I am replacing a ceiling fan in a house we just bought. The current box for the fan has 3 sets of wires coming into it, one for the switch and 2 for the outlets. However, the ground wires are were pushed outside the box immediately after where the wire sheathing ends and I assumed they were tied somewhere on top of the box. The old fan didn’t work when we got the house and when I took it down, the grounding wires weren’t connected to anything.

My question is how would I attach the ground wire for the new fan? Would I need to or would the box itself be grounded already and the fan safe to use? I’m attaching some pictures and can try to take better ones in the morning if needed. It would be extremely difficult to get into the crawl space to even see what is up there. Any help is greatly appreciated.enter image description here

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Here is a better picture of inside the box. You can also see the ground wires which I pulled down slightly to get a better view of them

  • Can you provide us with a better view of the inside of the box please? May 19, 2021 at 4:18
  • 1
    That looks like a fiber box, I would probably be more concerned with having a box that was listed for fan support. There is probably a crimp ferrule attaching the wires together there would be no reason to take the grounds back out of the box.
    – Ed Beal
    May 19, 2021 at 12:17
  • Added another picture
    – Tony6363
    May 19, 2021 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


If I understand correctly, based on your recent update, you have access to all of the ground wires. As you said, they were not attached to anything and you were able to pull them back into the box.

You should pigtail the fan into the current grounding path. This can be accomplished by taking a short piece of bare copper (of same gauge as current ground wires) and tie it together with the other grounds using a wire nut.

Should your fan be grounded? Yes, ground it. There is a bigger problem here though. If the grounding wires in your current cables are not connected, then you do not have ground downstream.

As EdBeal pointed out in the comments, this box is not rated for a ceiling fan and cannot provide the support that a fan requires. It should be replaced as well.

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