spaghetti, how do i wire this switch?

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Old 10-25-09, 12:22 PM
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spaghetti, how do i wire this switch?

I bought a bathroom fan timer for my thru the wall fan. Currently the setup is the dimmer switch on the left operates a fluorescent light above the sink (no idea who would do that lol ) and the regular switch operates the fan then of course there's the outlet. I know zip about wiring so wanted to ask how this all gets put back together to make the existing switch operate the fluorescent light and make the new fan timer operate the fan. Unsure how to tell which wires are for the fan..just trial and error?

i do know enough to know i may be in trouble since there apparently is no green ground to the existing outlet.







 
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Old 10-25-09, 12:47 PM
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You need to get rid of that dimmer. Fluorescent's die early, and have been known to explode with them.
 
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Old 10-25-09, 01:11 PM
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the fan switch will be taking place of the dimmer and i dont even use that fluorescent at all because it doesnt even 'work right'. But once i wire the light up to the correct switch, i may start using it
 
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Old 10-25-09, 02:36 PM
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How many cables, wires per cable and hookup at the fluorescent light. At the current fan how many cables, wires per cable and hookup?
 
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Old 10-25-09, 03:20 PM
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Regarding the ground......the lack thereof: They should not have been allowed to have that grounded plug in there.

You better run new wire with ground, or get a gfci in there, or a gfci breaker on that circuit in your panel box.

The way it currently is......what is bad is you have a metal box......not plastic.....and any bare wire hitting that metal box inside would transfer into the swithes and outlet metal. And if someone was touching the sink, stove or fridge at the same time as touching any metal, including screw heads on the cover, at the same time.......zhzhzhzhzhzhzht.
 
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Old 10-25-09, 03:39 PM
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Ditch that old school flourscent dimmer that not even worth anything at all and go to the flourscent luminaire and look at the conneciton and let us know how it conferated and is ballast is there ? { Some old flourscent dimmer do have build in ballast in there sorta like choke or reactor ballast }

Now with that second switch above the receptale I know you mention fan

This what you do senice you allready have netural there that will really help a bit with this electronic timer so

If I remember the hook up the black is power source and white is netural then red is for timed switched conductor.
Green is ground so you will have to bond the box with it.

You will have to get new combation switch / GFCI recepatle and many big box store will stock this item.

the combation switch you will have to do little reconferating so the above sink luminare will be at new combation switch while the receptale is the same.

So before you take anything apart mark every thing down with notepad and take a colour tape or number sticker and mark them on as well so you will know which way it will goes.

Before you ditch the flourscent dimmer let me remind you double check the flourscent luminaire to be on safe side if can able work without dimmer { most flourscent need specal dimmer / ballast combation to get it function properly} maybe change to diffrent luminaire that will make the diffrence as well.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 10-25-09, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post

You better run new wire with ground, or get a gfci in there, or a gfci breaker on that circuit in your panel box.
im assuming the new switch wont run without that ground?

i cant do that myself and cant afford to pay someone at this time to do it. Also i have a crawlspace that is difficult to work in so who knows what it would cost me to get someone in.
 
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Old 10-25-09, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
How many cables, wires per cable and hookup at the fluorescent light. At the current fan how many cables, wires per cable and hookup?
do you mean getting to each fixture and seeing how many wires are in each? I never even took off the grill to see the exact fixture above but it's at least 6 ft of lights. As far as the fan, id have to take off the light grill and see what kind if cover was on the fan i guess and see the wiring.

what is the reason you need to know this? maybe it's because i have no clue but to me one side of that switch appears to be running the outlet and one side the fan (just one black and white wire each) so that seems to be the easiest thing to figure out? I couldnt even imagine what a pain that would be to try to run a ground from the fan to the switch if that's whats needed to make the new timer work.
 
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Old 10-25-09, 06:37 PM
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im assuming the new switch wont run without that ground
It is for safety. It would work bu the current installation is unsafe. You need to bring it to minimum code standards at least for you and your family's safety.
i cant do that myself
It's not that hard to do but if you install a GFCI breaker you can skirt the code. You could also add a GFCI and Switch combo to meet code. My suggestion would be to add a second box next to the first and put a standard switch and duplex GFCI in the existing box and the timer in the second.

If you go with a GFCI and no ground the receptacle will have to be marked "No equipment ground". The labels are included with the GFCI.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-25-09 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 10-26-09, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
It is for safety. It would work bu the current installation is unsafe. You need to bring it to minimum code standards at least for you and your family's safety. It's not that hard to do but if you install a GFCI breaker you can skirt the code. You could also add a GFCI and Switch combo to meet code. My suggestion would be to add a second box next to the first and put a standard switch and duplex GFCI in the existing box and the timer in the second.

If you go with a GFCI and no ground the receptacle will have to be marked "No equipment ground". The labels are included with the GFCI.
when you say box do you mean cut into the wall more than already is? I know it's not a great pic to see it from but it's a bit tight there and any addition would be up against something else.

I think i understand what you are saying aobut gfci but doesnt the setup i have now come in that? switch up top and outlet on bottom. then the timer in the dimmer spot now
 
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Old 10-26-09, 05:04 PM
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Yes you can find it in a GFCI configuration but that is a lot of wiring for a two gang box. I was just suggesting a way to make the job easier.

 
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Old 10-26-09, 05:42 PM
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see thats where i'm getting lost. there are a total of 7 wires going to my existing switches. So when you say a lot of wiring, I dont understand that. If i have to add any more wiring than exists now, ill just leave it as - is, i have no choice, but i really wanted that fan timer because i have mold issues and need to vent about 30 min after i leave. While i understand you saying a ground is needed for safety, i know most of my house has ungrounded outlets and i've been surviving so far.

I thought it would be as ez as just switching wires from one thing to another and if i hadnt run into the 3 wires for the flourescent lights and the 4 on the fan switch, i would have tried it myself already. but the red wire threw me for a loop
 
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Old 10-26-09, 05:51 PM
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The reason why red conductor threw you in the loop as I mention before above please check the luminaire to veirfy the connection if the red conductor is not used you can set it aside and just use that conductor and normal switching set up.

Merci,
Marc
 
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Old 10-26-09, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by luckydriver View Post
I thought it would be as ez as just switching wires from one thing to another
You have hot, and you have neutral. With that combination anything is possible.

A pigtail or jumper wire here or there may be in order. But other than that, it is possible. Due to the increased depth of a gfci though - careful packing of the wires would be in order.

And as I said in an earlier post, you could always opt to protect the entire circuit, and free up some space in the box perhaps), with a gfci circuit breaker. They are more pricey, but not completely outlandish. ($40 maybe?...can't remember)
 
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Old 10-27-09, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
The reason why red conductor threw you in the loop as I mention before above please check the luminaire to veirfy the connection if the red conductor is not used you can set it aside and just use that conductor and normal switching set up.

Merci,
Marc
ok so basically i'm going to have to rip the grill off and take apart the fixture to see if it's used. is there another test i can do to see if it's 'live' at the switch itself? I do have a very simple meter somewhere lol.

assume for a moment the red is used. (if not it's evident i wont have issues) I do not want a new dimmer on it and just want a regular switch. is that something that is standard and EZ to do?
 
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Old 10-27-09, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
You have hot, and you have neutral. With that combination anything is possible.

A pigtail or jumper wire here or there may be in order. But other than that, it is possible. Due to the increased depth of a gfci though - careful packing of the wires would be in order.

And as I said in an earlier post, you could always opt to protect the entire circuit, and free up some space in the box perhaps), with a gfci circuit breaker. They are more pricey, but not completely outlandish. ($40 maybe?...can't remember)
i'm lost lol....gfci has increased depth but you want me to free up space? or do you mean cut the wall ?
 
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Old 10-27-09, 04:47 PM
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'm lost lol....gfci has increased depth but you want me to free up space? or do you mean cut the wall ?
You need to add GFCI protection to the circuit. If you change the breaker in the breaker box to GFCI you can then continue to use the combo switch/receptacle you have. If you don't use a GFCI breaker you will have to use a GFCI combo switch/receptacle and that will take up more room.
 
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Old 10-27-09, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by luckydriver View Post
i'm lost lol....gfci has increased depth but you want me to free up space? or do you mean cut the wall ?
Not to make a big to-do out of this....I simply was saying. Because GFCI's are deeper than most other switch or outlets that fit in a box, that means you will have to be more thoughtful as to how you pack the box.

You just don't want to be to the stage where you have everything all wired and you start getting like that airline stewardess on that tv commercial that is presently airing, where she keeps trying to cram that male passenger's luggage in the upper storage rack. (See that commercial?)
 
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Old 10-27-09, 05:08 PM
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First question is do you need that receptacle below the switch? Do you have another receptacle in the bathroom? If not does your electrical panel have breakers in it. I beleive you could install a GFCI breaker on that circuit and then you would have room in your box for 1-time and a single gang switch & receptacle combo. If we know that I think we can do this and make it safe for you and your family.

Jim
 
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Old 10-27-09, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
You need to add GFCI protection to the circuit. If you change the breaker in the breaker box to GFCI you can then continue to use the combo switch/receptacle you have. If you don't use a GFCI breaker you will have to use a GFCI combo switch/receptacle and that will take up more room.
ah ok, well i'm not going into the breaker box so now i understand what a combo is...or at least that there's a difference
 
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Old 10-27-09, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rukkus11 View Post
First question is do you need that receptacle below the switch? Do you have another receptacle in the bathroom? If not does your electrical panel have breakers in it. I beleive you could install a GFCI breaker on that circuit and then you would have room in your box for 1-time and a single gang switch & receptacle combo. If we know that I think we can do this and make it safe for you and your family.

Jim
the outlet is a must..razor and hairdryer get plugged in there.

yes i have breakers but even though i watched them wire my spa with live wires, i dont think i'd even mess with the box with the main off. But even if i did, i think you are saying i'd need to run a new wire , correct? Or is the new breaker you speak of something that eliminates the need to run a new (ground) to the bathroom)
 
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Old 10-27-09, 06:30 PM
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But even if i did, i think you are saying i'd need to run a new wire , correct?
No you would not need to run a new cable.
Or is the new breaker you speak of something that eliminates the need to run a new (ground) to the bathroom)
It make the receptacle code compliant with out a ground but it does not add a ground just makes it a lot safer.

I know we seem to be making this more complicated but we are just trying to do it safely.
 
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Old 10-28-09, 03:13 PM
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oh yes i know you are all trying to do it safe and legal but i cannot run that ground. if it makes anyone feel better there are no wife and kids so it would just be me that fries lol.

so to summarize i can put a special breaker in the main box then just use a gfci switch without the ground and that 'unit' will be like my current switch thats running the fan (which ill turn into running the flourescent light) and then my outlet as-is then put my new fan timer where the existing dimmer is?

if turn the main off at the top of the box does that mean it's ok to switch out the breaker? (and is this an EZ job for a newbie?)

i'm assuming confirmation with a meter would be wise as well
 
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Old 10-28-09, 04:22 PM
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so to summarize i can put a special breaker in the main box then just use a gfci switch without the ground
No. The breaker you install would be GFCI so you could use the combo switch/receptacle you already have.
if turn the main off at the top of the box does that mean it's ok to switch out the breaker? (and is this an EZ job for a newbie?)
Yes that will cut all power except for the two heavy wires feeding the main breaker. Stay away from that area. It is usually easy.

You will need to label the receptacle "No Equipment Ground. GFCI Protected." There should be labels with the circuit breaker.
 
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Old 10-28-09, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
No. The breaker you install would be GFCI so you could use the combo switch/receptacle you already have.
oh cool so the combo plus the new fan switch

now i realize i still have to check out my ceiling light to see about that pesky red wire and if it's needed (if it is i guess i cant use the existing switch) ...however now i'm confused about the new fan timer:

per the pic above you can see it in the package with red/white/green/black wires. Right now the fan only is hooked up with white/black. So just tape up the green and red? I hate to open up the box and read the directions if it's not usable but was wondering why the red is there?
 
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Old 10-28-09, 06:49 PM
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per the pic above you can see it in the package with red/white/green/black wires. Right now the fan only is hooked up with white/black. So just tape up the green and red?
Black and white probably supplies power to the timer. The red probably supplies power to the load (fan in your case). Green is ground and will be caped off and not used since your circuit is ungrounded.
 
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Old 10-29-09, 04:37 PM
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ok so if i take the red off the dimmer and the fan still works does that mean the fan isnt using the red?
 
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Old 10-29-09, 04:57 PM
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Is there a make and model number on the switch? Is there any writing or anything embossed on the case. For example where the red is there a "C".
 
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Old 10-31-09, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Is there a make and model number on the switch? Is there any writing or anything embossed on the case. For example where the red is there a "C".
i took the electrical tape off and there was a label under it for FD 600 40W incandescent and the reason for the tape is that the unit was 'falling apart'...rodale company

nothing like a C or any other marking BUT that label on top is all worn off so that probably said something

i can tell you that the red and black wires that are in the same sheath go to the dimmer but the white from the dimmer goes to the outlet

i peeked up thru my grill and it would take a bit of work to take apart the light fixture but it can be done so probably tomorrow i will.
 
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Old 10-31-09, 01:04 PM
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May be be no need to check the wires in the fan based on the info. How close does this look to your current wiring with the dimmer. Please describe any differences. Brass tab indicated would be on left side.

 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-31-09 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 10-31-09, 07:55 PM
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my 2nd picture in the first thread somewhat shows this though some things are hard to see....there are 3 sets of wire coming into the box. Ill call them run 1, 2, 3.

All white wires from the 3 runs are tied up together with electrical tape and then one white wire comes out of that bunch to the left side of the combo switch. Then a white wire from the right side of the combo switch goes to the dimmer.

From each of the 3 runs is a black wire: 1 running to the left side of the combo, 1 to the right side of the combo, and 1 to the dimmer.

there is only one red wire coming from any of the 3 runs and that red wire runs directly to the dimmer.
 
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Old 10-31-09, 08:30 PM
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[QUOTE} All white wires from the 3 runs are tied up together with electrical tape and then one white wire comes out of that bunch to the left side of the combo switch.[/QUOTE] Is that the screw for the switch or the receptacle? What color is the screw, brass or silver?
Then a white wire from the right side of the combo switch goes to the dimmer.
From the switch or the receptacle? What color is the screw?
From each of the 3 runs is a black wire: 1 running to the left side of the combo, 1 to the right side of the combo, and 1 to the dimmer.
Which cable;s black goes to each device and the color of the screw it fastens to? At the combo treat it as a separate switch and receptacle and tell me which cable goes where and the colors of the screws.

I think I about have it but I want to be sure.

Refresh my memory how many wires of the 3-conductor cable are connected at the light and how?
ok so if i take the red off the dimmer and the fan still works does that mean the fan isnt using the red?
I thought the dimmer was connected to the light?

 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-31-09 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 10-31-09, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post

Refresh my memory how many wires of the 3-conductor cable are connected at the light and how? I thought the dimmer was connected to the light?

yes dimmer is to light, i got confused

and in your pic F should be silver and G is brass but probably doesnt matter so ill stick with your data:

1,4,6 are tied together then a new white wire comes out of that bunch and goes to silver G

the dimmer for the fluorescent has all the same screw color (though could be just dirty i guess) and you can see from my pic above they are all on top: 2 goes to B; 3 to C and F to A

5 to D

7 to E

Also i do not know which black wire runs the outlet and which runs the fan. I guess that's just trial and error but i'd have to ascertain that before doing the new fan timer of course.
 
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Old 11-01-09, 08:11 AM
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There seems to be some problems with the way this was originally wired and this is giving me a problem advising you.

Unless the dimmer is part of a 3 way circuit it should only have two wires connected to it. Are you sure there isn't a second switch that controlled the light?
1,4,6 are tied together then a new white wire comes out of that bunch and goes to silver G
That part makes sense. One of those three wires brings the power in. Do you have a meter so you can disconnect each cable and measure to see which is power in. Just disconnect the blacks and red and measure to the white bundle.
5 to D 7to E
This is a problem because it seems like they are using wires from two different cables for a switch loop. That isn't permitted.
Also i do not know which black wire runs the outlet and which runs the fan.
Remember I said it looked as if the power cable came in to the box? I'd expect to see at least two of the blacks and/or red tied to together. Another reason why we need to know if any of the wires are hot to the white.
3 to C and F to A
So basically C and A on the dimmer are jumpered to together. If this is not used as a 3-way one of those connections probably should have been left off. Also a white wire should not have been used to connect to F but that is minor.

OK my bottom line if I was doing this I would not even try to figure out the original wiring. You have three cables two fixtures. I would open both the fan and light and find out if there are two cables to either one. When I had determined which of the three cables was power in and which cable went to which fixture I would then wire it logically ignoring the old connections. Note one of the three cables may simply cary power somewhere other then the bathroom.
 
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Old 11-01-09, 09:45 AM
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i hope this answers the questions..no blacks are tied together, those seem to be what controls each thing individually

removing any one wire from the dimmer switch makes the flourescent not work..so it definitely needs all 3 wires ( i think?). I guess that means i need a new combo switch.

removing black D makes the fan not work

removing E black makes the outlet not work

no other light or outlet is controlled by other than i have described in this thread. (dimmer doing flourescent, switch doing fan, outlet is outlet)

knowing all this now i dont plan on taking apart fan or light. I took a peek at the light and it just woulnt be a fun thing to do so i figured knowing all 3 wires are needed on dimmer is good enough right? or is there a chance it's because this is hooked up to a dimmer that a regular switch may be able to handle the floursecents? I guess no harm in trying to wire the black 3 to D on the switch to see if that works right ?

edit: i just tried putting the black that was on the dimmer in place of the black wire i knew was on the fan switch..the light didnt come on, I'm not daring enough to try to put the red wire on the black fan switch since i dont know what red does
 
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Old 11-01-09, 10:55 AM
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Keep it simple.

Originally Posted by luckydriver View Post
i'm lost lol....gfci has increased depth but you want me to free up space? or do you mean cut the wall ?
First, what kind of distribution panel is installed on the house? Is it a circuit breaker panel or fuses?
Second, get a tester from the store. It should be either a test lamp or a new solenoid or "Low Z" tester, not a multimeter.
Third, determine which wire is "hot", which controls the light, and the fan.
Finally, wire the light switch, outlet, and fan control.
********************************
 

Last edited by GregH; 11-01-09 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Inviting phone calls are not allowed.
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Old 11-01-09, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Froggyone View Post
First, what kind of distribution panel is installed on the house? Is it a circuit breaker panel or fuses?
We are past dealing with the panel. He is going to install a GFCI breaker.
Second, get a tester from the store. It should be either a test lamp or a new solenoid or "Low Z" tester, not a multimeter.
An analog multimeter is just fine and a digital is OK if you understand phantom voltage

If you want to call me to discuss the whole procedure we can PM phone numbers. My outgoing calls are free.
Sounds a lot like solicitation. That is against forum rules.
 
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Old 11-01-09, 11:32 AM
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It time for me to step in here again .,,

1) the OP did make plan to get GFCI breaker so that is allready taken care of it.

2) The standard anlog meter will work just fine for this useage the Op allready got the point what we are getting to there.

3) This item will be addressed to Froggyone .,
We dont allowed solicitation in this fourm it is not allowed per fourm regulations.
Froggyone ., please edit that comment but if refuse do that I will step in and edit it myself.

once that sitution is clear up I will step in and guide the rest along the way.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 11-01-09, 12:07 PM
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Ok now I can able sort this mess out.

Now with the dimmer that is a true flourscent dimmer and it will need two hot conductors to order get this function and I belive it is a matched set so leave that alone unless you plan to replace the flourscent luminare to differnet luminaire or change ballast so you can have use common toggle or rocker switch or motion senser if needed to

Now let me give you my break down how it should line up

1,4,6 and G is netural that is fine with that part.

The fan conductor it should be on "E" that will be on switched side of the combo unit

the main power soruce will tie to D and make a jumper lead to A that is power soruce for flourscent dimmer { becarefull those devices are not cheap and easy to find }

that should make it work I don't have paint shop thing with me to make a drawing but I will figure a way to post a drawing here so it may be later tonite I will able post it.

Merci,Marc
 
  #40  
Old 11-01-09, 01:17 PM
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Thank you Marc for clearing things up. I certainly waded in over my head.

My apologies luckydriver the true fluorescent dimmer was throwing me off. I have never worked with one. You said you wanted to put the light on the toggle switch so follow Marc's instructions. Might be time for a new light.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-01-09 at 01:36 PM.
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