I'm trying to install a ceiling fan in my new construction home.

The fan's instructions call for 3 grounding wires (green, green/yellow stripe, or bare copper) to connect to the hanging bracket, 1 ungrounded wire (black), 1 grounded wire (white) and optionally a second ungrounded wire if I have a dual switch (I don't think I do?)

In my junction box provided by my builder, I've got 3 red, 3 gray, 1 purple, and 1 yellow.

Can someone help explain what my wires are and optionally how they should be used while wiring my fan?

Edit: I live in Chicago if that helps.

  • The house box makes absolutely NO sense. Are you in Chicago? Those colors are not typical and leads me to believe you have conduit and they used some unconventional colors. Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 19:49
  • Yes, I'm in Chicago. Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 19:55
  • Then there is NO way to tell unless you open the switch boxes and see what wires were used for what. You don't know if you have "dual switches"?? Are there two switches on the wall for this one fixture outlet? Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 19:57
  • I have a dual switch but one of the switches activates a light elsewhere. I'd like to repurpose that switch at a later date, but first things first: the switch that I think works with the fan has two reds plugged in on top and a yellow on the bottom. Commented Sep 27, 2015 at 20:12
  • If you have two switches, one that controls the fan, and one that controls the light on the fan. Then you have "dual switches".
    – Tester101
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


I was able to get a hold of the electrician who built my house. He said that in Chicago, they use steel for grounding throughout so there is no grounding wire. He said the yellow and purple wires hook up to my switches (though the purple is just hanging loose in my switch box). The grey is neutral and the red is always on (if I wanted to not use the switch and only use the pull strings).


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