.

The presense of two black wires and two white wires in the box might mean a few different things. Most of the time, it means a switch loop. Try looking at the wiring in the switch box. If there is one black wire and one white wire, both connected to the switch, then this confirms the switch loop.

The next thing to think about is how the old fan was connected. Do you remember, or were you in such a hurry to get rid of it that you took it down without recording the connections? If the latter, this makes your job a lot tougher. Not impossible, but more difficult. It would help if you had some sort of circuit tester, either a voltmeter or one of those two buck neon circuit testers.

Then please tell me what "a problem" might mean. Let me guess. Was the fan on even when the switch was off, and the circuit breaker blew when you turned the switch on?
 
  #3  
Old 08-22-04, 07:49 PM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the reply. "A problem" means that when I looked at the wires and saw 2 blacks and 2 whites, I knew that this was not like any that I had seen before, so I did nothing except get online and try to figure it out. I haven't tried connecting any wires yet. I looked at the switchbox on the wall as you suggested, and you are correct, there is 1 white and 1 black. I assume that this means this is a switch loop, unfortunately I don't really know what that means. Again, I am just a novice. I am still unsure about which wires to connect where. Any suggestions will be much appreciated. Thanks!!
 
  #4  
Old 08-23-04, 06:43 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
You didn't say whether or not the old fan is still there, and/or whether or not you know how it was connected.

I hope the old fan is still connected. That will make things easier. Please specify your current situation. If the fan is still connected, please identify the connections.

The next point is how you want it to work. Does this fan have a light kit? Do you want the wall switch to work only the light, or both the light and the fan? If you choose the former, then the fan is controlled exclusively with pull chains.

We're almost there.
 
  #5  
Old 08-23-04, 08:32 AM
T
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 8
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Hey John! Thanks again for the reply. Unfortunately the old fan has already been removed and the connections were not noted. If it helps at all, the old fan had a light and it had 2 black wires, 1 white wire, and a ground wire.

The new fan does have a light and according to the manufacturer's instructions it has 1 black wire which is hot power for fan, 1 blue wire which is hot power for optional light kit, 1 white wire which is common for fan and light kit, and 1 green wire for the ground.

The ceiling box has 2 black wires, 2 white wires, and 1 copper ground wire. I know that the green fan wire will connect to the copper ground wire, but after that I'm really unsure about the other connections. As far as set up, it would be preferable if the wall switch operated only the light and the fan was operated by the pull cord, but it's not a big issue. Thanks for your help!
 
  #6  
Old 08-23-04, 08:56 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Here's how:
  • Connect the power cable black to the switch cable white and the fan black.
  • Connect the power cable white to the fan white.
  • Connect the switch cable black to the fan blue.
The problem, you might say, is that you don't know which cable is the power cable and which cable is the switch cable. It is not acceptable to guess. The best way to tell is to spend two bucks on a neon circuit tester. Separate all wires in the ceiling box, turn on the breaker, and test each black/white pair with the tester. The one that lights your light is the power cable and the other is the switch cable.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: