ceiling fan with 3 sets of wires

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  #1  
Old 01-27-13, 09:22 AM
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ceiling fan with 3 sets of wires

I am installing 2 ceiling fans.in a new room added to the house. There are three sets of wires comming from the box on the ceiling. I am not sure what to do with this. Also, a had a light with two wires.. I put all the black ones.. including the one from the light fixture together...etc...did the same with other wires. Was this correct? Thank you
 
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Old 01-27-13, 09:28 AM
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Much depends on how you want to control the fan and lights and where the cables go. Were there light fixtures there previously? Are the boxes rated for fan support?
 
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Old 01-27-13, 10:32 AM
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Is there a switch? If so what is the wiring at the switch?
 
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Old 01-27-13, 11:48 AM
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There is a switch. It has four sets of wires coming out of it.. I am sure one of the wires is for the fan..and one is for the hall light that light can be turned on by a switch upstairs and a switch at the bottom of the stairs. The switch at the bottom of the stairs was previously installed [we added on a upstairs]so it works. I made the first mistake in having anything done.. don't hire family! He wired the house.. got mad about something [ who knows what] and left.. so I am trying to figure this out....HELP!! thank you guys for responding to my plea!
 
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Old 01-27-13, 11:54 AM
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It has four sets of wires coming out of it.
Do you mean the box not the switch? What color wires are connected to the switch if there is one.

A cable is two or more wires in a metallic or non metallic sheath. If that is what you are calling a set just call it a cable so we are all on the same page terminology wise.

Do you have a multimeter you can do voltage and continuity checks with?
 
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Old 01-27-13, 03:10 PM
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yes you are right.. it is the box.. and there are 4 cables coming out of it. I can't check the voltage because I have to connect the new breaker panel to the main panel that is in use. That is another thread I have going on here. I was going to do all the switches and receptacles and lights, ceiling fans before I connected the two. I am not sure how connect the new one to the main panel. I am going to the basement to get all that info to forward to the other thread.Thank you so much.. Peaches
 
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Old 02-06-13, 09:55 AM
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Hi guys.. its me again,, ah the continuing saga..ok.. two ceiling fans with lights. Three cables coming out of each bracket/box .. there will be a switch by the door that will control them.. and another near the bed. The soon to be switch near the bed has two cables coming out out of the box The soon to be switch by the door has four cables coming out of that box That soon to be light switch will not only control the fans but also the light in the hall outside the bedroom door. That light is also controlled by a switch at the end of the hall. Does this make sense to you. I know how to attach an end of the line switch.. not sure about one that is continuing the electricity.... so, two boxes.. one with four cables.. for fans and light in hall...and another box with two wires that will control the fan.....HELP!

Also, I know how to do the receptacle that is at the end of the line.. when continuing.. don't i just pull out the tab between the two gold screws.. and then hook both black wires to that side... and then both white wires to the silver side? I just wanted to double check.. thanks.
 
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Old 02-06-13, 11:58 AM
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For the switches, you need to know where the power comes in, how many switches will be in each box, whether you need those switches to be single-location or 3-way switches, how many wires are in each cable, and where each cable goes. If you're not sure about how to determine some of that, just post back with your specific questions and we can advise you.

If you don't already own an analog multimeter you need to buy one. $10 - $15. You should also buy a copy of Wiring Simplified, which will answer many of your questions. About $10 in the electrical aisle at many home improvement centers.

when continuing [power past a receptacle,] don't i just pull out the tab between the two gold screws.. and then hook both black wires to that side... and then both white wires to the silver side?
No. Pulling or breaking that tab will interrupt the circuit. Only one half of that receptacle will work, and none of the ones down the line from it will.

Best practice is to splice the two black feed wires to a pigtail and use the pigtail to connect to one of the two brass screws. Do the same with the white wires and one of the silver screws. Tighten all four screws. Splice and pigtail the grounds to connect to the receptacle and to the box, if it's metal.
 
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Old 03-03-13, 11:57 AM
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I have ordered the book. But it won't be in for days. I have a volatage reader.. is that the same? It will show me if the wires/recepticle is hot. Do I need something else also?
I know the ceiling fans will be operated from two switches,, and the box has three cables coming out of it. I would like to know how to hook up the ceiling fan as soon as possible. It was on my list today but you know how that is! I can work on something else..but I was hoping someone would have the answer.
Thank you all, Beverly
 
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Old 03-03-13, 12:19 PM
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I have a volatage reader.. is that the same?
If you mean a non-contact tester no it is useless for any real testing. Best for a DIYer is a cheap, $8-$15, analog multimeter. They are less prone to false reading then a cheap digital multimeter.
 
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Old 03-03-13, 02:35 PM
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Beverly, we - including you - can answer your question once we know how this is wired. That doesn't just mean the number of cables and the color of the wires in them. That's part of it, but we also need to know, or define, the function of each wire.

Once you've read through the relevant parts of Wiring Simplified and have your analog multimeter in hand, we'll be ready to start figuring that out.
 
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Old 03-04-13, 08:58 AM
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analog multimeter


Ok, looking at these multimeters... we need an analog one...not a digital one.. right? Would one of the purposes we need this is to find and follow the wires to see where they go? Some trace wires or cables within a group. That one is a little pricey.. but I want to be sure to get one that will accomplish what we need to do the job. It appears some just check the voltage... which is what I already have. Do you need one that shows the needles pointing to the numbers? One that will pick up locations of wires...or one that will do that while tracing wires/cables within a group? I was checking out Lowes, but there are a few you can order online also. Thanks in advance for your information and advice.. Bev
 
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Old 03-04-13, 09:03 AM
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Ray, the one I have has an end on it that you can check wires / receptacles for voltage.40-600VAC see my previous post for questions about the one I should purchase if this Ideal volt sensor/tester won't do. Thank you so much.. Bev
 
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Old 03-04-13, 09:14 AM
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‚ÄčAnalog Meter
  • ok.. Here is the description of the one I would like to buy.. does this one sound ok to your guys? ** I just noticed this one does not show any numbers of voltage..if that is important.. and one remark from a customer said not to be used for live circuits... it got great reviews tho... and stated it was very accurate.... so just let me know what you think..*** also.. this says it is just a meter...not I multimenter...so I guess I will go back to shopping.. didn't see this when I first posted this...
Thanks, Bev
  • Remote continuity with the use of the remote probe, it does not tie-up two people when identifying and labeling long distance wire/cable runs
  • Flashing remote probe - two lead, bi-color (red/green) LED probe allows a single user to identify up to three wires or cables at a time for correct labeling with only one trip to the other end location - cuts down on multiple trips back and forth
  • Lightweight and pocket-sized, clips on and hangs from the cable(s) under test without falling off
  • Ce approved remote continuity with the use of the remote probe, it does not tie-up two people when identifying and labeling long distance wire/cable runs,,,,,,,
 
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Old 03-04-13, 09:50 AM
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Do you need one that shows the needles pointing to the numbers?
Yes. That is an analog multimeter. Here are some examples:
Craftsman Analog Multimeter - Tools - Electricians Tools - Multi-Meters & Meters
Pocket-size analog multimeter, YG188 - Amazon.com
Shop Gardner Bender Analog Multimeter at Lowes.com

If you do need to check continuity between two points you do not need a fancy remote probe. A long wire of any kinf does fine.
 
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Old 03-04-13, 11:31 AM
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Do you need one that shows the needles pointing to the numbers? One that will pick up locations of wires...or one that will do that while tracing wires/cables within a group?
Yes. Here's one more example of one that will do all of that:

GE Analog Multimeter

Bev, if you post a link to something you're looking at it will usually give us a better understanding of it than reading through a description will. Thanks.
 
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Old 03-20-13, 11:14 AM
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Yay!! Ok Guys. Bev has her multimeter and her wiring made simple book... I did look at the book.. I am sure glad you guys are here!! I am ready to find out what those three wires are for. You all helped me connect my sub panel to my main panel now to do the rest. I wish I could send you a pic of the panel I wired.. my friend said... it is so neat you can tell a woman did it!!.. ( Sorry Ray}.. So now I need some advice so I can figure out what the three wired run to and we can connect the ceiling fan...Thanks so much in advance.. Bev..what do I do now????
 
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Old 03-20-13, 11:18 AM
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oppps.... I mean.. these three CABLES!! see I am capable of learning...
 
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Old 03-20-13, 02:10 PM
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Bev, I thought you had four cables in the ceiling box

Regardless, separate all of the wires in the cables in the ceiling. With the power on and all switches off, set your new multimeter to 200 VAC. Use the probes to check the pair on insulated conductors in each cable (assuming they are all 3-wire, 2-conductor cables. When you see 120V on a pair, mark that cable.

Turn the power off and pull the switch out of the wall. If it is an on/off switch and has one black and one white wire connected to it, turn it on. In the ceiling box, test the pair of wires in each cable except the power feed cable for continuity. When you find one, mark that one differently.

Let us know what you find and we can advise you from there.
 
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Old 03-20-13, 05:27 PM
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Nashkat1.. which parts would you consider relevant? I have the book and the multimeter...Thanks, Beverly
 
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Old 03-20-13, 07:56 PM
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Ok. I was wiring switches etc, but I stopped when Ray had me connect the main panel to the sub panel. I haven't done any of the switches,,, not sure with the ones that have three cables in them... I know there is one switch by the bed that will control the fan/s/light... and then a switch by the door. it has four cables comming out of it... I will have to figure out how to wire the switch I guess...before I can check the cables from the ceiling...
 
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Old 03-20-13, 11:13 PM
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The parts about switches, lights, and other things that reside in or on boxes, for now.
 
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Old 03-20-13, 11:16 PM
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I was wiring switches etc, but I stopped when Ray had me connect the main panel to the sub panel. I haven't done any of the switches,,, not sure with the ones that have three cables in them... I know there is one switch by the bed that will control the fan/s/light... and then a switch by the door. it has four cables comming out of it... I will have to figure out how to wire the switch I guess...before I can check the cables from the ceiling...
It will probably be easier with the power feeding in, but it will be safer without that. Are any of the cables labeled or tagged?
 
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Old 03-22-13, 03:59 AM
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Nash, only two of them. I am now wiring the switches. Most of them have two cables.. I should just piggy back them right? The only wires that are tagged are for one of the switches to the light/ fan. One of those cables says Runner.. and the other says Light. I also was wrong.. yes one does have 4 wires... but I think 2 are for the new fan and light... and the other two are for the hall light that is worked by two switches.. one at the foot of the stairs.. and one at the top of the stairs in the bedroom.I should piggy back those...right? All of the others except for 1 only have two... but that one.. has three cables. I know I sound so stupid, but you guys have been amazing. My contractor { my son.. never do business with family!!] just walked out.. after quoting us $40,000 and three months for the job..well it turned out to be $65,000 and it still isn't done...so here I am....anyway.. those two are the only cables with any tags.. thank you so much, Bev
 
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Old 03-22-13, 06:56 AM
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ok.. I am now going through and getting all the cables trimmed [ some are really long and I can use the wire for the piggy backs] and in the receptacles there are also some with one cable .. then some with two.. and even some with three cables... as with the switches....<<<confused... much earlier I did some of the receptacles and just put both wires on the screw... I should probably piggy back those also huh?.. during my reading, I know some advice was given to take out the tab between the screws during some usage... I may have done that to some with two wires of the same .. and put the wires on the two screws...So.. probably I will have to replace those?... also.. just one more question... just to confuse you. When I was doing the light fixtures... most were easyyyy... but there was one that had two cables.. I just put all the black ones together with the black wire from the light fixture...and all the white ones...the same...etc.. should I redo that also?
 
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Old 03-22-13, 08:12 AM
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I should just piggy back them right?
IDK. What do you mean by "piggy back"?

The only wires that are tagged are for one of the switches to the light/ fan. One of those cables says Runner.. and the other says Light.
Those should be the 3-wire travrller cable and the 2-wire cable to the light, respectively.
 
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Old 03-22-13, 08:33 AM
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I tried to send a pic of my sub panel I wired..but I can't get it to load.. I am so proud.. thank you guys!!!
 
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Old 03-22-13, 08:36 AM
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piggy back = you take the two black wires and a separate black wire and put all together in a nut... then run the separate wire to the screw.... then you do the same with the white and copper.. Nash.. I don't what a travrller cable would be used for.. I will need advice.. would that be in the book? Thank you so much
 
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Old 03-22-13, 09:03 AM
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piggy back = you take the two black wires and a separate black wire and put all together in a nut... then run the separate wire to the screw..
That's called pigtailing. Piggyback is two wires on the same lug. Usually not allowed.

I don't what a travrller cable would be used for.. I will need advice.. would that be in the book?
Go through the chapter on 3-way switchers. Basically a 3-conductor cable (red, black, white, ground) connects the two 3-way switches. A 3-way switch has 2 travelers, and a common (odd colored screw). The 3-conductor cable connects the travelers and common of the first switch to the travelers and common of the second switch. I think that is what Nash was referring to.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-25-13 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 03-22-13, 09:15 AM
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Hi Ray, Good to see you again. The switches I bought have two screws and a screw for the ground [copper ]wire... do I need some of the ones with another screw also? are those the ones for a three way switch?.. none of the cables are labeled except two.. they are on the second switch that works the light and fan...one of those is labeled Runner.. which Nash says is the traveler.. and the other is labeled light. Do I need to pig tail all those other switches that have two cables per switch? That is what I was asking Nash.... a;so.. what do you do with switches that have three cables coming out of the box ? There a a couple of them, and they would go to just one light...and have space for only one switch.
 
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Old 03-22-13, 10:05 AM
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All of the cables have the same wires.... white...black.. copper.....the problem for me is... the fact there are multiple cables in one box for a switch or a receptacle .. I have read the chapter.. still not sure of myself.... read about travelers... still not sure what to do with that cable...do you pigtail it..with the other cable?? I just don't understand the multiple cable ..installations.. or not enough to be sure of myself...
 
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Old 03-22-13, 10:19 AM
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I haven't been following and not sure where Nash was going so If I repeat what he has asked sorry. Using you r multimeter determine if one of the cables in the switch box by measuring between the black and white of each cable. If none are hot do the same tests at the ceiling box. When you find the hot cable mark it. Post your results and we will go from there.

Or do you not have the cables connected to the breaker box yet?

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...-pictures.html
 
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Old 03-23-13, 09:46 AM
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075_zps9a88b5a8.jpg Photo by Beverly_Foster_Roberts | Photobucket

link to pic of wired panel.. Yes Ray all the cables are connected... but I turn it off when I am doing anything with the electric.... I don't know if that link will work for a pic or not? Thanks so much.. Bev
 
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Old 03-23-13, 11:01 AM
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Okay if you don't know which cable is hot you need to check between the white and black of each cable with the power on. Cables need to be disconnected from each other for testing. When you have found the hot cable mark it and we will go from there.
 
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Old 03-24-13, 10:27 PM
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LOL!

One on you and one on me!

piggy back = you take the two black wires and a separate black wire and put all together in a nut... then run the separate wire to the screw.... then you do the same with the white and copper.
That's adding a pigtail!

Nash.. I don't what a travrller cable would be used for.. I will need advice.. would that be in the book?
Of course you don't, because I was trying to say traveler cable. 3-way switches and the travelers they require should be in Wiring Simplified, in addition to the good explanation Ray has provided.
 
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Old 03-25-13, 05:04 PM
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The switches I bought have two screws and a screw for the ground [copper ]wire... do I need some of the ones with another screw also? are those the ones for a three way switch?..
Those are single-location switches. For any location where you have two locations that the light should be controlled from, you will need a pair of 3-way switches. Yes, those are the switches with three terminals for current-carrying conductors. One of the terminals is called the common, or point, terminal. It is usually marked with a dark screw. The other two terminals are the traveler terminals. They are usually marked with bright brass screws.

Do you have any instances where the plan is to control a light from more than two locations?

All of the cables have the same wires.... white...black.. copper.....the problem for me is... the fact there are multiple cables in one box for a switch or a receptacle ..

none of the cables are labeled except two.. they are on the second switch that works the light and fan...one of those is labeled Runner.. which Nash says is the traveler.. and the other is labeled light.
Are all of the cables 3-wire, 2-conductor cables, or do some of them have a third, red conductor in them? In particular, does the cable labeled Runner have a red wire in it? I'm asking because to wire a pair of 3-way switches properly, the two switch locations need to have one 4-wire, 3-conductor cable run directly from one of the switch boxes to the other.

The receptacle wiring should be straightforward. Unless you're planning to have any of the receptacles controlled by a switch, you should just strip the jacket off of each cable in each receptacle box, trim the wires so they extend about 4" out of the front of the box, and splice each color together with a pigtail of the same color and wire size, and use the pigtails to connect the receptacle. If the boxes are metal, either add a second bare pigtail or leave one of the incoming grounds extra long. Then use the second pigtail to bond the box to ground or use the extra-long wire to go around a ground screw before you make the splice with the pigtail.

If you do have any where you're planning to have a switch control either all or one half of the duplex receptacle, ask us and we can tell you how to do that.
 
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Old 03-25-13, 05:16 PM
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Ok Guys. Bev has her multimeter and her wiring made simple book
Yay!

Bev, if you are wondering where the unlabeled cables in your boxes go, you can use the continuity tester in your new meter to find out. First, set the meter to Ohms and touch the two probed together. The meter should light up or make noise or both. If it doesn't, check the battery, read the instructions that came with it for testing for continuity, or ask us.

Once you've got the meter reacting, use a wire nut to temporarily connect any two insulated conductors in one of your mystery cables. Then go to each of the other boxes and touch the meter probes to those same two wires, by color, in each cable there. When you get the same signal that you got when you touched the two probes to each other, you've found the other end of the cable with the wire nut connecting two of its wires,
 
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Old 04-08-13, 09:31 AM
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continuing saga..

Hi Nash, Ray and everyone. The good news is.. I have the two panels connected successfully. The clothes dryer is on the new panel and is working!! YAY! So, I wired receptacles and light switches for the upstairs room... [we added two rooms upstairs/one room downstairs] All that is left is one light switch.. the two ceiling fans [they have three cables] and the double 3 way switch box upstairs. As I have been adding the receptacles and switches I have checked and so far there is NO current to any of them.. that makes me very,very nervous. Shouldn't something work?? On the double gang is it?? 3 way switch I have power to 2 of the four cables. One switch will work the ceiling fans upstairs.. the other works the lights in the hallway. On the ceiling fan two of the cables are hot.. and one is not. So.. that is what I have found out about the cables involved in the ceiling fan. The guy at the store where I bought my three way switches says it sounds to him like maybe too many wires were run. I have no idea. The way I have understood it..reading the book.. when two cables come into a light switch I splice the two neutrals..and the two grounds.. and then run the two black wires to the screws.. is that correct? I appreciate all of your help.. Beverly
 
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Old 04-08-13, 09:35 AM
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There are no red wires anywhere....all the cables have one white,black and copper wire. The boxes are all plastic..
 
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Old 04-08-13, 09:47 AM
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when two cables come into a light switch I splice the two neutrals..and the two grounds.. and then run the two black wires to the screws.. is that correct
Yes if one cable is hot and one goes to the light.

A little too much question and info. For now lets put any three ways on the back burner and work with the remaining single location switches. Lets take one ceiling box and one switch box associated with. For the sake of preliminary discussion even if it is a two gang box lets just treat it as a single gang box with the one switch that goes to a ceiling outlet. Pick one, give us the details and we will work on getting that one going.
 
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