Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


06:57PM | 06/02/06
Member Since: 06/01/06
1 lifetime posts
My girlfriend and I replaced a ceiling fan today. I've done this once before and everything went fine. The fan is operated by a remote. From the outlet box was a black,white and blue wire. We connected all the wires and weren't sure what to do with the blue wire and unfortunately didn't bother to note what was connected on the previous fan. So, we went ahead and connected the blue wire to the green ground wire. We turned the power on and blew the fuse. So, we detached the blue wire and just put a cap on it. The fan works now, however the light switch to the fan no longer does. Additionally in the same electric switchbox the switch to the kitchen light no longer works. On the other side of the room there is another switchbox that turns on a living room fan and the kitchen light. Neither of these switches work anymore. Again, the fan works whether the switch is set to on or off. I'm terribly worried and have removed the fuses. I called an electrician convinced that my house was going to start on fire and needless to say he was less then polite or interested in helping me.

Please. Did I ruin all the wiring? Do I need to connect the blue wire somewhere else?

I appreciate any assistance.

Thank you,


doug seibert

05:08AM | 06/03/06
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
Welcome to the forum.........unfortunately you've learned the hard way that you just can't "wing-it" with electicity.....

As Norm says....."read.....understand......and follow the instructions........"

GREEN is ALWAYS a grounding connection......It is NEVER connected to any other wire except another grounding wire such as a Green/Yellow or Bare copper............

The presence of the Blue wire in the box indicates that your wiring is probably in conduit.......(is this Chicago area or possibly a commercial property/renting ?)......If you OWN the house/property you are allowed to DIY.......Otherwise call a Professional !!!!!!!!!

The Blue wire is a current carrying conductor and by connecting it to the ground wire you've created a dead short.......The result (as indicated by the non-working devices) is that SOMEWHERE within that circuit two or more wires have "burnt"........Troubleshooting this can be a long process.....usually more than we can provide here online without considerable more information........

If you're determined to DIY here's a couple hints........

Work safely.......always shut OFF the Circuit Breaker or Fuse before trying any repair....

Since you haven't "changed" any of the wiring in the walls......BY carefully opening and inspecting the switches you MAY find the cause of the fault to the other rooms.......The repair MAY be as simple as re-stripping the wires and correctly reattaching themn exactly where they were/belong....

Since the fan is always ON using the Black Know the circuit has power.....Try testing the Blue wire to see if that is the "Switched" feed to the fan......

IF you have metal conduit and metal boxes then the (green) Grounding connection is made to the Green 10-32 screw in the bottom of the box.....

Purchase a copy of Wiring excellent primer on understanding "how-to-wire"

Get some type of voltage tester or analog VOM and learn to use it before attempting additional projects.......

AND REMEMBER......if you're in over your head......get a qualified professional to make the repairs........Good Luck

"...measure once.....cut twice....throw that one away and cut a new one...."


08:29AM | 06/12/06
Member Since: 06/20/05
53 lifetime posts
My hearty agreement to the advice to go out right now and buy Wiring Simplified. It will tell you what you need to do this job and a hundred others. It's available, among other places, at Home Depot or For more information on the book, please see the review I (Gary Bisaga) wrote on - it's the second "Spotlight Review."


02:47AM | 07/14/06
Member Since: 07/10/06
2 lifetime posts
You can purchase a continuity tester very in expensive, Power must be off or you will destroy your tester. This will help lead you to your wires origin. I hope it helps I know, See electricity is scary ha?



09:51AM | 07/19/06
Member Since: 07/18/06
9 lifetime posts
I've hung many a fan - domestic and foreign mfgr. The blue wire that COMES FROM THE FAN'S collection of wires has always bee a hot lead to the LIGHTS - only. If you don't have a light, the blue wire will have a wire nut on it where it comes out into the 'cup' under the fan (Cup - the metal portion that you'd attach a light kit to.

If there was a blue wire on the control module that went into the switch box on the wall, you failed to read the diagram/instructions and hooked it up to a wrong wire?!

If you had a #12 or 14 supply/feed wire already in the switch box, this could indicate a 3 way or 4 way switch set-up and you need an experienced electrician to find what melted [somewhere].


09:53AM | 07/19/06
Member Since: 07/18/06
9 lifetime posts
I left out that if you had a #12 or #14 BLUE wire as a supply, this would indicated multiple control points

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