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Old 10-12-2008, 06:08 PM   #1
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ceiling fan wiring help


I'm replacing an old ceiling fan/light with a new one. It is connected to two three-way switches that operate both fan and light. I'd like it to remain that way. But I can't figure out how to wire it correctly.


from the box I have BLACK, WHITE, RED, COPPER
from the fan I have BLACK (fan), BLUE (light), WHITE, GREEN

Besides green to copper, what should the connections be? The manual I have makes no mention of the RED wire from my box. Thank you!

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Old 10-12-2008, 07:24 PM   #2
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ceiling fan wiring help


Are there other wires in the light box that are connected or is it just a single black, red, white and bare? If that is the case, you should get a test light or meter and find out which wire, black or red, becomes hot when the switches are flipped.

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Old 10-13-2008, 11:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picsaro View Post
I'm replacing an old ceiling fan/light with a new one. It is connected to two three-way switches that operate both fan and light. I'd like it to remain that way. But I can't figure out how to wire it correctly.


from the box I have BLACK, WHITE, RED, COPPER
from the fan I have BLACK (fan), BLUE (light), WHITE, GREEN

Besides green to copper, what should the connections be? The manual I have makes no mention of the RED wire from my box. Thank you!
Fan:
Blue - Light
Black- Fan
White - Neutral
Green - Ground

Box:
Black or Red (hot) for light or fan. Connect and interchange if required.
Connect White to White
Connect Bare to Green
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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ceiling fan wiring help


So I attached black to black and blue to red- the fan did not work.
Then i reversed the connections and the fan worked- but I just hooked up the light and that does not work.
any ideas?
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:25 PM   #5
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ceiling fan wiring help


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Originally Posted by picsaro View Post
So I attached black to black and blue to red- the fan did not work.
Then i reversed the connections and the fan worked- but I just hooked up the light and that does not work.
any ideas?
Since the fan worked you must have the light wired incorrectly.
Make sure the light is wired (blue to light black) and (white to light white) in the light connection box.

Last edited by J. V.; 10-18-2008 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:15 PM   #6
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ceiling fan wiring help


or perhaps its possible the red wire is my hot, and both light and fan wires need to be connected to that? Then that leaves me with a black wire that is connected to nothing, though.
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:30 PM   #7
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You can pull the switches out and see how they are wired. Typically from the switch, black will control the fan and red the lights, but it can be the other way around. If the lights have a pull switch, is it on??
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:04 PM   #8
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pull switches are on.
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Old 10-18-2008, 05:26 PM   #9
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If the power enters the switch box, use a meter at the ceiling. With the switches off, black to white, and red to white should both show zero volts. Flipping each switch individually should put 120V on either black or red. That will verify that the switches are working and hooked up independently. If that checks out, then the problem lies within the fan/light unit.
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Old 10-18-2008, 06:14 PM   #10
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Some fans are wired to have a switch for the fan and one for the lights. This way you can separate control from the wall. In the past I have had to rewire the fan to make this happen.

Here is my guess. The red and black are both hot and if you wire them together to the hot from your switches that will probably make both work.

Since this could also fry your fan in case I am wrong you do this on your own.

A way to test this would be to use a continuity meter and put one lead on the red and one on a light socket (with no power to the unit of course) and see of you have a circuit. Make sure to switch the pull chains to make sure it is in the on position.
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Old 10-18-2008, 06:21 PM   #11
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ceiling fan wiring help


Marvin - All the fans I have ever seen have a black wire for the fan, and a blue wire for the light; no red from the fan.

If you have a black and red wire in the ceiling box coming from the switch box, i'd check to see that turning on each switch corresponds with a red or black wire in the light box. Once you have verified power on each wire in the light box, connect them to the fan accordingly (black to black, red to blue). If the fan works and the light doesn't, check the pull chain, or remove the light fixture and check the wiring inside the fixture on the fan. It could be just a loose wire in the housing; you could also disconnect and remove the pull-chain if you want too.
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Old 10-18-2008, 06:41 PM   #12
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Marvin - All the fans I have ever seen have a black wire for the fan, and a blue wire for the light; no red from the fan.
I must have misunderstood his situation.

The blue and black are both hot. They should be wired together and connected to the black incoming. It has been a year since I wired in my last fan but now that I remember there is two wires in there.
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Old 10-18-2008, 08:36 PM   #13
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I'm confused here.
What do your 3-way switches look like? Are they dual controls, one for fan, other for light, or just regular switches?
If they are regular switches, could it be possible that a 3-wire cable was used to the light box where only a 2-wire is needed, thus one wire (the black) is dead?

If that is the case, then you would connect both the black and blue from the fan to the red wire in the box, and the white to the white, green to copper. Leave the black unterminated with a wirenut on the end.

If you are unsure, pull the switches out (shut off power first) and check the wiring. One way to wire a 3-way switch is to have power coming into one switch, a 3-wire cable between switches (2 travelers, one neutral), and power to the light leaving the second switch. In this circuit, the cable to the light would only need to be 2-wire + ground. Maybe when the house was wired, they used 3-wire cable here, thus you would have one extra wire.
You can easily tell if you open one switch, and see that there is one wire (probably a black) that isn't connected to anything.

I know this sounds a bit confusing, but I or someone else could post a diagram.
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by picsaro View Post
or perhaps its possible the red wire is my hot, and both light and fan wires need to be connected to that? Then that leaves me with a black wire that is connected to nothing, though.
Yep....cap off the black.

There is only a 3 wire with ground entering your ceiling fan box so it is the incoming switched power. Since it can only becoming from one of the three ways either the black or red or both black and red would be switched hots. You said the light worked when connected to red but fan did not work when connected to black. Sooooo red is your switched hot.. black is unused and not connected in the switch box. There would be no point in having two switched hots to one ceiling fan from one 3 way switch. The 3 wire cable might have been ran thinking you would want two switches someday at the switch box so you could have individual control of fan and light instead of using the pull strings. You could do this if the 3 way that has the 3 wire to the ceiling fan in the box also has the incoming power. You would need to add a single pole switch along with the 3 way which might be easily done it the box is a double gang with single gang cover.


Last edited by Stubbie; 10-18-2008 at 11:01 PM.
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