Burnt Out

We awoke this morning to a faint smell of melted plastic, although we couldn’t quite place that as the odor at the time. Later in the morning I tried to turn on the ceiling fan in the living room, but the remote did not seem to be working. This was strange because everything had been in working order the night before.

After trying a few other options, I went out to the electrical box to see if the circuit breaker had been tripped. It had, so I flipped it back on. Immediately my wife screamed to turn it off, which I did before running inside. She had also tuned the light switch controlling the fan off.

It turns out she had a very good reason to scream—the fan was sparking and smoking. I suppose this was why it had tripped the circuit breaker last night…

My biggest concern was that the spark had started something else smoldering in the ceiling, so I carefully dismantled the fan, not sure what to expect. I thought perhaps that one of the wire-nuts had come loose due to the vibration of the fan and caused a short.

When I had removed all the blades and finally exposed the wiring, I saw immediately knew two things:

  1. The source of the melted plastic smell and
  2. my wiring was not at fault
image of burnt remote receiver due to an electrical short

After calling Hunter Fans, a new remote receiver will be on its way after they get out of back order next month. In the meantime, after cutting away the damaged wires, I rewired the fan to the switch and we’re stuck using the pull chains…

About this post

In which Mark regales us with a tale of mystery, danger and intrigue (with pictures!)

August 5, 2005 | family

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