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Adding a ceiling fan single switch in box with 3-Way Switch in older house

Adding a ceiling fan single switch in box with 3-Way Switch in older house

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  #1  
Old 05-12-14, 09:42 AM
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Adding a ceiling fan single switch in box with 3-Way Switch in older house

Sometimes I love our house and sometimes I don't..and many times I don't when I am trying to do some electrical because it is not at all straight-forward.

House was built in 1943, has older silver colored braided insulated wire with 2 wires in it, 1 black and 1 white.

I have done a bunch of work on electrical, replacing when I am able and it is needed, and running new circuits. A couple of summers ago I installed a new 40 panel box. Everything is working well.

So I am trying to add a ceiling fan to our living room. I ran a new 12/2 wire from fan to a newly converted (single to double) box on the wall. The other switch in the box is a 3 way switch that actually switches an outlet on and off and has 1 partner switch on opposite wall.

First issue: For whatever reason, some of the old wire is reversed and some is not. What I mean is, where normally black is hot and white is neutral this particular 3 way switch is indicating white as the hot and black being neutral. Well, let me take a step back. The switch I am referring to has 3 wires connected, a white to the top brass screw, and black to the bottom dark screw, and then a red on the other brass screw. When using a non-contact, I am getting white reading as hot and nothing on the black unless the switch is in the opposite position (in which case both white and black are reading as hot). When I disconnect completely from switch, only the white hits as hot.

So, the fan that I am adding is going to go on a single pole switch so how exactly should I approach connecting this? I know there are a couple of ways. I was thinking of just connecting the black coming from the fan (which is hot for the fan) to the switch and then connecting a single length of wire as a jumper between the hot on this switch and the 3-way switch. Is this proper?

Finally, I have no idea what to do with the neutral coming from the fan in this situation. Which wire do I need to connect this to? I know it is the neutral and am unsure how to handle this situation when connecting to 3 way switch.

Thanks!

Mike


Edit: Here is a diagram:

Attachment 31559
 

Last edited by shelzmike; 05-12-14 at 10:17 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-14, 10:32 AM
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has older silver colored braided insulated wire with 2 wires in it
Ungrounded wiring can not be extended so the only code compliant solution to this is run a new cable from the breaker/fuse box to the two gang switch box.
I have no idea what to do with the neutral coming from the fan in this situation.
That answer is the second reason the existing circuit can't be used. If no neutral a power cable with a neutral must be run to the new switch box. (Yes, you can have two separate circuits in the same box.)
 
  #3  
Old 05-12-14, 10:49 AM
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Thanks Ray! I think I had already been figuring this out As it so happens, I actually have an outlet in the same wall (facing the other way) that is a brand new circuit that I ran a couple years ago. The outlet is running directly to its own breaker with new line...can I just extend this circuit to the fan switch?

Thanks again for the help!

Mike
 
  #4  
Old 05-13-14, 10:34 PM
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Just as a final update to this topic - I did end up running this fan into another circuit and at the end of the day, it was the best solution. Thanks again for the help!

Mike
 
  #5  
Old 05-14-14, 08:51 AM
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The grounded circuit, right? Good job. Thanks for letting us know your solution.
 
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