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Wiring a fan

qwerty2015

Feb 23, 2015
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I am trying to wire an extractor fan in my kitchen. A "sparky" has come round and blown a fuse. I have 2 red wires tied together and they go in either C, loop or 1, and 2 black wires tied together that also go in either C, loop or 1. Obviously the red and black go into different terminals.
I also have the wires for the fan, 1 brown, 1 blue to go in either the A/P, N or the I terminal.
Please can anyone help me?
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Y2KEDDIE

Sep 23, 2012
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Your description is a little unclear (loops?). Assuming your line voltage is 220VAC, and the wires on the terminal strip are in thie original position (not moved): A/P is the the Hi side of the fan motor, N is the return current conductor, and G is safety ground. Im assuming the fan is the original and 220VAC. If its a 110 V fan and your conecting to 220; that would be the reason for a blown fuse.

Assuming the Brown and Blue ends shown in your photo 3, are the ends of a lenght of cable, (you don't show the other end):

I would try connecting the Blue to the junction of the two black wires, and bug nut.
Connect the Brown to the junction of the two Red wires, and bug nut.


The other end: Connect Blue to AP. Brown to N. ( Fan housing terminal strip)

I'm guessing the red and black are our 220 VAC feeder from another junction box.

I would first check with a voltmeter to make sure Red to Black is indeed a 220 feed.

These are a lot of assumptions, (trying to help), proceed at your own risk.
 

Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
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I cringe a little when I see things like this.
Get an electrician. Don't do home repair if you don't know what you are doing.
My family recently avoided a house fire thankfully due to a burnt out light bulb... turn out one of the previous owners used an old extension cable as 'in wall' wiring... The insulation was dry and brittle and actually began to flake off.
Who knew? An electrician would have known.
Don't risk it. It's your life in there now, it may not be later.
 

Y2KEDDIE

Sep 23, 2012
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I agree if you don't know what your doing, but then again we are here to share knowledge. The trouble is we don't know how skilled the person we share with is, nor does he know our skill level. I believe there are no liablities implied here.
 

Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
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I agree if you don't know what your doing, but then again we are here to share knowledge. The trouble is we don't know how skilled the person we share with is, nor does he know our skill level. I believe there are no liablities implied here.
I certainly agree and encourage sharing information, but not in regards to household wiring. An electrician should be doing this, and the training to become one would cover this. So if the OP is an electrician, they should not be practicing, otherwise they should not be touching this.
I would certainly help if this were a portable fan though... the difference, is that any work done that was not good enough would not be hidden in a wall for future home-owners to find. I try to follow the same guidelines for automotive wiring. Accessories sure, ECM and other vital systems, no way.
 

Y2KEDDIE

Sep 23, 2012
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I understand where your coming from. When I moved into my current 150 year old house I discovered all the wall outlets were surface mounted on the baseboard with #20 zip cord.

As for answering the prevous post. Even a licensed electrican will have to make some assumptions When wires are disconnected , mixed up, or reconnected without haing a diagram one can only make an educated guess.

How maany of us have worked on, radios, TV's, transmitters, etc without a schematic?

That said; your point is well taken.
 

Tha fios agaibh

Aug 11, 2014
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Y2keddie; "Even a licensed electrican will have to make some assumptions When wires are disconnected , mixed up, or reconnected without haing a diagram one can only make an educated guess."
An electrician does not asume what wire goes where, he verifies each conductor by reading with a test meter or continuity tester
Is your familys safety worth saving a few dollars? Have an electrician take care of it and sleep like a baby at night.
Btw, an electrician often spots violations that you are probably unaware of.
 

Y2KEDDIE

Sep 23, 2012
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Very Good Gentlemen. If you read my reply I suggested he check the voltage with a meter. trying to help this guy with limited information. These are the steps i suggest , as i would do my self.
I am not a licensed Electrician in Austraila, but I am familar with their wirring color codes; however I have practiced the trade here in the United States for the past 23 years, I am quite familar with the NEC, NFPA-70. I have commissioned and inpected home and industrial power installations and I stand by my advice.

I noticed if some of you can't answer a question yourself you assume nobody else can.

If you feel uneasy doing electrical work you shold stay away from it, that is good adivice. If you are afraid of the wiring in your own home then maybe you should consider another hobby other than electronics. NEC code states you should not work on any live elctrical /electronic device powered 50V or higher without proper training and PPE.

I personally feel comfortable with it, and am willing to share. I'm assuming the original poster has some common sense and knowledge, trying to learn something.
I see little difference between a window fan, and a permant appliance fan fixture. All can be lethal if you don't kow what your doing.

I don't consider myself a expert by any means but, by definition, I am a Competent Person.

How many of you change your own brakes on your automobile? Would you be comfortable telling someone else how to do it? Do you accept all liability, do you let family memebres drive that car? It's all a matter of persecive and comfort.
 

Tha fios agaibh

Aug 11, 2014
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Glad we agree, one does not make assumptions when dealing with wiring like this.

Y2keddie "Connect Blue to AP. Brown to N. ( Fan housing terminal strip)"

I disagree, The brown is line and the blue is N, or L2 A mistake like this could be deadly.
I'm not licensed in AU either, but I'm cautious giving advice on building wiring.
 

Y2KEDDIE

Sep 23, 2012
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Could be deadly, but not in this case. The motor does not care since it is 220v impeadance protected and not referenced to ground.

Glad we agree to disagree.

I'm done.
 

Tha fios agaibh

Aug 11, 2014
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Sorry to offend your delicate sensibilities, but hooking blue to line in AU is as wrong as hooking white to line in USA.
Even if it does not energize anything grounded, it is a bad practice because the next person that works on it assumes its a grounded conductor. Not a line conductor.
 

Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
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How many of you change your own brakes on your automobile? Would you be comfortable telling someone else how to do it? Do you accept all liability, do you let family memebres drive that car? It's all a matter of persecive and comfort.
I do, I don't, and I do.
That's also the reason I take a good look at a vehicle before I buy it. There has been some scary DIY work done that could cause some major issues if unchecked.
As far as I know. Most home inspections don't unmount lights and exhaust fans to check for wiring faults
 

Y2KEDDIE

Sep 23, 2012
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LMAO! No offense taken. Makes me go back and think, as I said in my first post, maybe he mistakenly is replacing a 220 V fan with a 110 model. Then a neutral (or return current conductor) would apply.

On the right side of the terminal strip if you connect the blue to N and the brown to AP it would not make any difference how the Blue and White are conneted to the Red and Black on the other end.

The first thing I learned about electrical wiring is electricity doesn't care what color the wire insulation is.

The second is you always work with one hand in your pocket ( meaning don't provide an electrical path through your body).

Third, allways verify voltages present.

Everything presented in the beginning post is based on inadequate pictures and assumption; all bets are off.

If the mains are red and black, and no safety ground, It doesn't mater what color the other wires are.

Your right : normally the feeder : Brown is L1, and Blue is L2, but on the motor side there is no brown, just White and Blue.

The object is to find out why the fan doesnt work and try to make it work.

As an electrician should check the feeder and see that its properly fused or breaker protected, check the Red and Black for voltage, and to ground, as well as all the other color wires. He also could remove the fan , set it up on a bench with an isolation transformer and current limited supply to test. Most would not. Most would make an educated guess and try connecting the Ap and N wires across the line. Then troubleshoot backwards identifying what wire did what. Maybe he would then draw a diagram and even label the wires (it would be rare). Most likeky he would get it working and just hand you a bill, and tell you you should upgrade your wiring.

I doubt he would turn you in to the insurance underwritter, unless he moraly thought you were in eminent danger. (which is debateable). Certainly word would get out and he would be out of business. On the other hand there is a poosibility your heirs might sue him.

The proper installation would be to run a new 2 wire with ground to the location. (followig National and/or Local Code) and using proper colors on the fan assembly. This possibly would require tearing out plaster running long length feeders, and then rewiring the fan motor connections to match, etc. All just to get a working fan.

If he wants to be safe and doesn't feel comfortable doing this work; by all means he should hire a professional.

I was looking at this as a exercise purely to find out why the fan wasn't working and any possibilities (given the limited information)to make it work.

When inspecting home or industry I would make the contractor/ or home owner rip this out . Safety (compliance) first! It doesn't matter how much it costs, I'm not paying for it ...you the customer are. So do it right the first time.

Maybe we should turn our attention to having work done inspected by a Competent Person after the work is done. You can not stop a homeowner from doing his own work.

Its been an ineresting discussion technically and ethicaly.

Finally, I conceed: Its best to hire a professional in all cases , they need to eat too.
 
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Tha fios agaibh

Aug 11, 2014
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I don't mean to nit pick but here is my 2 cents;
"...then a return conductor would apply"
A return conductor always applies.

"..normally the feeder.."
This applies to branch circuits also.

" ..If he wants to be safe or doesn't feel safe.."
Houses burn down all the time because someone felt they were doing something safely.
"Always work with one hand in your pocket(meaning don't provide electrical path thru body)"
Peope can and have been electrocuted with one hand alone. I understand what your saying, but some people will interpret this as meaning the current path needs to cross your heart from one hand to the other.
I'm ok with the homeowner doing the work provided permits are pulled and its inspected by the authorities.
Then I can sleep soundly knowing my house (or the entire block) is not going to burn down because of what some hack has done.
 

Y2KEDDIE

Sep 23, 2012
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I used the term return conductor instead of grounded return condutor, because that what it is in this case (ungrounded). I hate the tern neutral, designated as the letter "N". It normally carries current and is live. The ground conductor is for safety and shouldd never carry cuurent except when a fault occurs.

Yes , you are correct branch cicuits are called feeders as well.
 

Tha fios agaibh

Aug 11, 2014
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I agree people often call the grounded conductor a neutral, when technically it's not.
Nevertheless, the point I was making was that the blue (N) is a grounded conductor, and any wire tied to it (such as a fan wire) becomes a grounded conductor. The color coding is used to differentiate what type of conductor it is. So a terminal labeled (N) should go to the blue wire.

Also a feeder and a branch circuit are two different things.
 

Gryd3

Jun 25, 2014
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@Y2KEDDIE and @Tha fios agaibh
Is it safe to summarize that @qwerty2015 should take the provided information like anything else they may find on the internet?
There have been a couple of recommendations, both in the DIY and get a Professional route, but without actually being on site the most anyone can do is guess. As mentioned previously, a wire color code 'should' be followed, but this is no guarantee.

Here is some advice some a general novice of Home Electrical.
Step 1 should be to find documentation on the device you are working on. Do a quick google search for the model #, you should find it on a manufacturer website. Guessing is not recommended, and neither is relying on a 'guess' from someone on the internet. Ask for a link or a reference if sometime tells you 'how it is'.
Step 2 should be testing and confirming the inbound power for this device is wired with the appropriate color coded wire. This can be done with a multi-meter... but with the wires live. This obviously carries a huge risk and should be avoided at all costs if you are not familiar and trained to do so safetly.
Step 3 would be completing the electrical connections, taking into account any corrections that may need to be done. Any electrical connection should be made with the appropriate connector and should be firm. Remember that come connectors can be over-tightened and will will cause the conductor to fail... either physically break, or begin to overheat. Obviously both are bad.
Step 4 is ensuring the connections are secure and re-assembling the fan and other panels.

I may have missed steps, but as I have stated, I am a 'novice'.
I am comfortable installing ceiling fans, two-way switches and other things... My stove connection made me nervous because it did not follow the standard color codes. Now... I could have hooked it up based on what I have experienced thus far, and with what I have read, but making an accident here can cost you your home, other people's homes and/or the lives inside. I did not want to risk this.
 

Y2KEDDIE

Sep 23, 2012
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IMHO and most all of us have one, burning one's house down due to a simple branch circuit overload isn't likely if your service is adaquately protected by fuses or circuit breakers . While this is true in most of the United States, other parts of the world may not hold true.

We are talking a simple exhaust fan, probably doesn't draw much more than an amp.
Usually wiring errors such as above pop a fuse or breaker instantly, caused by a dead short, but no smoke.

Most all fans of this type are impedance protected. they will not burn up, nor draw more current on temperature rise.

Maybe you have seen house fires from poor wiring in the past, but statisics show they are becoming more uncommon.



Fires are caused more from liht bulbs touching carpets, or overheating closets
 

Tha fios agaibh

Aug 11, 2014
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Some good points Gryd3. But I agree incomplete. I'm critical of DIY posts because there is so much disinformation out there. I would be happy if all one takes from this is ; Don't trust what you read by some "professional" on the internet. (And I am a professional)
There is a lot of factors that come into play. So to give a general answer without asking a dozen questions is often wrong.
If I make a claim or contention, I'm willing to cite a code reference to substantiate it.
 

Tha fios agaibh

Aug 11, 2014
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"Burning one's house down due to a simple branch circuit overload isn't likely if your service is adaquately protected by fuses or circuit breakers "

Really? Just because your Service has the proper over current protection does not mean the branch circuit can't be overloaded and cause a fire.
Also, overloads are not the only reason fires are started.
 
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