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Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

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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.
 

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Re: Odd 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
 

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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?
 

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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?
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Home stretch?

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.(?)
 

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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.
 

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Are your wires in a metallic pipe into the box? If so you have conduit that would serve as your ground.
 
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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
 
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