Open Neutral has me stumped

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  #1  
Old 06-14-04, 05:35 AM
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Open Neutral has me stumped

I installed a new ceiling fan in the bedroom. Problem is, unknown to me, the outside lights operate on the same circuit as the bedroom and they are not working. When I use my tester at the outlet where the outside lights plug into, I get an open neutral. Here's the breakdown.

In the box in the ceiling of the bedroom I have 4 Blue wires, 4 White wires, and a yellow. The yellow goes back to the switch to control the light that was once there before the fan (no light on fan). The whites are neutral. 1 of the blues is the main hot, the other 3 are for each of the 3 outlets in the bedroom. I want one of the wall outlets to be controled by the switch. So I took that blue wire, and the yellow and twisted them together. I left the 4 whites alone. I then tied the remaining 3 blues back together. Everything works, except the outside lights don't work when the switch is down. When switch is up in bedroom, outside lights work. Am I not completing a circuit. What did I do wrong and how do I fix.
 
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Old 06-14-04, 05:48 AM
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What wires are at the switch? You say that the yellow wire is a switched hot wire. What wires goes to the switch to get power to it?

I am suspecting that perhaps the outlside lights are wired from the switch, and that the switch can no loonger be used as such, except to perhaps control the outlside lights.

Open the switch box and provide a complete inventory of the wiring there.
 
  #3  
Old 06-14-04, 06:33 AM
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The blue wire that you thought went only to the one receptacle clearly goes elsewhere too. So you cannot make this switch control just this one receptacle without pulling new wire.

I recommend giving up on the idea of a switched receptacle and reeconnecting all the blue wires together. Then tie your yellow wire to the fan's light wire so that the switch will at least control something. If your fan doesn't already have a light kit, you should probably add one to it.

However, my diagnosis above is not consistent with your reading of an open neutral. So something else is going on here, or you did not conduct your test correctly.
 
  #4  
Old 06-14-04, 07:00 AM
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The switch is getting power from another wire (black). When I had all the wires disconnected (Unwrapped) I used the light bulb tester and tested each blue seperatly touching one lead to the white, and one to each blue. All tests were good and grounding was fine according to the tester. How can that blue wire control the outlet and the outside lights? I will open up the outlet and see what wires run to that one (I'm assuming just a blue and white).

Also, when the switch is up the outside lights will work, but dimmed and there are lines on the TV.

Thanks
 
  #5  
Old 06-14-04, 08:54 AM
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OK...
I took the outlet out and there are 2 blue wires wrapped together and a thurd jumping to the outlet. Same with the white.

I'm thinking one of the blues is hot, one is the outside lights, and one is jumping to the outlet. How do I make it so the outside is always hit not bothered by switch.
 
  #6  
Old 06-14-04, 09:05 AM
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If lights are dim and there are lines on the TV then you have some items wired in series, which is not good. You must find and fix that problem.


If the outside lights are getting power from th receptacle outlet you want to switch then you can't switch that outlet, or you will have to add another wire going to the receptacle outlet from the ceiling.

Back to your originall issue. You did not mention a black wire in your original post. Please provide deatils about all wires at the switch, at the ceiling box, at the receptacle you want to switch and at ther outside outlet. I mean every wire. Provide details on it's color and how it is connected to anything.
 
  #7  
Old 06-14-04, 11:50 AM
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Kevin, have you changed anything else you haven't told us about? This sounds seriously screwed up.
 
  #8  
Old 06-14-04, 01:59 PM
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OK, I put everything back the way it was and ran some new 14 wire from ceiling to outlet. I'm at work now, will report back later with end results. I can't thank you all enough up to this point.
 
  #9  
Old 06-15-04, 08:14 AM
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Problem solved. Ran the new wire, everything works, all testers are good, tv reception is good, life resumes.

Thanks again to all.
 
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