simple confusion

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  #1  
Old 09-17-12, 11:26 PM
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simple confusion

hi all
took down a ceiling fan, but noticed inside the outlet box there are
4 multiwires, each one has the black(power in) and white(neutral)

for some reason all the black wires are tapped off together , was not hooked up to the fan

3 neutrals were made into one wire for the fan, and the 1 neutral was made into wire for fan

isn't there supposed to be one neutral and one black wire for the fan, and the other 3 black and 3 neutrals are pigtailed (according to color) to feed the rest of the circuit??????
 
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  #2  
Old 09-18-12, 02:18 AM
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What you have is a switch loop. If you look closely at your bundles, you will most likely see the associated black wire with the neutral not coming from the white bundle attached there. From that point it will run down to your switch and back up through the white wire. It was wired backwards, as normally we hook the white from the switch loop to the black bundle and leave the black wire (hot) exposed for hooking to the light/fan, and of course the neutral from the neutral bundle. It cuts down on confusion, as you have experienced. You do need to determine which wire is hot (of course its the one NOT going to the white bundle) and hook them up accordingly. Let us know if you have more problems with it. You may want to post a picture of the wiring so we can see exactly what you have. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
  #3  
Old 09-18-12, 07:30 PM
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So your saying after you find the black hot wire and associated neutral


to use the hot wire and associated neutral to hook directly to the fan?
then make 2 bundles that are taped off separately


ceiling outlet box has 4(12-2)
the 3 receptacles and 3 switches have 1 (12-2) each
 

Last edited by flatbread; 09-18-12 at 07:47 PM.
  #4  
Old 09-18-12, 08:18 PM
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So your saying after you find the black hot wire and associated neutral
to use the hot wire and associated neutral to hook directly to the fan?
Not if you want it controlled by a switch. One cable in the fan is your switch loop. You can find out which one by turning off the breaker and using your meter set to ohms (or continuity) while someone flips the switch on and off. The cable where the meter swings between infinity and continuity as the helper flips the switch is the switch loop. Recolor the white of the switch loop black* on both ends if that hasn't already been done.

All blacks and the recolored white of the switch loop are wire nutted together.
The remaining whites are wire nutted together including the light white.
Black of switch loop to black of light.
All grounds together and pigtailed to the box if metal.

*Black or red are the usual colors used but you may use any color other then white, green, or gray. You may use tape, or marker pen or paint to color the re-purposed wire to designate it is now a hot not a neutral.
 
  #5  
Old 09-18-12, 10:01 PM
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All blacks and the recolored white of the switch loop are wire nutted together.
The remaining whites are wire nutted together including the light white.
Black of switch loop to black of light.
All grounds together and pigtailed to the box if metal.

The fan does not work, but rest of circuit does

fan and switch good. back at square 1


 
  #6  
Old 09-19-12, 07:29 AM
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Does the fan have a blue wire for the light? Does it have a remote control? What is the wiring at the switch?
fan and switch good
How did you determine that? Is this just a regular switch or something more complex?
 
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Old 09-19-12, 08:12 AM
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All blacks and the recolored white of the switch loop are wire nutted together.
The remaining whites are wire nutted together including the light white.

The fan does not work, but rest of circuit does
It sounds like you have a fan, with a light, and one SPST switch wired with a switch loop. You now have the light working from the switch, but the fan does not work at all.

The fan not connected to power. To control the fan with the pull chain while continuing to control the light from the switch, turn the circuit off long enough to add the lead for for the fan motor to the splice where the black wires and the single recolored white for the switch are joined. Add a pigtail if the lead for the fan motor is not long enough to comfortably reach this splice.
 
  #8  
Old 09-19-12, 09:46 AM
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the fan/light is wired using Ray's advice

-the fan has a blue wire-light, black-motor, white-neutral, green-ground
-no remote control,,,switch (12-2) ...did not know there were more complex switches

--I know the fan/light is good because you can hotwire it
--I know the switch is good, because you can rearrange the wires to cause a short circuit when the switch is flipped on, thus tripping breaker from overload i guess.

whenever you said hook the black from fan to black from switch cable, ialso hooked the blue from fan light to black from switch cable

Nashkat1---
neither fan nor light works from the switch
if i take the black -fan motor and blue-fan light off the black switch cable and replace these on the black bundle,,,,,,,,,the fan/light runs constantly regardless of switch position, and now there is one black wire by itself



now there is another ceiling fan/light that comes next in the circuit, which the only way it would work correctly with its switch was to leave one of it's black hots by itself

so
then I decided to run an amp power wire from the black on fan/light #1 to black on fan/light #2 .. the switch now works
 

Last edited by flatbread; 09-19-12 at 11:44 AM.
  #9  
Old 09-19-12, 09:57 AM
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neither fan nor light works from the switch
Sorry. When you said
Originally Posted by flatbread
The fan does not work, but rest of circuit does
I read that as your saying that the light was working from the switch.

if i take the black -fan motor and blue-fan light off the black switch cable and replace these on the black bundle,,,,,,,,,the fan/light has bypassed the switch and both work
OK, something is not working the way we think it should at the switch. It may have to do with our belief that you have a switch loop.

I know the switch is good, because you can rearrange the wires to cause a short circuit when the switch is flipped on, thus tripping breaker from overload i guess.
That tells us that the switch can open and close a circuit, but it doesn't tell us how it's wired. Can you describe the wiring in the switch box, please?
 
  #10  
Old 09-19-12, 11:51 AM
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i would like to apoligize, sorry nashkat1 it was my mistake, not yours, I should have described more accurately (the fan and light does not work, but rest of circuit does) ...

the wiring at the switch box is a black and white (12-2) on the right side of the switch...

so is this not a switch loop?
 
  #11  
Old 09-19-12, 11:57 AM
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the wiring at the switch box is a black and white (12-2) on the right side of the switch... so is this not a switch loop?
Yes. Are you sure you identified correctly which cable is the switch loop. What happens if you turn the breaker off, connect the black and white on the switch, and turn the breaker back on? Does the fan and light work? Have you tried using the switches on the fan?
 
  #12  
Old 09-19-12, 03:56 PM
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the way it is right now the only way you turn off the fan/light is at the fan

if i turn off the breaker, take out the switch, and wire together the black and white, the only way you can turn off the fan/light is at the fan

just trying to figure out how to use the switch..

yes, the cable is the right one for the switch it went from open loop to continuity when flipped off/on
 
  #13  
Old 09-19-12, 04:24 PM
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This time you wrote:
the way it is right now the only way you turn off the fan/light is at the fan
but earlier you wrote
the fan and light does not work, but rest of circuit does
Which is it.

What you write is symtomatic of having the fans blue and black connected to the bundle of black wires instead of only to the black of the switch loop.
Below is a basic switch loop. If you really have the fan wired that way the switch will work.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 09-20-12 at 03:16 AM.
  #14  
Old 09-19-12, 09:53 PM
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Yes sir, Ray2047 when you said

"What you write is symtomatic of having the fans blue and black connected to the bundle of black wires instead of only to thr black of the switch loop."

you was right, I had not realized that power was constantly supplied, even thought the black switch wire was just dangling alone

Once the black/blue was moved to the black switch wire, the light/fan works from switch....


Thank you very much for your time, I really appreciate it. I actually learned some terminology from you and a switch loop wiring, though this scatterbrain may mix up wires in the near future once again


 
  #15  
Old 09-20-12, 03:14 AM
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Thanks for letting us know you got it.
 
  #16  
Old 09-26-12, 02:53 PM
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your welcome, one more ? if you guys dont mind

Would the fan and light still work from the switch if?

All black wires including switch black were wire nutted


All white wires except switch white wire nutted with fan/light neutral

Switch white wire nutted with {fan wire and light wire}


or do you always have to convert the switch neutral into a hot?
 
  #17  
Old 09-26-12, 04:37 PM
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or do you always have to convert the switch neutral into a hot?
It is a white wire not a switch neutral. It is just a white wire which has been re-purposed.

Would the fan and light still work from the switch if? All black wires including switch black were wire nutted
No, because you would be connecting the light directly to power instead of running it through the switch. Please look again at this diagram
and trace the flow of electricity.

A basic switch is very simple. The switch in your wall is just like the one below, just encased in a plastic box. Notice how in the open position shown the circuit is incomplete.

Image source: Wikipedia
 
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