57 votes

Why has my 10 year old ceiling fan suddenly started shocking me through the fan pull chain?

DANGER!!! This sounds like a ground fault. They are particularly dangerous if you get wet, which is why Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters have been required for many years in kitchens and bathrooms, ...
18 votes

Spark and pop when installing light switch

It happens to the best. When squishing the wires back there is litle control how they bend. The pesky naked Ground bend so that it touched one of the Hot wires. You do need someone to open and take ...
  • 4,151
17 votes

Why has my 10 year old ceiling fan suddenly started shocking me through the fan pull chain?

Your pull chain switch is probably starting to fail. The switch and chain wouldn't be grounded because it in a plastic housing so if the switch contacts are leaking over to the chain, that's where ...
  • 60.4k
13 votes
Accepted

Mount ceiling fan without electrical box

Electrical boxes serve several functions. They protect wiring where insulation has been removed. They prevent inadvertent contact with exposed components. They contain sparks when the worst occurs. ...
  • 109k
12 votes

How to hang a ceiling fan in a metal gazebo

I would drill suitable sized holes and fit 4 or even 6 rivnuts in M6 or M8 size. Rivnuts are easily found and once the hole is drilled, you nut them up and they collapse on the far side like a rivet. ...
  • 22.3k
11 votes
Accepted

Is it OK to use 12-3 awg to wire a ceiling fan and light?

There's no problem at all with what you've done. In fact, that's the way it's supposed to be done. If you were to use two /2 cables, you'd either be paralleling the neutral (310.4), and/or not ...
  • 129k
11 votes
Accepted

Can I mount 3 blades on a 5 blade ceiling fan?

No, it will not be OK. A fan blade system is meant to be balanced. Even when all of the original equipment blades are in place, minor imbalances can occur and need to be corrected with weights from a ...
  • 33.2k
11 votes
Accepted

How to hang a ceiling fan box in gazebo with no parallel joists?

A lot of this comes down to aesthetics and practicality, so you will probably get lots of right answers. Here's my take: I would run your short piece of 2x4 level at the peak alongside 2 of the ...
  • 4,847
11 votes
Accepted

Can I Swap Ceiling Fan and Light Wires?

Yes, you can do that and it will swap the power to the light and fan. Just remember to turn off the power at the breaker before doing any work.
  • 60.4k
9 votes

Spark and pop when installing light switch

Would turn the power off to that switch and recheck for any other damage. The ground wire with the notch should be replaced. Should not use damaged wires. They can break or have higher resistance(...
  • 11.1k
9 votes

Found a surprise wiring

Grouped from top to bottom in the photo you have: 2 Green from fan with 1 slightly paint-covered Bare from box (ground) 1 White from fan with 1 slightly paint-covered White from box (neutral) 1 Blue ...
  • 2,550
8 votes
Accepted

How can I verify that my ceiling fan is properly grounded

Do you have a multi-meter and an extension cord? If you do plug the cord into any outlet then drag it over to the fan and measure between the fan case and a ground pin on the cord... It should read ...
  • 1,342
8 votes
Accepted

Is this ceiling fan going to fall and cut off my head?

Is this ceiling fan going to fall? There is nothing in the photo that tells me a fall is about to happen, but the installation looks poor, and I think you need to get under that cover. Will it cut ...
8 votes
Accepted

New ceiling fan with internal aluminum wiring and leads. Is it still safe?

First of all, Aluminum wiring is not unsafe in and of itself. When properly installed it's just as safe as any other kind of wiring. Its poor reputation comes from improperly connecting it to ...
  • 21k
7 votes

Why has my ceiling fan's speed become slower?

Late response, but posting this for people that happen to google the problem... was probably a bad fan motor capacitor. You can find a replacement for a few bucks on amazon.
  • 71
7 votes

How can I replace a recessed light with a ceiling fan?

That is a recessed light. That flex whip goes to a junction box mounted on the frame of the light. You need to remove the whole light, after removing the circuit cable from the junction box. DO NOT ...
  • 16.1k
7 votes
Accepted

How to verify electrical box is secured strong enough for 16# ceiling fan?

Okay, stop. The 10-32 screw requirement is for the lower screws which attach the fan to the box, not the upper screws which attach the box to the wood. You can see the holes that the 10-32 screws ...
7 votes

How to hang a ceiling fan box in gazebo with no parallel joists?

Return that bracket and get a box only (no metal bar) rated for a fan. Run a length of 2x4 or 2x6 horizontally across from one rafter to the opposite one. Mount the box on the underside of this 2x. It ...
  • 19.7k
7 votes

Can I Swap Ceiling Fan and Light Wires?

That should be fine. The only question is how many neutral (white) wires are connected and if two, are they connected to separate wires to the fan. If there are two and they connect separately, you ...
  • 9,262
7 votes
Accepted

Ceiling fan speed also controls light current - wired wrong?

You'll have to remove the canopy at the ceiling and locate the receiver up there. There's usually a diagram on it that shows how it should be wired. The diagram will look something like the one shown ...
  • 60.4k
7 votes
Accepted

Light turns on with no hot wires, but has hot wires after turning light switch off

Using a non-contact tester (that I verified works with other wires/outlets in the house), I find no hot wires when the light switch is on (and the lights/fan are on) but when I turn the light switch ...
6 votes
Accepted

How do I re-wire a ceiling-fan to reverse its direction?

With another clockwise fan from the same maker, I was able to reverse the direction by interchanging the yellow and black wires as some answers here indicated. The explanation as I understood is that ...
6 votes

Should I put a dimmer switch on a ceiling fan?

Use a fan control (dimmer designed specifically for fans) on the power supply to the fan. Common AC electric motors have a high low impedance on starting because velocity is 0, This draws a large ...
6 votes

How do I determine whether the existing fixture can support a ceiling fan?

You'll have to look at the inside of the box where the light is mounted. It should have printing inside it - although at the age of the house, it may not. Boxes that can support ceiling fans will be ...
  • 516
6 votes

Installing new ceiling fan. Don't think there is a white (neutral) wire

It sounds like whoever installed it, used the neutral as a hot and the ground as a neutral. Likely they wanted to control the fan and light separately, but only had two conductor cable between the ...
  • 129k
6 votes
Accepted

Help wiring Bathroom fan

Connect the black wire from the ceiling, to the black and blue wires from the fan/light. Connect the white wire from the ceiling, to the white/black and white/blue wires from the fan/light unit. ...
  • 129k
6 votes

Do I have to wrap electrical connections with electrical tape?

As long as the twist-on wire connectors (colloquially known as "wire nuts", though that's a trademark) were the right size, attached firmly, and left no un-insulated wire exposed, electrical tape over ...
  • 16k
6 votes

Can you hang a heavy punching bag where a ceiling fan mount is?

Ceiling fan boxes only have to support 35 lbs. ceiling fans (according to NEC), unless they are designed to support more. In which case they will be marked with the amount they can support, up to the ...
  • 129k
6 votes

Is there a reason I should NOT install a ceiling fan in my kitchen?

It can be done, but the fan blades will need cleaned more often from any smoke/oil/residue from cooking in the kitchen as compared to elsewhere in the house. That may result in increased wear and ...

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