flip switch off, breaker trips

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Supporting Member
Supporting Member
May 31, 2007
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Proctorville, Ohio
Ok, so I just installed a ceiling fan in my sons room. I have done this before and read the directions. As long as you dont turn the switch 'off' everything works fine.... if you flip the switch off to turn off the fan/light, the breaker trips.... I cant say I have ever had this happen before I certainly havent, although I have tripped breakers when turning a switch on... just not by turning it off.....

It had 2 blacks out of the ceiling and one black from the fan, and one blue to the light kit, I put these all together.
I had two white from the ceiling and one from the fan. These are together,
I copper from green screw on fan to ground on the ceiling mount. Copper from ceiling attatched to ceiling mount.

and let me reiterate, it only trips when turning the switch OFF

what in the world have I done?
If the power was brought in at the ceiling box and not the switch box this will take some correction in your hook up of the fan. Look at the connections on the switch are there two black wires or a white and a black connected to the screws on the switch? let me know and we will go from there. You may email me directly through my website contact form if you wish...Don
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I will check tomorrow as I cannot see in the room right now to take the switchplate off, but... I needed to replace the switch anyways, so this will give me the momentum to do it... I will do this in the am.....

Thanks for offering to help...

BTW, am I right in guessing that if there is a white and a black that I need to connect a white and a black together in the ceiling? I do have 2 of each plus the 3 wires in the fan that go to them, but... I guess we can get to that tomorrow....

Thanks again!!!

I should add that the ceiling fan I took off didnt have a light kit but the blue and black where wired seperately to the each black I think...... I could be wrong... but, I am sure that both whites where together because they are taped together and I didnt untape them, I just cut some of the tape off and put my other white from the fan with this....

I thought that this may be important....
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i added a little information to my last post about how the previous fan was wired...

nonetheless, the switch has one black and one white wire. The black wire goees in top of the switch (where you can see the word 'off') and the white wire is going to the bottom of the switch.
Do you own a voltage meter or tester? We will need to check some things.
no, I didnt change the switch out and didnt bother it at all until this am to see what color wires there were.... I might add just for clarification for me..... in the ceiling there are 2 neutral and 2 hot and 2 grounds. the neutral were taped together and the nots were not, the grounds are wired together also
I am wondering if the power from the breaker box was brought in at the ceiling box and not the switch box. When you told me that there was a white wire on the switch I believe the power was brought in at the ceiling box in which case we need to check where the power s coming from. With the switch in the off position check to see if you have power in the ceiling box between a white and a black in the same cable pair. We may have to disconnect all the wires in the ceiling box to isolate the power source. Be careful. Wear gloves if you need to.
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we need the power on to check where the voltage is coming from. Either from the switch box through the switch or from the breaker box through the ceiling box to the switch.
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In the switch box is there just one white one black and a ground?
B.T.W. is that a ground fault or arc fault breaker (has a test button)?
ok, so I think my mulitmeter is junk... the only thing I can get it to read are batteries....

with the fan totally unwired teh switch works without tripping a breaker....

I am using the dc on the multimeter with the black probe on ground and the red probe on what I want to test... and it isnt showing anything at all, even if you flip the switch... so I am going to assume that unless I am doing something incorrectly that the multimeter doesnt work
The meter needs to be in AC mode above 120 volts. Some times the leads on the meter need to be switched to accomplish AC mode. I don't know the type of meter you have.
analog is fine test the meter on a known good outlet ie. one where a lamp is currently working.