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Ceiling fan/wall switch problem


binfordtools's Avatar
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04-19-17, 07:47 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Ceiling fan/wall switch problem

This is part one of a two part project dealing with the fan writing. Part two covering the wall switch can be found here: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...ml#post2618010

Hey folks. I was hoping to get some help with an issue I'm having getting a new ceiling fan installed in a 100 year old home with knob-and-tube wiring.

The ceiling fan comes with three wires: black for the motor, blue for the light kit (not included/used) and a white for neutral. The manual says to just connect the color-coded wires, but with knob-and-tube that's impossible. I was hoping someone could advise how to connect this correctly, since there seems to be no third ground wire and I'm not sure which wire is hot (again, nothing is marked). But I know this will work, as a ceiling fan was connected here before.

Here is a crude diagram to illustrate what it looks like in the ceiling, with the red tips being the bare wire and the black being the sleeves that run out from the holes in the ceiling:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]79769[/ATTACH]

Any help is much appreciated!

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Last edited by binfordtools; 04-19-17 at 08:11 PM.
 
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binfordtools's Avatar
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04-19-17, 08:10 PM   #2 (permalink)  
Ceiling Fan/Wall Switch Problem - Part 2 (Switch)

This is part two of a two part project dealing with the fan writing. Part one covering the wall switch can be found here: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...art-1-fan.html

Hey folks. I was hoping to get some help with an issue I'm having getting a new ceiling wall switch installed in a 100 year old home with knob-and-tube wiring.

I took the wall switch panel off and removed two old light switches I want to replace with two toggles. Unfortunately, the old switches were so out dated, nothing was clearly marked and I have no point of reference as to what wires were hot and where they went. All I could do is jot down what pegs they were wired to, so I could repeat the process.

Here is what the old setup was. There was one wire on of the left side that connected to the left side of switch one. Then a longer wire came out of the middle of the panel, looped around the right side of switch one, jumped over to switch two and looped around that switches left side. Then on the far right side there was a third and final wire that connected onto the right side of switch two.

These ran two things; the overhead ceiling fan (see my previous thread above) and the porch light. However, I have rewired everything the same way with the new toggles and it doesn't seem to be working. Is there any way to determine which wires are hot and which direction they are going? Knob-and-tube wiring doesn't seem to have a a ground here, but I could be wrong.

What if I just wanted to put in one switch just to test the overhead celling fan and ignore the porch light for now? Any simple way to do that?

Here is a crude diagram to illustrate what it looks like in on the wall, with the red tips being the bare wire and the black being the sleeves that run out from the holes in the wall. Bellow that is how the switches were wired and what went to each peg:

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Any help is much appreciated!

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PJmax's Avatar
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04-19-17, 08:24 PM   #3 (permalink)  
Since this is basically one topic.... I combined your two threads.

In order to find hot at the ceiling..... you have to measure to ground.
You could do that with a long piece of wire connected to a ground or by using a three prong extension cord and the ground pin as ground reference.

The fan is not polarity sensitive so technically it could be wired either direction if you can't ID the hot and neutral.

K & T has no ground.

So to locate the hot at the switches.... you could use the same method I outlined above.


~ Pete ~

 
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04-20-17, 09:35 AM   #4 (permalink)  
Thanks for the info Pete. Let me ask you more about the fan, then I'll get back to the switch problem later. If there is no ground, I assume that both ceiling wires have to be connected to something to compete the circuit right? So regardless of which one is hot, could I not just keep moving the motor wire to each one until I get a connection? And what should be connected to the opposite wire? The white neutral from the fan? Will that complete it? Seems like I can test it by switch both chords and should be able to hit the right combo after about two tests. Is that right?

 
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04-20-17, 09:48 AM   #5 (permalink)  
If there is no ground
Grounds are not relevant to operation of the fan. They are for safety not function. You just need a neutral and a hot wire. As Pete wrote:
The fan is not polarity sensitive so technically it could be wired either direction if you can't ID the hot and neutral.


I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

 
binfordtools's Avatar
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04-20-17, 07:02 PM   #6 (permalink)  
Thanks for the info. However, I'm still a bit confused, so let me ask the fan part of the problem another way.

I have to connect SOMETHING to both knob-and-tube wires coming from the ceiling. So let's say I guess that the wire on the right is the hot. I connect the motor wire to that and the white neutral wire to the other knob-and-tube. I hit the switch and nothing happens. Then I reverse those two chords. By process of elimination, shouldn't I have found the correct wiring setup within two trys?

 
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