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Old 03-17-2011, 02:36 PM   #1
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Need Help Replacing Ceiling Fan Switch


Last night I started to smell that awful burning smell that alerts you to an electrical problem. When I realized it was the ceiling fan switch I turned it off. It was very hot and I'd say not far from starting a fire. When I pulled the switch this morning one side of it had begun to melt down and one of the wire caps was melted, too.
Bought a replacement switch today and I have a few questions to be sure I am wiring it correctly. Not at all astute when it comes to these things, I figure where better to come for the answer than here.
This is a dual switch that controls both the fan and the light. The old switch has three wires: yellow, red, and black. There is no green ground wire. The new switch does have a green ground wire.
Coming out of the wall is a red wire, and two black wires. The box appears to be plastic.
First question: what do I do with the green wire?
Second question: the old switch was connected as such: yellow wire from the switch was connected to the red wire from the wall; the red wire from the switch was connected to one of the black wires; and the black wire from the switch was connected to the other black wire from the wall.
Do I just repeat that setup with the new switch?
Thank you!
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
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Need Help Replacing Ceiling Fan Switch


First of all there should be some "ground" (bare copper wire) in the box, or the box itself. From the color of the wires you mention I will assume that it is wired with Romex, not thinwall conduit.
One of the black wires should be the "hot" coming into the box. The red wire is normally the "light" lead to the fan. the other black should be the "motor" lead to the fan.
There should also be a pair of white wires in the box connected to each other. And if it's Romex a bare copper "ground" wire. The green wire from the switch is connected to this.

OK...the black wire that was connected to the black wire of the old switch should be the hot wire. The other black wire should be the motor lead. The red would be the light lead.
If there's any doubt you should have a little "tester" to see which one is the "hot" wire. This has to be tested with the power on. Mark it and turn power off and install switch.

Sorry this is so long but want to be sure you understand and be safe.

House Doc
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:53 PM   #3
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Need Help Replacing Ceiling Fan Switch


Got it. Working fine now. Thank you.
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