Exhaust Fan and Light Problem


Old 12-19-05, 01:36 PM
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Exhaust Fan and Light Problem

Hello - I have two switches, one operates a combination light/exhaust (this unit was installed by a handyman in Sept, both fan and light operate together, not independently), the second switch operates a light. Suddently, both the combo fan/light unit and the other light stopped working Saturday morning. Everything else on that breaker works. Taking apart the two switches, I see that one black wire connects to screws on both switches.

Any ideas on what is occurring? Thanks in advance. ED
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Old 12-19-05, 01:49 PM
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Most likely, a wire has come partially out from under a wire nut, or from under a screw. Check all the connections very carefully inside the box. If this doesn't solve the problem, I'd be surprised
Good luck
Old 12-19-05, 01:58 PM
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It is also possible that there is a GFCI involved and that the GFCI has tripped.
Old 12-19-05, 02:03 PM
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I will look into both Andy and Bob's suggestions. Would there be a GFCI in the unit itself? Where can I tell if it needs to be re-set?

I found it odd that the two switches were connected by the black wires, shouldn't they be pigtailed?

Also don't understand why the other light would give out also?

Thanks again. ED
Old 12-19-05, 02:08 PM
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Do you have any testing tools?

Be sure to reset any tripped GFCI's as Bob mentioned and see if you get your circuit back. If no gfci's then.....

Since you have lost both lights you either have an open neutral or power isnt getting to the switches.

Test the switches for power. Very carefully, with the power on, test the screws on the switches that have the single black wire connected to them. Test them to the ground wire (usually bare). If you have power indicated by the light of the tester coming on, you most likely have an open on the circuit neutral (white wire). I dont think you would lose both lights if power is at the switches. Just for piece of mind you could test the switched side of the switch by cycling the toggle to "on" then test that screw on the switch for power. But I'm betting you most likely have a open neutral. Check all the connections of the white wire both in the ceiling fan/light fixture box and light and switch box. If everything checks out then you have an open in the neutral before the switch box and you will just have to continue to look for the problem with the white wire.
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