Replacing an old ceiling fan/light

wonderingwhyMarch 28, 2009

I took down and old ceiling fan/light from my kitchen & put up a new Hunter ceiling fan/light. There are two different swithches one on either side of the kitchen that you can use to turn the light/fan on/off (I believe these are 3way switches). After putting up the new fan whenever we turn on the swith for the ceiling fan/light the circut breaker tripps? There are 2red wires in the ceiling box that are conncected to each other. There is a blk wire & a white wire in the ceiling box connected to each other. Then there is the ground wire, another white wire & another black wire...these are the 3 wires that were connected to the old ceiling fan/light so we connected them all to the new ceiling fan/light in the same way, but the new fan has a new wire (Blk & white)..we tried connecting it to the black wires, to the white wires & then just leaving it disconnected, but still is not working correctly. Also forgot to mention that when the light does turn on there is a few second delay from the time you flip the switch until the light comes on? Any ideas or help would be appreciated!


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The only thing that a 3-way switch adds to the equation is two extra wires called travelers. They simply go from one wall switch to the other and have nothing to do with connecting the fan. That's what the two red wires in your ceiling box likely are.

Modern ceiling fans have three wires -- hot, neutral, and ground. If the fan has a light or a light kit can be added they will have a second hot wire (often black-white but it can be another color such as blue) so that the fan motor can be switched (from the wall) independently from the light. If you're only going to use just one wall switch, then the two hot wires of the fan (black and black-white) are connected to the hot wire serving the fan. Then you'd just control the fan speed and light from the fan's pull chains.

So in your case you'd connect black and black-white wires of the fan to the black wire (hot) in the ceiling box, then white to white (neutral), and ground to ground.

It's possible the fan is defective or when you connected the black-white wire to the neutral you damaged the circuity. Make up one connection at a time and see if you can fan motor and light to work independently. Make sure your connections are tight, sometimes in can be hard to get the stranded wire of the fan to twist well with the solid wire of the building.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 6:37AM
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Did the fan come with directions? It should tell you what to do with the black/white wire.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 5:31PM
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Mike pretty much summed it up. When I install a ceiling I try and connect the fan motor to a constant hot, because we leave the fan on most of the time.( we use the pull chain for the fan motor ) We than us the switch to turn the light off/on when coming & going. Just another way to insatll them if you have constant hot in the j/box.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 3:02PM
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How about going the other way? We are removing a ceiling fan that has a constant hot to go with a regular light fixture. What do we do with the extra contstant hot? The light has three wires (hot, neutral, ground) and the box has two white, two black and two grounds. We can get the light to come on and stay on but we can't get it to work with the switch.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 9:41PM
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