ceiling fan

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  #1  
Old 05-16-05, 03:57 PM
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ceiling fan

A friend would like to have me install a ceiling fan for him. Checked out the j-box in the ceiling and its attached to a joist so strenth should be no problem. The thing I thought was odd was that in a 3 gang box, with 3 seperate switches in it on a nearby wall, two of the switches both control power to the j-box. The ceiling j-box has 14/3 coming into it. When one switch is on, both red and black are hot. When that one is off and the other is turned on, both black and red are hot. No power when both are off. At first I thought it might be where hardwired smoke alarm goes but no power unless either or switch is on. Any ideas?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-16-05, 04:02 PM
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How are you testing for power? What is the wiring at the switches?

By the way, be very careful doing this work. You might be better to advise, and let your friend do the work. Liability is very high if something goes wrong.
 
  #3  
Old 05-16-05, 05:37 PM
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You are possibly measuring phantom voltage, especially if you are using a digital multimeter. Do you have one of those $2 neon testers? Do you know who wired the switch box?
 
  #4  
Old 05-16-05, 06:04 PM
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The wiring is original to the house--5 years old, maybe. Checking w/audible beeper. Have analog tester and will get correct reading when I go back. Did not pull switch cover to see what's going on inside.
If phantom voltage, then possibly, when one switch is on, red is hot and phantom is causing black to show current and vice versa for the other switch? Is this what may be happening?
 
  #5  
Old 05-16-05, 09:05 PM
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Yes, that is what may be happening.

The next step in the analysis is to shut off the breaker and examine the wiring in the switch box.

As Bob pointed out, to limit your potential liability, it would be better if your friend installs his own fan, with your assistance of course.
 
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