Turning on the ceiling fan started tripping the breaker


Exactly what it says. We bought the house in February. Fan and light worked fine. In the beginning of August, the breaker would trip every time we turned the switch. I've taken the light fixture off the fan to check for a short, nothing visible. I've taken the fan off the ceiling and check for a short or bad connection, nothing visible. I've opened the switch box on the wall, nothing visible. I went into the attic to check for signs of rats or other varmints eating the wires, nothing visible.
My first inclination is to replace the switch. Replace the fan if the switch isn't the problem. Then call an electrician if the fan isn't the problem.
Any advice?
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you did not check the fans amp draw....its iether a bad fan motor or a short in the wiring, you dont check that visibly... you use an ohmeter.
its risky...dont run it and have a competent friend do your checkout.
Phil scott
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"or a

He was talking about the short professor.
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Is it a cheapo multi-speed switch? I've had those arc on me when they begin to wear out.
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MS wrote:

1) The breaker could be defective. Can you replace the breaker?
2) The breaker could be overloaded. How big is the breaker? Do you know what else is on that breaker? Can you bring power from another circuit to that fan?
3) The fan is bad. Can you temporarily replace that ceiling fan with another one just to try?
If you're not comfortable with any of these call an electrician...
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------------------------------------------ Here is a possibility: Usually the fan casing has two switches: One for the fan and the other for the light. Do the following: (1) Turn both switches on the casing off. (2) Turn the wall switch on. If the CB trips, replace the wall switch. Else, (3) In succession, turn wall switch off, turn fan switch on, turn the wall switch on. If CB trips, the fan motor has short. Else, (4) repeat step (3) this time with the light switch. HTH.
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1) This particular fan has lights attached, but there is only one simple on/off switch for the fan/light.
2) The front half of the house loses power when the fan trips the breaker. (It is only one breaker which trips)
3) I'm not quite sure how big the breaker is. I'll have to check.
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This must be "ancient" fan and it is time for replacement. But to be sure, remove/disconnect the fan altogether, then turn on the wall switch to see what happens. I suspect the fan is the culprit.
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MS wrote:

1) are you saying that 1 switch turns on/off both lights and fan? IE there are no separated switch on the fan? Odd. But you could still remove the bulbs to leave just the fan motor working.
2) What's in the front half of the house, only lights and empty wall sockets? You can add up the watts (the Amps if they are shown) of all the devices/lights and see if that total exceeds or is very close to the capacity of the breaker (see below). Don't forget the fan. In case you forgot --> Amps = Watts/Volts
3) There is a number on the breaker that shows the amps. Something like 15, 20, 30 etc...
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1) One switch does it all.
2) The front of the house includes the living room and two bedrooms.
I've even tried turning off and unplugging everything else in the house, but the fan still trips the breaker. I'll have to run to Lowes and get a light socket to test.
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MS wrote:

.. and may be look around for a new ceiling fan? All the clues point in that direction.
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MS wrote:

The front HALF of the house???
Take stock of what exactly loses power when you turn on the fan. What is running, then shuts off?
The answer may be very simple: Your house is wired poorly, too much on one circuit. You moved in recently. As you unpacked over the last several months, you have set up rooms and electrical appliances, increasing the load on this single circuit that serves HALF your house. The fan worked when you moved in because you hadn't plugged in all that other stuff. Now it's the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Each room should have its own circuit, and some rooms should have two.
I'm in a similar situation. The wiring is totally asinine. Many circuits run from room to room to room, each serving 1-2 outlets or fixtures in each room. To shut off power to a single room, I may as well pull the main breaker because I have to shut off several circuits to get all the outlets and fixtures.
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I checked the breakers last night. It seems most are seriously underloaded, as if to say the electrician started by trying to put each receptacle on it's own breaker, then ran our of breakers so he put the rest on one altogether. The oven/stove has it's own, the refrigerator has it's own, the dryer has it's own. I'll have to make a list. I don't even think they're labeled correctly, because the one which the fan trips is something like "front and back light". I'll have to check.
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*I would remove the fan and attach a pigtail light socket with a bulb to the wires. Then turn on the switch and see what happens. If the breaker doesn't trip it would be a save assumption that the fan is bad.
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