I purchased a new fan that I am trying to install. However, the wire colors do not match the instructions and I am a bit of a novice. The instructions say to connect - green-->bare/green, - white-->white, and - black and blue -->black.

What I see when I've removed the old fan (I should've paid more attention when removing it, but it was quite difficult) is a clear red wire and a bare? off-white? wire.

There is a thick, thick black wire but it is very different than the others, so I"m not sure it is one I am to connect to. Deep tucked away I think I see a green one, but it obviously wasn't connected to the old fan, so I'm not sure that is one that I need? Could definitely use some help!

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  • 3
    thick, thick black wire ... look again ... it is not one wire
    – jsotola
    Jul 25, 2019 at 22:08
  • I see your point. Still, which should go to the red and which to the black? How do I know which of these is the "live" wire and which is the "ground"? Jul 25, 2019 at 22:43
  • 2
    whoever attached the wires to the switch did absolutely sub-standard work ... the black wire is barely attached ... the red wire is not under the screw as it should be either
    – jsotola
    Jul 26, 2019 at 1:47
  • looks like the red wire is the switched hot ... verify that with a voltmeter ....... the bundle of black wires is most likely always hot .... the white is the neutral .... on the fan, the black and the blue are probably the connections to the motor and to the lights (if you have a light kit installed) ...... you can connect the blue and black to the red wire, that way the fan can be controlled by the wall switch
    – jsotola
    Jul 26, 2019 at 1:56
  • 1
    I suggest picking up a basic house wiring book and giving it a read. There are some fundamentals that would save you smoky outcomes and help interpret wiring going forward. No one should be working on wiring without fundamental knowledge.
    – isherwood
    Jul 26, 2019 at 13:28

1 Answer 1


First off, I'd rework the connections on the switch. They are pulling out of the terminal screws.

  • The red wire appears to be the switched voltage to the fan. It should be connected to the black and blue wires from the fan.
  • The blue wire is for a light fixture should you want to add one later.
  • The white wire from the fan should be connected to the group of white wires.

Find the bare copper wire and connect it to the green wire on the fan. If there is a green wire in there, connect it to the bare copper wire too. Good luck.

  • isherwood, Good job on the edit.
    – JACK
    Jul 26, 2019 at 17:08
  • Thank you this is very helpful. I'll go back up and look for the bare wire and/or the green wire. As for the blue wire for the light fixture - There was a light connected to the old fan in there, so I would think there should be a way to connect this one as well. What should I be looking for? Jul 26, 2019 at 21:52
  • The blue wire will be connected to the red wire along with the black wire. The light fixture can be added after installing the fan and will just plug into the bottom of the fan after removing the cover plate on the fan. The switch will control both the light and the fan along with the pull chain switches on the fan.
    – JACK
    Jul 26, 2019 at 22:06
  • Got it, thank you very much. Very helpful. Just need to find the bare/copper wire for the green wire. Appreciate the help! Jul 26, 2019 at 22:11
  • So I got everything connected. At first it did not seem to be working but I retightened and put better caps on (the one that came with the fan were junk) and now the fan is working, but the light does not seem to be. Any ideas? Right now only Red (from the ceiling) is connected with blue and black (from the fan). Should the Black (from the ceiling) be in there too? It is not currently connected to anything. Jul 28, 2019 at 15:18

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