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Old 05-22-2012, 08:25 AM   #1
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Melted Wire Behind a Ceiling Fan


I was replacing a ceiling fan and when I removed the old one, I found some melted wires. There were three white wires from the house going into one white wire from the old fan connected by a wire nut. The melting is not TOO bad (but enough to worry me about potential fire hazzard later on) and is located about 1 inch or so up from the nut. Do I just cut away the bad part of the wire and press on or is this an electrician job? Thanks.

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Old 05-22-2012, 08:32 AM   #2
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Melted Wire Behind a Ceiling Fan


was the wire nut melted as well? Where the wires twisted together under the nut? That might suggest the nut was loose and the wires were arcing. I always twist wires before the wire nut, then cut twist back to 1/2" or so, then make sure the wire nut is snug plus a 1/2 turn.

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Old 05-22-2012, 08:42 AM   #3
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Melted Wire Behind a Ceiling Fan


The wire nut was not melted and the three wires were twisted together. The melted parts of the wires were where the twists were and where the wires touched each other.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:33 AM   #4
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Melted Wire Behind a Ceiling Fan


Well it could be a few things. You are wise to giving this some thought.

Since it is white wires and three of them it suggests there are other parts of the circuit downstream from this. One incoming white for power source, one to the fixture, and the last to then next device downstream.

So possibilities:

1) It was a problem from before and was fixed with last fixture install (explain why wire nut is fine and yet wires melted) since they maybe used a new wire nut and made it tight.
2) The load downstream from this box is possibly quite high coupled with a less than strong wire nut job could be elevated connection temperature. Maybe investigate what is downstream. In any event the branch circuit protection (15A breaker?) should be fine for 14AWG wire so regardless of a heavy load the wiring should be fine. Again points to wire nut tightness.
3) Was the motor running hot and conducting the heat to the box via the metal stem/bracket it hangs from? Seems unlikely but if the fan was ceiling mounted maybe little air movement in this area?
4) Was there a speed control module inside the box to allow speed adjustment of the lights/fan. That would throw off heat.
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