no power; breaker not visibly tripped. oh, my.

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  #1  
Old 07-16-13, 09:24 PM
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no power; breaker not visibly tripped. oh, my.

i decided to install a new switch for the fan (fan only, no lights) in my living room (why? i wanted an on-off switch, not a low-medium-high dial).

i've swapped dimmers for switches and switches for switches numerous times, so foolishly i think to myself "this will be cake." it wasn't.

i cut the circuit breaker, get to wiring and when things look like i think they should, i switch the breaker back on. not only did the new switch not work, none of the outlets in that room now work.

defeated, i proceed to put the old dial back on and still get no power.

the switch box has two whites, two blacks and two grounds. i've attached an image. any idea how to get power restored to this room? i've tried switching the breaker on-off multiple times hoping magic would cure it. it didn't.
 
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Old 07-16-13, 09:28 PM
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The wiring in that box shouldn't be causing your problem if it was setup for a switch type application.

What device WAS in that location and what are you putting in now ?
 
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Old 07-16-13, 09:30 PM
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a dial that controlled a fan (no lights). i installed a new fan (no lights) that worked fine only when the dial was set to 'high', so i wanted to install a standard switch. things went wrong when i tried to connect the on-off switch.
 
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Old 07-16-13, 09:37 PM
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Ok.

The problem is not there in that box. That looks like a 14-2 cable for power in and a 14-2 cable for switched out.

You may have a breaker that is not turning back on. They can go bad. Do you have a way to check for voltage....... like a voltmeter ?
 
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Old 07-16-13, 09:44 PM
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I don't have one. Would my trying to swap the switch cause the breaker to go bad? Everything was working perfectly before I got to meddling. Also, this is throwing me for a loop: when I turn the breaker off, my clothes washer (in the adjoining room, right below circuit box) turns off, when I turn the breaker back on, it is the only thing that has power restored.

Thanks.
 
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Old 07-16-13, 10:36 PM
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Your clothes washer is on that same circuit Not an ideal setup.

If you turn on the breaker that controls that light switch you're working on and the washer starts working..... that would mean the breaker is ok and that you have a wiring issue.

I don't think anything you did in that box could cause your problem but without some type of voltage checker or volt meter.... I can't be of much more help.
 
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Old 07-17-13, 05:00 AM
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Are those wire leads going to the new switch you installed? If so I see no reason this should not work. Have you checked the connection on the whites?
 
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Old 07-17-13, 08:53 AM
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i decided to install a new switch for the fan (fan only, no lights) in my living room (why? i wanted an on-off switch, not a low-medium-high dial).
If a fan motor is going to be controlled upstream of the motor, the pull-chain switch needs to be set on High and left there. The motor needs full power at startup, and feeding it anything less is likely to damage it.

Since most of us don't want the fan to always run on High, the upstream control should be a fan motor control or a fan motor remote. A 3-speed rotary control is one such device - there are several others.

The problem with your circuit may be in the box for the washing machine receptacle. Use an analog multimeter, which you can buy for less than $15, to test for 120V on each of the two black wires in your switch box, hot-to-ground and hot-to-neutral.

As said earlier, your washing machine should have its own circuit, not be on a shared circuit.
 
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