switch to ceiling fan then to wall outlets

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  #1  
Old 06-16-06, 05:41 AM
SpelingChampeon
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switch to ceiling fan then to wall outlets

My daughters ceiling fan quit working so I bought a new one. When I removed the old fan, I tested the black and white wires, and had 42v on them. I made sure the light was turned off at the switch (which it was) and still couldnt figure out where the 42v where coming from. I noticed a red wire in the box at the on-off switch, that was also going to the ceiling fan box, but was jumpered to another electrical wire going somewhere else.

At the ceiling box, I totally disconnected the 2nd wire, and hooked up the wiring back to the switch as normal. Thats when I realized the wire I disconnected at the ceiling was going to the 2 far walls, and they no longer had power. GRRRRR! I have no idea why they would have run the wiring like that, but I did not write down how they were wired in the 1st place.

My question is.. at the switch, I am thinking of just wrapping the neutrals together, and jumpering the red/black wires at the switch. Now, at the ceiling box.. how would I wire the wall outlets so they arent being controlled by the switch (which they werent). Would I just take the RED lead and wire it up to the black lead going out to the walls, and just wrap the neutrals again at the ceiling box?

BTW, I checked all the grounding, and it was good.. I still couldnt understand where the 42v were coming from. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 06-16-06, 06:08 AM
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The 42 volts is phantom voltage. Put away your digital meter. Do not use it for testing electrical wiring. Unless you know how to read it, it will only confuse you, as it has done.

You made another mistake,one that could have killed you. Never turn off a switch and work on the load. You must always turn off the circuit breaker or remove the fuse. Simply turning off the switch is not always enough, there still may be hot wires at the load.

It sounds like there is nothing wrong with the fan. It sounds like you have an open circuit. Most likely an open neutral.

Put all the wiring back the way it was. The fact that a red wire was present or that the wiring continues past the fan to the other wall is all normal.

Your task is to find where on the circuit a wire has become disconnected. Check ALL locations on the circuit, those that are working and those that are not working. Somewhere a wire has worked loose. You need to find it and reconnect it.

It will help if you verify whether it is a neutral or a hot wire that is open. Use a three light plug in tester and check the receptacles on the far wall that don;t work. Or use a two wire tester and test for power between the hot wire and the neutral and between the hot wire and a ground.
 
  #3  
Old 06-16-06, 07:43 AM
SpelingChampeon
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No wires worked loose, I disconnected them.. and I did not write down how they were previously connected. Thats my problem.
 
  #4  
Old 06-16-06, 08:09 AM
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You don't know that nothing worked loose. You haven't checked everything on the circuit.

What led you to believe that the fan was bad?
 
  #5  
Old 06-16-06, 08:21 AM
SpelingChampeon
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Originally Posted by racraft
You don't know that nothing worked loose. You haven't checked everything on the circuit.

What led you to believe that the fan was bad?
The fan wouldnt run, but the light would work. I checked the Black/Blue/Black connection, and nothing was loose. I checked the ground, it was good. I checked the white, they were tight. Again, the fan absolutely refused to go around in a circle like it is supposed to.

All I wanted to know was.. can the RED wire be used as the hot going to the outlets on the wall (so the wall outlets are not being controlled by the switch that controls the fan/light).
 
  #6  
Old 06-16-06, 09:03 AM
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If you are unsure of what the red wire is used for, then look at the wall receptacles.
 
  #7  
Old 06-16-06, 09:10 AM
SpelingChampeon
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racraft... Just so you know:
1. The ONLY place I have seen a red wire is between the fan/light switch, and the ceiling fan itself. THATS IT
2. I have already said that I disconnected everything.
3. All other connections are BLACK WHITE GROUND..thats it.

I have come to the conclusion that whoever ran the original wires used the 4wire connection so they did not have to run another 3 wire to the wall outlets.
 
  #8  
Old 06-16-06, 10:39 AM
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Maybe it's me, but I don't understand your question.

Fine, you have removed all the wires. A mistake, but a common one. Just connect them back up.
 
  #9  
Old 06-16-06, 12:19 PM
SpelingChampeon
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I will try to type this out as best I can:

Wire coming into the room switch for the fan are: BLACK-WHITE-GROUND

Wire leaving the switch going to the ceiling fan is: BLACK-RED-WHITE-GROUND

Wire leaving ceiling fan box, going to wall outlets are: BLACK-WHITE-GROUND

Since I intend on using the switch to control the fan/light as ON-OFF only, can I take the RED wire, and wrap that with the BLACK wire as it comes into the switch box. Then at the ceiling fan outlet box, can I take the RED wire (other end) and use that as the hot connection to the BLACK wire going to the outlets?

The red wire will only be a jumper from the light switch to the wall outlet black.

Thanks
 
  #10  
Old 06-16-06, 12:21 PM
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Of course. It would be much cleaner and easier to understand if you swapped the functions of the black and red wire, but either way is legal.

And of course, one of those ways is how it was previously wired.
 
  #11  
Old 06-16-06, 12:45 PM
SpelingChampeon
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Roger that, thanks for your help racraft!
 
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