05:06AM | 11/18/06
Member Since: 11/17/06
3 lifetime posts
trying to install a ceiling fan in my daughter's bedroom. The harbour breeze ceiling fan has three wires (black, white, and blue) plus green ground wire. The ceiling has three wires (copper, white, and grey) how should i connect the wires?


05:19AM | 11/18/06
Member Since: 06/20/05
53 lifetime posts
Not sure what you are talking about here regarding the existing ceiling wires. When you say these colors are you talking about the wire itself or the insulation? Normally you would need a 3-conductor plus ground cable up to the fan location. The insulation colors of the wall wiring would typically be:

- Black - Hot, power is on this at all times

- White - Neutral

- Red or some other color - Hot, but power is only on when the light switch on the wall is turned on.

- Uninsulated copper - Ground

In your fan, you probably have

- Black - Power to the fan

- White - Neutral for the fan and light

- Blue - Power to the light

- Some kind of green or uninsulated copper wire - Ground

It sounds like you don't have 3-conductor wire coming to the fan thru the wall, but only 2-conductor (ground doesn't count as a conductor). That would be typical if what was up there before was simply a light fixture, or if the builder wired it for a light but not specifically for a ceiling fan.

This also brings up an important non-electrical question - whether the ceiling box will support the fan. If there was just a light fixture and/or the room was not wired by the builder to take a ceiling fan, there will probably be a box up there that won't support a fan. On the other hand, if your builder installed a rough-in for a ceiling fan, then the box will support the fan. Be very sure about this before you mount the fan - it is VERY IMPORTANT to use a ceiling fan mounting box. Otherwise, the heavy and moving ceiling fan could eventually rip the box right out of the ceiling, and the fan could fall on somebody. If you've ever imagined a world war II plane's propeller cutting somebody in half, you get the picture.


05:33AM | 11/18/06
Member Since: 11/17/06
3 lifetime posts
Yes, i am talking about the wires the copper wire is unisulated and it is coming from the ceiling along with the grey insulated wire and the white insulated wire.


06:09AM | 11/18/06
Member Since: 06/20/05
53 lifetime posts
That means that with your current wiring, you can't have separate switching from the wall of the fan's light vs. the fan itself. This means that you would wire the fan's blue and black together and connect to the black in the wall, and it means the wall switch will turn on both the light and fan at the same time. Probably not what you want. However, what you can do is go to an electrical supply or local Orange Box store and buying a remotely controlled light/fan switch. It's a small device you stuff up inside the ceiling fan mount. It's pretty tight up there, but it should fit. You almost certainly want the fan to be controlled separately from the light, and I doubt you want to use the hanging chains to turn them on and off.

Furthermore, if there's only 14/2 (two conductor plus ground, 14 guage) cable coming to the location, I'd seriously question whether there's a box installed in the ceiling that is capable of holding up the weight of a ceiling fan. I'd think if a builder would put a ceiling fan-capable box in, they'd also put in 14/3 wiring. Don't take a short-cut here - you don't want that fan falling down and hurting or killing your daughter. If you have attic access from above, you can install a so-called "new work" fan box that gets nailed to the ceiling joists. If you don't have attic access, never fear - you can buy an "old work" ceiling fan box for about $20 that has a clever expandable device that clamps the box into the joists. But please don't take a short cut here - your daughter's life isn't worth it.


06:33AM | 11/18/06
Member Since: 11/17/06
3 lifetime posts
thanks 4 the info
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