I removed an old ceiling fan and I am replacing it with a new one. My home was built in the 60s and I'm installing so it works off one switch.

After the removing the old fan the ceiling revealed two wires, red and white. The ceiling fan has four wires, black, white, blue and green. From research I found that the red wire in the ceiling should connect to the black and blue from the ceiling fan. The white ceiling wire to the white on ceiling fan. It is still unclear as to what do I do with the green?

The mounting fixture has a green wire on it, which is affixed by a screw to the ceiling mount and the other side of the green wire per product instructions is to connect to the green coming up from the ceiling fan. Do I leave it as is and connect the loose ends and be done with it or am I supposed to unscrew the ground wire from the mounting fixture and screw it into the outlet box in the ceiling? If I have to screw it into the outlet box how do I know where to put it?

If you could confirm my thoughts and provide direction on the ground wire I would appreciate it. Thanks.

  • Is the box metal or plastic? If metal, do you see a bare copper wire screwed to the back of the box? If plastic, is there a bare copper wire screwed to a metal plate in the box? – diceless Aug 10 '14 at 4:48
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    A picture of the box here would be useful. – The Evil Greebo Aug 10 '14 at 12:37
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    It will really only be relevant if the box itself is grounded, and that is hit or miss for a house built in the 60s. – Comintern Aug 10 '14 at 15:53

The green wire is a ground wire. The purpose of it is to cause the breaker to trip or the fuse to blow if a short circuit develops. The majority of the time you can just hook up the white (neutral) and black or blue wires and never have any problem.

HOWEVER! If a short circuit does develop you may burn the place down!

If you have a metal box connected to metal clad flexible conduit or EMT you should be able to screw a #10 screw into the box and fasten a green wire to it completing a ground. Whatever you have, there should have been a bare copper wire coming in to the box with the black and blue. Some do it yourselfers figure they aren't important and cut them off.

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