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Installing a ceiling fan, now other outlets and bathroom fan don't work

Installing a ceiling fan, now other outlets and bathroom fan don't work

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  #1  
Old 04-12-13, 08:03 PM
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Installing a ceiling fan, now other outlets and bathroom fan don't work

So I was fiddling today, and installed a jb for a ceiling fan in my bedroom (where there was nothing before). My initial plan was to take the switch next to my doorway which switches one outlet and turn that into a dual switch for the fan/light that I was going to install, and replace the outlet with one that would always be on.

After installing the jb I cut the 12-3 wire in the attic going from the light switch to the switched outlet and ran it to the jb for the fan. I then installed another jb and put the sliced end of the 12-3 (going to the switched outlet) into it. I capped off the red wire and connected the white/black to new 12-2 wiring. I ran that wiring into an existing box on a different circuit that is powering bathroom lighting and a fan and one other thing (not sure what off the top of my head).

I went back downstairs and replaced the outlet with a new one and capped off the red wire.

Turning the power back on (hunny came home and wanted the lights back on, so no time to install the fan, or swap out the light switch for the dual switch) everything worked as expected except the bathroom fan and the replaced outlet. Note, the bathroom light, which is in the same set up as the fan, and comes from the same box, was working without issue. The outlet was reading 120ac v on my meter, but then when I tried using the shop vac in it it hummed like it didn't have enough power. I put my meter back in and it went from 120 to 0 when the vacuum was turned on again.

These are 15a circuits.

Thoughts?
I won't be able to play with anything tomorrow or tomorrow night, but I'll be back trying to figure it out Sunday or Sunday night.

Thanks!
-Adam
 
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Old 04-12-13, 08:20 PM
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Without knowing how the original switch was wired this will be more difficult. Working backwards tell us what colors and connections were at the switch box and receptacle.
 
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Old 04-12-13, 08:25 PM
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My guess is that there are other things on that circuit & you overloaded it. Had you run a new line from the panel box, there wouldn't have been a problem.
 
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Old 04-12-13, 08:28 PM
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The original switch was wired with black on top and red on the bottom (single pole) and the white connected in the box. (there is a 2nd light switch in that box going to a light on the other side of the room, but this wasn't touched). The 12-3 then went up the wall into the attic (where I cut it) and then down the wall and to the receptacle. Before I switched it out there was 5 wires on the receptacle, 2 whites on one side, a red and a black on the other side (I don't remember which was on top and which was on the bottom) but the small brass connector was taken out of the middle on the red/back side. And a ground connected on both ends.
 
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Old 04-12-13, 08:34 PM
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Tell us where the unswitched power from the breaker comes in and how the existing bedroom switch is wired.

So I was fiddling today, and installed a jb for a ceiling fan in my bedroom (where there was nothing before).
Are you saying that you installed a new fan-rated box in your bedroom ceiling?

Turning the power back on... everything worked as expected except the bathroom fan and the replaced outlet. Note, the bathroom light, which is in the same set up as the fan, and comes from the same box, was working without issue. The outlet was reading 120ac v on my meter, but then when I tried using the shop vac in it it hummed like it didn't have enough power. I put my meter back in and it went from 120 to 0 when the vacuum was turned on again.
You could have an open neutral. Also, check in the bathroom switch box to confirm that the fan and light get their power and neutral from the same cable and that that cable has 120V hot-to neutral.
 
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Old 04-12-13, 08:34 PM
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Pulpo, I considered this, but I'm not sure... This is what I know to be on the circuit:
Bathroom fan (won't turn on at all), bathroom light (turns on no problem), two kitchen lights (both off when testing bathroom) one wall outlet in the kitchen with an alarm clock (on) and a toaster (off) light (on) and outlet (nothing pulling current from there) in utility room...

Seems like there is a lot of "stuff" on it, but with 2 of us living here I'm not sure that I am worried about it being overloaded (nor do I think this would have caused it to be, but I have certainly been wrong before).
 
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Old 04-12-13, 08:35 PM
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You cannot use parts of different circuits.

Just splice the wires color to color and extend to the new box. Red is probably the switched hot while black is constant hot.
 
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Old 04-12-13, 08:42 PM
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pcboss,
I don't believe I am using parts of different circuits, however I did switch which circuit the outlet is now being fed from (from circuit 7 to circuit 9).

Nashkat, I'll be back in touch with the answers to your questions on Sunday. I'm off to bed now. It was a new fan rated box that I installed. In theory the fan box and bedroom light switch should have nothing to do with the issues as the fan/switch/light are on circuit 7 and the outlet was switched from 7 to 9.
 
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Old 04-12-13, 09:34 PM
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I did switch which circuit the outlet is now being fed from (from circuit 7 to circuit 9).
How? Did you (do you) have both circuits 7 and 9 in the switch box in the bedroom? Or did you have one in the receptacle box and the other in the switch box? How many cables, and how many wires in each, do you have in the receptacle box?

Originally Posted by Nashkat1
Tell us where the unswitched power from the breaker comes in and how the existing bedroom switch is wired.
With the additional information about two circuits, tell us where each comes in and how it is first connected. With the additional information about the second switch, tell us how that one is wired too.

The original switch was wired with black on top and red on the bottom (single pole) and the white connected in the box.
A switch doesn't have a top or a bottom. A SPST (or single location) switch, which is what you're describing, has two terminals, with the ungrounded line feed connected to one and the feed to the load connected to the other. Wire insulation colors are for silly humans; electricity doesn't care. So...

Are the black and red wires connected to the switch in the same cable or two different cables? If two different cables, is one of them a 2-conductor cable and do the wires in it have 120V hot-to-neutral when all of the wires in the switch box are disconnected?

I'm off to bed now.
Rest well. We'll see you on Sunday.
 
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Old 04-14-13, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Nashkat1
A switch doesn't have a top or a bottom.
Is it not standard that, for SPST/DPST switches, the switch be oriented so that the switch is closed when the toggle is flipped up? Especially since most have ON and OFF indicated on the toggle?
 
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Old 04-14-13, 01:15 PM
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Is it not standard that, for SPST/DPST switches, the switch be oriented so that the switch is closed when the toggle is flipped up? Especially since most have ON and OFF indicated on the toggle?
It may be standard, especially when the switch is mounted vertically, but it isn't required. Rocker switches do not have on or off indicated, none of this can apply to a awitch mounted horizontally, and the NEC doesn't address the orientation of switches - or receptacles, for that matter. Switches, and receptacles, have no top or bottom. Their orientation is at the discretion of the installer.

Do you have the answers yet to the questions that have been asked?
 
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Old 04-16-13, 05:25 PM
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So these issues are all resolved now. It was a mix of a lose connection in the box, being slightly confused from not listening to Ray (completely) on my last wiring problem (bathroom fan, labeling a white wire to reflect that it was not the standard white).

In addition to the fun things I learned while doing this, I also came across a question of whether I could have 2 wires going to the bottom of a standard single pole switch (seemed like something that shouldn't happen) and found the answer http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...ree-wires.html

Anyway, outlets, bathroom fan/light, ceiling fan/light are all working as expected.

As always, thank you guys for the help and education.

-Adam
 
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Old 04-16-13, 06:39 PM
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Excellent! Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
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