Power out in bedroom


  #1  
Old 09-26-03, 05:56 AM
jetsfan68
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Question wiring help for fan....

OK- I installed my ceiling fan and light in the bedroom- no problem. I left 30' of 14/3 wire in the attic- I was supposed to have an electrician come and wire to the switch but he backed out on me. The current switch on the wall controls the wall outlet which I really do not need anymore- I need the switch to power the light- The electirican told me he would wire the switch to power the light and it (switch) would no longer power the outlet- Fine- I am now thinking- How hard could it be to do this? I know I have to "fish" the cable down the wall to the switch- How will the new wire connect to the switch?? Do I have to replace the switch?
My guess is it's pretty straightforward- Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 09-26-03, 06:37 AM
J
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I think a situation very close to yours was covered here. You probably only have two sets of wires at the receptacle instead of three, but the idea is the same. The other thread was one in which the switch was a switch loop (i.e., a white wire was attached to the switch). You may have the situation in which the power comes first to the switch. If your situation is different, then post back with the kind of information provided by that other poster for better help.
 
  #3  
Old 09-26-03, 08:26 PM
jetsfan68
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Question here is what I have

Looks like that post was modified-
Here is what I found when I looked at the wiring int he switch box:
2 lines (wires) coming into switch box- One is 3 wire romex 14/3 and the other is 2 wire romex 14/2. Both white leads are tied together as are the green (ground). The 2 blacks are tied to the bottom screw of the actual switch. The RED lead coming from the one 14/3 cable is tied into the top lead on the switch. Is this enough info for you?
Again- As of right now the switch turns on the wall outlet - I have another 14/3 cable in ceiling needing to be tied into switch to power the fan. I do not want the switch to control outlet anymore. Can this be done? I am not sure how to tell where power is coming in or which one goes to the outlet- My guess would be the 14/2 wire coming into the switch box goes to the outlet. I do not know where the 14/3 wire goes (or comes from)- Can you help?? THanks JOhn
 
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Old 09-26-03, 08:51 PM
J
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Yes, everything is now clear about what you have. I'm not completely clear, however, about what you want. Since you have a 14/3 cable to the ceiling, it will be possible to have separate control of the fan and light with separate switches. I am going to assume that that is what you want. I'm also going to assume that that is the way you wired the fan (e.g., red to blue, and black to black).

So proceed as follows:[list=1][*]Go buy a duplex switch. That's two switches that can fit in a single-gang box. The swithes are one over the other with horizontally moving levers.[*]Examine this new duplex switch carefully. On one side you will see two brass screws that are not connected to each other. On the other side, you will see two brass screws that are connected to each other by a tab.[*]Shut off the breaker.[*]Remove the old switch.[*]Run the 14/3 from the attic down into this switch box.[*]Leave about 8 inches of cable inside the box, and strip the sheathing so that about 1/2" of sheathing remains inside the box (similar I'm sure to the other cables there).[*]Use a wire nut to connect all three white wires. Tuck that into the back of the box. It's going to get crowded in this box, so you'll have to fold all the wires very neatly.[*]Use a green wire nut with a hole in the end to connect all three bare wires. One of the green wires will protrude through the hole in the green wire nut. Connect this wire to the green screw on your new duplex switch.[*]Now ignore the new cable for this step. Just consider the two black wires and the one red wire that were in the box before you brought in your new cable. Connect these three wires together with a short black pigtail using a wire nut. Connect the other end of that pigtail to either brass screw on the side of the duplex switch with the tab.[*]Connect the red and black of your new cable to the two brass screws on the other side of the switch.[*]I don't usually recommend this, but since your box is going to be so crowded, I suggest you use electrical tape to wrap the switch over the screws. This will help prevent an accidental short to the grounding wire as you repack the box. Repack the box starting with pushing the grounding wires to the back of the box. This step will require you to work very carefully.[*]Turn on the breaker and test.[/list=1]
 
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Old 09-26-03, 08:54 PM
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John, you beat me too it.
I typed up a responce, and deleted it since you finished first.
gj
 
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Old 09-26-03, 09:32 PM
J
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So GJ, did your solution match mine?
 
  #7  
Old 09-27-03, 05:35 AM
jetsfan68
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Cool

Ok John- Thanks- I think I got it-
I'll reiterate the end result I want just in case you were not clear.
Right now I have one single switch that turns on outlet on wall.
I installed new ceiling fan with 14/3 wire which is up in attic waiting to be connected. I would like to be able to come into the room and flip the one switch and have light (and fan)- I can make do with the dual switch but can I do it with a singe switch? As I stated before- I do not need the switch to control the outlet anymore, but I still want the outlet to work. Thanks again and I hope that makes it clear.
 
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Old 09-27-03, 08:37 AM
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Yes, you can do it with a single switch. But it depends on how you connected the 14/3 at the ceiling. How did you? I was confused by the 14/3, because for what you want a 14/2 would have worked fine. Now you just have an extra wire (assuming that you are properly using the term "14/3" to mean a cable with black/red/white/bare wires).
 
  #9  
Old 09-27-03, 01:31 PM
jetsfan68
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the 14/3 is connected at the ceiling fan box- Black to black- white to white- green/green and red to blue for the light.
 
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Old 09-27-03, 03:44 PM
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Okay, you can use the old switch, but I'm going to ask you to remove it first and then reinstall it.[list=1][*]Shut off the breaker.[*]Remove the old switch.[*]Run the 14/3 from the attic down into this switch box.[*]Leave about 8 inches of cable inside the box, and strip the sheathing so that about 1/2" of sheathing remains inside the box (similar I'm sure to the other cables there).[*]Use a wire nut to connect all three white wires. Tuck that into the back of the box. It's going to get crowded in this box, so you'll have to fold all the wires very neatly.[*]Use a green wire nut with a hole in the end to connect all three bare wires. One of the green wires will protrude through the hole in the green wire nut. Connect this wire to the green screw on your switch.[*]Now ignore the new cable for this step. Just consider the two black wires and the one red wire that were in the box before you brought in your new cable. Connect these three wires together with a short black pigtail using a wire nut. Connect the other end of that pigtail to either brass screw on the switch.[*]Connect the red and black of your new cable to each other and to a short black pigtail. Connect the other end of this pigtail to the other brass screw on the switch.[*]I don't usually recommend this, but since your box is going to be so crowded, I suggest you use electrical tape to wrap the switch over the screws. This will help prevent an accidental short to the grounding wire as you repack the box. Repack the box starting with pushing the grounding wires to the back of the box. This step will require you to work very carefully.[*]Turn on the breaker and test.[/list=1]
 
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Old 09-27-03, 07:36 PM
jetsfan68
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Thanks John- I really appreciate it. One more quick question and I will leave you alone!!! (in regard to step 3)
3. Run the 14/3 from the attic down into this switch box

I looked at the switch- There are already 2 cables entering the top of the box through the knock outs (I think that is what they are called)- When I snake the ceiling fan cable down to the box- How do I get it IN the box? I do not see any other place to push the cable through- (not to mention- what are the chances of getting it through the top plate and into the box)- Again- I'm sure there is a trick to it.
 
  #12  
Old 09-27-03, 07:43 PM
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Everybody has their favorite tricks. Here are a couple to consider.

Some people like to hang a light chain down through the hole in the top plate. Then they can hook the chain with a coat hanger through the knockout and pull it into the box. The chain can then be used to pull in the cable.

But you may need more help, since both top knockouts are full and it would be tricky to pull it in through a bottom knockout.

So you might need to remove the old box and install a new "old-work" box. Cut off the old nails with a hacksaw blade (be patient), remove the old box, fish the cable through the opening, and replace with an "old-work" box. Visit your home improvement center and ask someone to show you an "old-work" box and it will become obvious how to install it.

Anybody else got a favorite trick to post here?
 
  #13  
Old 09-27-03, 08:53 PM
CSelectric
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Depends on the box type and wall structure. He did say "knockouts" so I'm thinking it's a metal box. With that, he may have some luck fishing to one of the side knockouts, assuming there isn't a stud in the way. If it's a shallow box, then the back knockout works well (it's also the easiest to remove.)

As to fishing the wall, chain works well if you have no insulation to contend with. Myself, I'm kind of fond of glow rods for this sort of thing. But I doubt a DIY'er would want to lay out the $30 for a set to accomplish one fish. But any stiff object will do. I've gotten by with threaded rod, even ceiling grid wire in a pinch. I would suppose the creative mind could find something laying around the basement that would suffice. The whole trick is in drilling the top plate in the right location.
 
  #14  
Old 09-28-03, 06:25 PM
jetsfan68
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Thanks John- It worked!!!!
Hadest part was fishing the cable- I was able to drill through top plate and get the cable in the stud cavity- I cut the nails from the existing box with my sawzall and once the old box came out- I was able to reach in and grab the new cable. Got the "old work" box and all connections worked great- Can't thank you enough.
I have 3 other rooms to work on next... I am guessing I can apply the same connections (actually I am beginning to understand how it works). All the rest of the rooms are the same- Single switch controlling an outlet. Thanks again!
 
  #15  
Old 10-29-03, 11:04 AM
jetsfan68
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Help!

John- You helped me big time getting my ceiling fans wired. All of them have been running great..... until. Two days ago I lost all power in my bedroom. Not a bad breaker- It must have something to do with my wiring. I took switch apart and checked all connections- I am sure how to troubleshoot if the issue is in the switch part- or the fan- I actually took the fan completely out of circuit figuring I'd see if I can get things back to normal but nothing works. When I first took switchplate off- I stuck a meter on the hot leads of the switch. FOr some reason I have 110 volts from both leads back to ground- I thought I'd only get the 110 reading on the top lead when I have the switch ON. Is that an indication of where I should be looking??
Help! thanks
 
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Old 10-29-03, 08:31 PM
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Go back and double-check all your connections.
 
  #17  
Old 10-30-03, 06:03 AM
jetsfan68
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Thanks John- Did that last night and found the problem- One of the neutral wires must have been nicked up in the wall when I was removing the old box with the saw blade (to cut the nails)- WHen I checked connections and removed the box- the old white wire snapped off. Since it is one of the existing (older) wires and it broke off about 6" above the box- what is the best way to fix it? Can I just splice another piece of wire outside the box?? I had to cut out more sheet rock above the box and I temporarily spliced a short piece of white wire with a wire nut and tape- I shut power off to it overnight just to be safe.
 
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Old 10-30-03, 08:03 AM
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No, you cannot splice outside the box.

You have two solutions.

Replace the wire.

Add a second box where the wire is broken and splice within the box. This box will need to be covered with a blank plate and accessible once you put up drywall.
 
 

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