Question about Westwind Classic Hugger Polished Brass 52" Ceiling Fan

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Ceiling fan has the normal black blue white wires. The ceiling has orange yellow and grey. What connects to what?

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  • mjlehto536 Jan 03, 2011

    It is a single family house 7 years old in a suburb on chicago. I really doubt it is 277/480, but I'll take your warning and probably waste 250 dollars on a electrcian for a simple hook up. I guess it's better safe than sorry, but I don't really have the money.


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Do NOT attempt to connect this fan to this ceiling box!

In the USA, a color code is employed to quickly alert the electrician about the voltages found in circuits. Black, red & blue insulated wires with a white colored neutral wire indicates a standard residential 120 / 240 volt system. Brown, orange and yellow wires with a gray colored neutral on the other hand, indicates a common commercial or industrial 277 / 480 volt system.

Since I don't know where you live, but it could be the USA (or other country that also observes this color scheme for system voltage identification), I urge you to contact a qualified electrician. If you insist of checking it out yourself, please exercise EXTREME caution. Accidental contact with 277 volts will burn and most likely kill in an instant.

If it is determined to in fact be a 277 / 480 volt system, the fan you selected will not be able to be connected to this circuit as it is a 120 volt fixture. Connection will result in damage, fire or worse.

I hope this helps. Please rate my reply - thank you!

Posted on Jan 03, 2011

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  • Steve Jan 03, 2011

    Sorry about having to call an electrician.. no one here can tell you how to make the connections based solely on the color of the wires you mentioned. It does sound odd to have those colors used in a residential setting - I certainly wouldn't sleep very well had I told you to simply connect this color to that and something happened to you. Check around with others in your neighborhood - maybe they can shed light on the colors used for you.


  • Steve Jan 03, 2011

    One last tidbit - IF you're on a 120/240 volt system with that color scheme, the gray wire would be your neutral, and both the orange and yellow wires would be your line (or "hot") wires. That is, a meter connected between the orange and yellow would indicate 240 volts (or 480 if a 480/277 system) and yellow to gray or orange to gray would indicate 120 volts (or 277 if a 480 / 277 system).

  • Steve Jan 03, 2011

    Continuing from above - You're probably on a 120 / 240 system, and the electricians in Chicago used a color code used to indicate the 277 / 480 system for whatever reason. You need to use a meter (or wiggy) to check though. A test light won't tell you the voltage, and could blow up if not rated for the higher voltage system. Your connections would be between the gray and either the orange or yellow wires to yield a 120 volt circuit. It is also possible that one of those wires is on constantly while the other turns on and off with a switch in the room. But again, you must check with a meter or wiggy, first between the gray to the other two with the wall switch on then off.

  • Steve Jan 03, 2011

    If the wires are determined to be set up as one on constantly, the other controlled by a switch - you could connect the "switched wire" to the fixture light wire (blue), the fan wire (black) to the "always on" wire and the white to the gray wire. You could replace the wall switch with a dimmer if you wanted, too. Make sure the switch or pull chain for the light on the fixture is "on" (and then removed to prevent accidentally turning off) otherwise it will never come on with the wall switch. The fan would be controlled solely by the pull chain for on / off


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