Short in ceiling fan - is this a safe DIY fix?


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Old 08-05-15, 06:57 AM
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Short in ceiling fan - is this a safe DIY fix?

Last night my stepson was trying to secure his wobbly ceiling fan, and said it sparked and the power went out in his room. He woke me to ask what happened, and I checked the fuse, which sure enough blew. When I tried to turn it back on, the fuse sparked and wouldn't allow me to switch back on. So I'm assuming him fiddling with the fan loosened a wire that needs to be tightened and caused a short (the same thing happened to his brother last year, I guess their father didn't install their fans properly - but his grandpa fixed that one).

I'm kinda iffy and nervous when it comes to electrical stuff, but if the breaker is off, wouldn't I be able to look around safely and reconnect the wire without electrocuting myself? I also have one of these little pocket voltage detectors.
 
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Old 08-05-15, 07:06 AM
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You should be able to find the short. Since the breaker is off, there is no current, in the ceiling. Hopefully, you can loosen the canopy & get to the wires without disassembling the entire fixture. You should see a black wire connected to another black & blue wire. One of those 3 is touching a ground or a neutral.
 
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Old 08-05-15, 07:28 AM
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Awesome, thanks. I would think they're capped so they're not touching anything else but maybe not.
 
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Old 08-05-15, 07:38 AM
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The wire could have been pinched when your step son worked on it. It doesn't have to touch at the end.
 
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Old 08-06-15, 08:13 AM
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Turns out whoever installed the fan cut part of the metal ring in the ceiling where the wires came out, but never smoothed the cut area. So the wobbling of the fan caused that cut metal part to act as a saw and I guess it sawed through the cloth insulation (this house has OLD wiring) and exposed one of the wires. I smoothed out that part and taped the edges to be safe, and wrapped the wire in electrical tape really good. All is well now. Thanks again!
 
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Old 08-06-15, 08:56 AM
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Or not. Is the ceiling box fan rated? I doubt it given the age of the wiring.
 
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Old 08-06-15, 02:33 PM
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Rated? What is that? All I know is that the fans are a few years old.
 
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Old 08-06-15, 03:29 PM
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Most ceiling boxes are not fan rated. If it doesn't say fan rated it probably isn't. If it is just a set of ears for the fixture screws it isn't fan rated. If it uses 8-32 fixture screws it isn't fan rated.

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