Installing the ceiling fan...

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-31-08, 09:53 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Installing the ceiling fan...

I am replacing an indoor overhead fan/light in the bedroom. The old one worked, but was getting old and noisy. Installed the new one and when I went to turn it on, no power. I took it down, reinstalled and still no power. I took out the switch, and noticed there is power coming in. I put in a new switch and still no power to the unit. I checked the wiring from the switch to the unit, all good.
This is where it gets interesting... I took out the switch, and put the two white wires (incoming from electrical panel and outgoing to fan) together and then just touching the black wires the power works fine going to the fan/light. I have a bulb in it and it lights up great. The second I turn on the fan, the power "goes away". It does not trip the breaker! All the other lights on the same breaker are fine! If I immediately take the wires apart, and put them back together, no power. If I wait 10-15secs, then the power is back and the light works again. (Sometimes it doesn't glow as bright the less time I wait)
So. If it doesn't trip the breaker, where is the electricity? I can actually grab the end of the wire and hold onto it.
My voltmeter went bad last night, so I am buying one today, but for the interim, can anyone shed some light on this?
Another thing I forgot to mention...Before we took down the old ceiling fan, I had no problems ever with the power. It worked fine!
I never even opened up the switch to inspect the wires before this loss of power happened...
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-31-08, 10:08 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Saint Louis
Posts: 259
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You need a very valueable, very cheap tester.

You can get a neon voltage sensor for around $10. That will tell you were the power is.
 
  #3  
Old 01-31-08, 11:37 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I understand.
However, is this normal to have the power not there and then 10-15 secs later it is back at full power?
 
  #4  
Old 01-31-08, 12:52 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 433
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I really think you should stop touching random wires together
 
  #5  
Old 02-04-08, 07:33 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Well... I must say I thought there were people who would know about electricity on here...
I know alittle about it... Enough to not burn my house down and not to get hurt.
Obviously no one on this forum can offer a professional opinion except..."get help".
Wow... you think?
If you can't offer help, then you have no business posting a reply.
 
  #6  
Old 02-04-08, 07:37 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Saint Louis
Posts: 259
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Did you get the tester?

No, it is not normal for the electricity to be delayed like that.
 
  #7  
Old 02-04-08, 08:04 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes I did get a tester and there is 120VAC at the switch. However, when I hook up the wires, I get the bulb lit, when I turn on the fan, the 120VAC go down to +/-6V. 2-3 minutes later, it's right back up to 120V!
 
  #8  
Old 02-04-08, 09:03 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 81
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Do you have three wires going to the light/fan (red white black)? If not the two wires will be hooked to white, and black/blue, and you will use the pull chain for fan. The problem should be at the light/fan because you said all was well before new fixture, you could also have a bad new fixture. I have no idea why you would have a voltage drop like that. If you have the old fixture, and it would not be a lot of trouble you could reinstall and see if problem goes away?
 
  #9  
Old 02-04-08, 09:06 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Saint Louis
Posts: 259
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
ok, we're getting somewhere. You probably have a multi-tester and it is set to read voltage. I wouldn't worry about a voltage drop in this case. All the wiring in your house can sometimes criss-cross each other's electric field and you get "phantom voltage". Voltage is not the issue here.

You should get/have a non-contact neon tester, the kind that show where the power is, even if no load is on it. They are like $10 at Lowes and are very useful to have.

If you're getting voltage at the switch, I'll assume you are wired switch -> light fixture. You said white and black only, how many pairs? In the simpliest setup, the whites are all bundled together and the grounds are all bundled together (if you have a grounded circuit) The switch only interrupts the flow on the black wire. Make sure you do a good loop (not circle) on the screws.

I would then check the ceiling fan and make sure the contacts are very snug there. You should probably twist your connections, as it sounds like one is loose or making poor contact. Then use a good quality wire nut, aka not the ones that came with the fan. Try this and let us know how it works.
 
  #10  
Old 02-04-08, 09:59 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
ok... I will pick up a non contact tester on the way home.
There is only one pair of wires. One coming in and one going up to the fan. White to White, groung to ground, etc...
I have good wire nuts and will twist them up and check all connections.
I will let you know either later this evening or tomorrow...
Thank you!
 
  #11  
Old 02-04-08, 10:26 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Saint Louis
Posts: 259
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Good, you should also get a contact tester, the kind with the neon bulb with the red and black wires. That can be really useful when you have a lot of wires in a box and can't figure out which is hot. Again, it is only like $2.

You have a switch loop. In the ceiling, you should have two sets of wire at least. Incoming is the power from another junction box, then the wire to the switch, and maybe power to the next junction box. The neutrals (whites) should all be together, with the exception of the wires going to your switch. The blacks should also be all together, possibly with the white wire of the pair going to your switch. The black wire that is paired with the white wire is your switched hot.

Here is how I would do it. I would take the constant hot coming and wire it to the fan. That way, you want the fan on, you pull the chain. I would put the light on the switched power from the light switch.

You can wire it so both the fan and the light come on with the switch, but to me it is really irritating to have a fan come on unexpectidly.
 
  #12  
Old 02-07-08, 09:28 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 8
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Fubar ~

Well.. after testing all the wires and making sure the connections are tight and solid, there is still a significant power drop from the switch to the fan and light. After confering with a friend of mine who knows alittle more than me about this set-up, he believes the problem lies between the junction box and the switch. It looks like I will have to hire an electrican to investigate more.
I appreciate the help you gave and I actually learned some useful techniques from you about testing and ruling out different theories.
Thank you ~
 
  #13  
Old 02-07-08, 10:18 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Saint Louis
Posts: 259
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Bah!

You could and should do this work. Electricity isn't brain surgery and by diagnosing the problem, you've already done 90% of the work. Read "Wiring a House" by Rex something. It makes this project very clear. And you can make things even better than you have by running 3 wire between the switch and the junction box.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: