Wiring for a Ceiling Fan/Light

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Old 06-20-11, 01:58 PM
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Wiring for a Ceiling Fan/Light

I am a complete novice in the world of wiring and I am attempting to install a ceiling fan with a light. The directions for the light state that the wires I should find from the ceiling should be white, black, and green. Instead what I find are white, orange, and yellow. The fan itself has four wires: white, black, black/white, and green.

I am confident that the white to white connection is proper. I am also comfortable that I should not be concerned with the absence of a green wire from the ceiling as the wires are run through conduit. It is my understanding that the presence of the metal conduit pipe obviates the need for a ground wire.

What I don't understand is how to connect the yellow and orange wires.

To add another wrinkle, the fan that I am replacing was connected by the previous homeowner. The reason it is being replaced is that the wires to the light bulbs have been charred and spark and smoke when moved. Those symptoms lead me to believe that the way it was wired previously was wrong/dangerous. The previous homeowner had joined the orange and yellow ceiling wires together. Out of this junction she had a blue and a black wire going to the fan. This didn't seem right to me.

Could anybody offer me any advice as to how to proceed. Any help is appreciated.
 
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Old 06-20-11, 02:25 PM
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Are there two switches? Pull the switch or switches. If there are two switches I'm almost sure you will find orange on one and yellow on the other. If only one switch either the orange or yellow may be capped off. Also there should be at least two white wires connected together in the box. There is also ptobably a black connected to the switch/switches. Post back the details so we can help you.
 
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Old 06-20-11, 06:32 PM
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I pulled the switch. The yellow and orange wires are both connected to the same post on the top right of the switch. The only other connection is a black wire to the bottom of the switch.

I am also pasting the directions that came with the fan for further clarification of what I am working with. Again...thanks for the help.

All wiring must be in accordance with national and local electrical
codes and ANSI/NFPA 70. If you are unfamiliar with wiring, use a
qualified electrician.
Wall switches are not included. Select an acceptable general-use switch
in accordance with national and local electrical codes.
4-1. Before attempting installation, make sure the power is still off.
4-2. To connect the wires, hold the bare metal leads together and place
a wire connector over them, then twist clockwise until tight. For
all these connections use the wire connectors provided.
4-3. Connect the bare or green ground wire (grounding) from the
ceiling to the green ground wire (grounding) from the ceiling plate
and the green ground wire (grounding) from the fan.
4-4. Connect the white wire (grounded) from the ceiling to the white
wire (grounded) from the fan.
4-5. Connect the remaining wires as follows:
Dual Switch Wiring:
The black wire (ungrounded) from the ceiling to the black wire
(ungrounded) from the fan
The black/white wire (ungrounded) from the fan to the wire
(ungrounded) for the wall switch
Single Switch Wiring:
The black wire (ungrounded) from the ceiling to the black
(ungrounded) and the black/white wire (ungrounded) from
the fan
 
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Old 06-20-11, 07:15 PM
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Assuming there are two white wires connected together at the switch here is one way to wire it.

At the switch disconnect the orange wire and cap it. It is not needed. Leave the yellow wire connected.

At the fan cap the orange wire. It is not used.

Fan black and blue wire nutted to the yellow.

Fan white to ceiling box white.

Fan ground to metal box.

If you wanted to use a separate switches for the fan and light you would use a duplex switch and connect the orange for just the light.

Tech note: The instructions are written assuming cable wire colors. Conduit colors except for neutral and ground can be almost anything except white, green, and gray. White and gray are reserved for neutral and green or bare for ground.
 
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Old 06-21-11, 07:05 AM
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Great. Thanks for the help. I just wanted to clarify a couple of things.

First, I assume when you mention the black and blue wire, you are speaking of the black and white wire.

Second, Can you explain why the orange wire would have been there in the first place? I am replacing a fan with a light that was run off of that switch. Would there ever have been a purpose for two wires coming off of the same post of a switch?

Thanks again.
 
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Old 06-21-11, 08:04 AM
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First, I assume when you mention the black and blue wire, you are speaking of the black and white wire.
No. A fan with a light has three wires plus ground. The white serves as neutral for both the fan and light. The black is hot for the fan. The blue is the hot for the light. Occasionally red or a striped wire is used instead of blue but that is rare.

From my previous post:
If you wanted to use a separate switches for the fan and light you would use a duplex switch and connect the orange for just the light
This is very common when fan use is anticipated.
 
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