Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-09-2013, 02:47 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Unusual wiring?


I am trying to replace my ceiling fan and I've run into unusual wiring. The previous fan was connected to the orange wire and the white wires coming out of my ceiling fixture. I don't know in what order things were connected since the connections popped apart as I pulled the old unit down enough to see them. When I cleaned things out and looked up into the fixture I found a grouping of 3 blue wires with the three ends clamped together and capped off that were pushed up into the fixture and had apparently not been used. So, what I have to work with coming from my ceiling is:
1 orange wire, 1 white wire, and 3 blue wires, (There are NO black wires) to connect to the white(neutral), black(live) and green(ground) wires from the fan.
My house was built in 1949 if that helps at all. Any ideas?

hathey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 03:20 AM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Western Washington, U.S.A.
Posts: 194
Rewards Points: 154
Default

Unusual wiring?


Blue wire is commonly used for 3-way switches and similar applications when several wires are run through conduit. Also, if you have metal conduit it's possible that it is being used as a ground path. (Hence no bare or green wire).
I would suspect the orange wire is actually red and is hot.
If you have a multimeter and know how to use it then you should check. If you can't check or don't know how then its probably better to call a pro than to just guess.
Wire colors are supposed to follow some basic rules, but they often don't. It's always good practice to check rather than to just trust the color.

Also, ceiling fans sometimes have multiple hot wires going to them because they have lights that are separate from the fan motor and controlled by their own switches. Just a guess, but the blue bundle could be left over from an old fan/light combo.


Last edited by dftc; 07-09-2013 at 03:33 AM.
dftc is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to dftc For This Useful Post:
hathey (07-09-2013)
Old 07-09-2013, 04:17 AM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Unusual wiring?


So then, assuming white from the ceiling connected to white from the fan and orange from the ceiling connected to black from the fan (yes I'll check with the multimeter) what should I connect the ground (green from the fan) to? Thanks again
hathey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 06:07 AM   #4
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,695
Rewards Points: 2,188
Default

Unusual wiring?


Ground is reserved to green, green with yellow stripe or bare. If you have metallic wiring methods the sheath MAY be serving as ground.

The blue may be a group of constant hots. The orange may be a switched hot. Is there an orange on the wall switch?
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Unusual wiring?


O.k. So the blue wire and the orange wire are both connected to the wall switch now I just need to know what to connect the green ground wire from the fan to since there is no ground wire coming from (or in) the ceiling fixture?
hathey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 02:15 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Posts: 260
Rewards Points: 186
Default

Unusual wiring?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hathey View Post
O.k. So the blue wire and the orange wire are both connected to the wall switch now I just need to know what to connect the green ground wire from the fan to since there is no ground wire coming from (or in) the ceiling fixture?
If the ceiling box is grounded, you can use a ground screw to attach the fan ground.
sgip2000 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 02:18 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Western Washington, U.S.A.
Posts: 194
Rewards Points: 154
Default

Unusual wiring?


If you have metal conduit or armored cable AND the metal sheathing is being used as ground then you could attach the green ground wire to the metal box that the cable/conduit comes into.

Most boxes have a threaded hole for this purpose. The hole may or may not have a green screw in it already that you can use to attach your ground wire.

That's only if you are sure the box is grounded. Sometimes the grounding path in conduit or type-AC gets broken during remodels by people who don't know what they are doing so you should be sure the box is actually grounded first.

It also used to be common to wrap bare grounds around the box or to clip them on in a place that might not be obvious. Look for a grounding wire wrapped through a hole in the back of the box or clipped to an edge.
dftc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 06:02 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Unusual wiring?


Ok,I think We're at the point I can either do this thing or I have to call a pro. Thanks for all the help so far. So i examined the box and I could find no bare (or green, or any other color) wires or screws anywhere in or around the box. Just the bare box attached to the end of the conduit. So, how do I check the box itself to see if its grounded? The other thing that I've been trying to figure out is how the ground was hooked up with the old fan!? The blue wires (as well as the box itself) were bundled up and capped off behind the old mounting plate so the ground was either attached to the white wire, the orange wire, or nothing.(?)
hathey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2013, 06:04 PM   #9
Sparky
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 701
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Unusual wiring?


most likely either nothing, or it was wrapped around a mounting screw for the plate
Techy is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Techy For This Useful Post:
hathey (07-10-2013)
Old 07-09-2013, 06:18 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Western Washington, U.S.A.
Posts: 194
Rewards Points: 154
Default

Unusual wiring?


Using your multimeter, you should have around 120 volts between hot and ground. If you have the power off you should have close to zero ohms between ground and neutral.
dftc is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to dftc For This Useful Post:
hathey (07-10-2013)
Old 07-09-2013, 06:58 PM   #11
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,695
Rewards Points: 2,188
Default

Unusual wiring?


Are your wires in a metallic pipe into the box? If so you have conduit that would serve as your ground.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Jim Port For This Useful Post:
hathey (07-10-2013)
Old 07-10-2013, 12:14 AM   #12
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Unusual wiring?


If you do live in Chicago they will have pretty much standardized the colour format for the conduit useage.

Typically Black et red et bleu is used for power.

White is used for netural.

While Orange or Yellow is switched power.

Brown is useally resvered for traveller ( some case purple )

I know the Purple is typically used for GFCI circuit with grey conductor for GFCI netural ( it will be simauir arrangement for AFCI if they have it )

There may some modifactions on colour codes over the years sometime they will subuiste the color for other purpose.

Merci,
Marc
__________________
The answer will be based on NEC ( National Electrical code ) or CEC ( Cananda Electrical code ) or ECF ( Electrique Code France )
frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to frenchelectrican For This Useful Post:
hathey (07-10-2013)
Old 07-10-2013, 03:50 PM   #13
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Unusual wiring?


Thank you all

hathey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
wire colors, wire type


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help with wiring issues on a newly purchased house ThatGuy Electrical 13 01-17-2012 10:51 AM
Attic wiring - ceiling lighting uses 14/2 cable without ground darlingm Electrical 3 11-29-2011 09:01 AM
Backyard wiring questions MikeInDetroit Electrical 1 11-02-2011 09:46 AM
Cloth Wiring - Replace? JessicaGus Electrical 9 09-23-2009 06:45 PM
Knob & Tube wiring - How concerned should we be? hotdiggitydog Electrical 6 04-11-2006 07:52 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.