Circuit Breaker/Ceiling Fan Issues?

I turned off a circuit breaker to replace a ceiling fan. The outlet box has only 3 wires, black, white and black. The house was built in 1987. The old fan had the green ground wire connected to the black wire on the right. I hooked the new fan up the same way. When I tried to turn the breaker back on it would not go fully into the "on" position and there is an orange bar showing. It it the 2nd breaker from the bottom in the photo. I tried changing the ground to the other black wire but that didn't change anything. Does anyone have any suggestion I can try before calling a electrician?

Thank you!

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August 24, 20150 found this helpful

If you are lucky, Bruce, an electrician, will reply. He always has good advice, and can solve many problems, although often the best advice he has, at the end, is to call in an electrician. Me -- I'd call an electrician. But hopefully, Bruce will help you out!

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August 25, 20150 found this helpful

Thanks Louise!

Using an electrician is a very good idea.

Never work things hot.

The red flag on your breaker indicates there is a short to ground. The black wire has a path to the ground bus in your panel either through the ground wire or the neutral wire.

The convention in wiring is black/hot, white/neutral, green or bare/ ground.

The black wire from the breaker panel should be the one that is hot. A new, out of the box, ceiling fan will follow these color conventions. It is possible that on the old installation someone grouped the ground wires (green and bare) under a wire nut and added another wire to get to the electrical box.


Having only black insulated wire they probably used that for ground which is bad wiring practice and causes confusion.

The electrician will connect black to black (hot), white to white (neutral) and bare or green to bare or green (ground) and will also tie the ground to the electrical box.

Often times on a ceiling fan there are two hot wires in the box, one that is switched for the light and one that is always hot for the fan.

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