Replacing fan with two (2)- 2 wire from two switches


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Old 05-31-14, 11:43 AM
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Replacing fan with two (2)- 2 wire from two switches

I am replacing a ceiling fan that was wired to two incoming wires from two wall switches. Each incoming wire contains two strands of wires ( a black and a gold) plus a ground wire. The two grounds were wired together in the box and one gold strand from one two-wire was connected to the fan and one black wire from the other two wire was connected to the fan. I think but unsure that the black wire was connected to two fan wire (black and blue/turquoise) and the gold wire from the other two wire was connected to a gold wire on the fan. The other black strand from one of the two wire and the other gold strand from the other two wire were pushed back in the box and intentionally left unconnected. Does this seem correct.

Thanks
 
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Old 05-31-14, 11:48 AM
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Gold is not normally an insulation color. Is this perhaps an aged white?

Can you check your description, you say both are connected to the fan leads.
 
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Old 05-31-14, 12:35 PM
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Is this perhaps an aged white? That would be my guess, it looked really dirty white but would not clean up.

Can you check your description, you say both are connected to the fan leads?

As to the second part of your reply I was unclear what you are saying and have tried to clarify below

The incoming white/gold strand was connected to a white/gold wire on the fan,

The incoming black strand from the other two wire was connected to two wires on the fan (one black and one blue/torquiose).
Thanks again
 
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Old 05-31-14, 12:54 PM
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Do you have cable not conduit how many 2-conductor +ground cables* at the fan? How many 2-conductor cables at the switch? How are they connected?

*A 2-conductor cable is two wires (black, white) in a metallic or non metallic sheath that may or may not also contain a ground.
 
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Old 05-31-14, 12:57 PM
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It sounds like both the fan and the,light were wired off of one switch and perhaps pull chains were used to turn off the functions individually. Is that how the old fan light operated?
 
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Old 05-31-14, 02:04 PM
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I have two --- "2-conductor cables (both with grounds)" coming into fan/light fixture box . Each 2-conductor cable is separately wired to two different wall switches at opposite ends of the room (both which control the fixture) . The fan/light can also be controlled by pull chains on the fan/light fixture (if the power at the wall switches is on). One chain of the fixture controlled the fan and one chain controlled the light.

Thanks
 
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Old 05-31-14, 02:24 PM
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Did the switches say on and off or were they three way switches?
 
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Old 05-31-14, 02:39 PM
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yes they are standard on/off swithces that say on and off but as they are hooked with 2 switches they may be switched to on but are off because of the other switch is on,
 
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Old 05-31-14, 02:47 PM
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Does power come in at each of the switches? If so you have a non standard connection that may be a code violation. If the power comes in at both switches are both switches on the same breaker? We really need to know all the wiring at both switches.
 
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Old 05-31-14, 03:29 PM
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Does power come in at each of the switches?

What do you mean by power,
hot ? or current? With my limited knowledge, the is one hot wire from one cable (controlled by one wall switch) and one neutral wire from another cable (controlled by a second switch) powering the fixture. that being the case there is one hot from one cable with current flowing to a neutral wire in another cable.


If the power comes in at both switches are both switches on the same breaker? Power? or current. Assume same circuit, how would you tell. would you turn the light on and go through all the circuit breakers and see how many circuit breakers turn off the light.
 
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Old 05-31-14, 04:49 PM
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All circuits have a 120 volt cable that provides power where is that cable. You will need a cheap analog multimeter to find it. (A non contact tester won't work.) Or you may be able to tell by looking.

Here are the two most common types of switch circuits. Notice where the power comes in in each circuit.

Power comes in at the switch.
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Power comes in at the light.
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Old 05-31-14, 05:20 PM
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... one gold strand from one two-wire was connected to the fan and one black wire from the other two wire was connected to the fan. ... The other black strand from one of the two wire and the other gold strand from the other two wire were pushed back in the box and intentionally left unconnected. Does this seem correct?
Definitely incorrect. A device may not have hot from one incoming cable and neutral to a different incoming cable going off in a different direction.

What you have was common almost a century ago where for example a single hot conductor ran along the outside wall and a single neutral ran along an inside wall and lights, etc. were connected using single conductors from hot and neutral respectively. This wiring in existing homes may usually remain in use but may not be modified or extended or repaired.

Your best bet would be to string new wiring (just one cable) to the fan. If you can verify that one of the existing cables has hot and neutral for the black and yellowed white respectively then you can instead connect the fan to the wires in that cable and curl up both wires of the other cable as unconnected.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 05-31-14 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 06-01-14, 06:09 AM
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I may be missing the boat , but sounds like he has 2 cables coming into the 4-O box ? Two earth grounds , that are tied together . A black & white and a black & white . One black is a switch leg for the fan and the other black is a switch leg for the lite .

One of the whites is a neutral . The other sounds like it is un-used . One switch for fan and one switch leg for lite ? Or am i wrong ? Is there only one switch ?

If 2 switches , are they at the same location / switch box ?

God bless
Wyr
 
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Old 06-01-14, 08:36 AM
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Clarification For WyrTwister


2 cables go into a plastic ceiling box (i'm pretty sure its a 4-O box)?

Two earth grounds , that are tied together. Yes One ground from each cable

A black & white and a black & white. and ground wires

One black is a switch leg for the fan and the other black is a switch leg for the lite. The two switches control power to both the light and fan as one unit.

One of the whites is a neutral . The other sounds like it is un-used . One switch for fan and one switch leg for lite ? No both switches control the fan and light at the same time.

Or am i wrong ? Is there only one switch ? There are two switches at opposite ends of the room which each control power to the fan/light as a single unit

If 2 switches , are they at the same location / switch box ? Two switches at opposite ends of the room
 

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Old 06-01-14, 10:11 AM
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... One black is a switch leg for the fan and the other black is a switch leg for the lite. The two switches control power to both the light and fan as one unit.

One of the whites is a neutral . The other sounds like it is un-used . One switch for fan and one switch leg for lite ? No both switches control the fan and light at the same time.

Or am i wrong ? I ...
This is different from what you first said that the black from one cable and the white (gold) from the other cable were both un-used. Go back and inspect the box again to see what is really the case.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 10:39 AM
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Resonse

AllanJ-not sure where you think I said something different than what I originally said. What I originally said was that one neutral from one cable and one hot from the other cable were connected to the light/fan fixture and remaining wire in both cables were unused.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 11:08 AM
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Is this the wiring at the ceiling:

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Old 06-01-14, 11:26 AM
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yes, thank you


just to clarify the ground wires from the two cables are also connected together and the fan and light is one fixture.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 03:18 PM
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Do you mean my diagram? If so that configuration in my diagram is not code compliant. One of the switches will probably have to be abandoned. We need to know all the wires at each switch and how they are connected.
 
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Old 06-01-14, 08:32 PM
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yes i meant your diagram is correct.

Each of the switches controlling the fan/ight are in two gang switch boxes with the opposing switch in each box controlling another separate fixture.

Switch Box 1 is a two gang switch with the other opposing switch controlling an outside porch light. I assume the cable on the outside of the box goes from the switch to the light/fan, it has one hot and one neutral connected to the switch. The cable coming in from the middle of the box has a black connected to the switch and one neutral that is intentionally not connected.

Switch Box 2 is also a two gang switch with the other opposing switch controlling another light fixture. A cable hooked to the switch controlling the fan has one hot and one neutral connected to it, the only other wire is a black wire connected between both switches in this box.

I know I need to confirm the connectivity rather than assume however, will be out of town for the next couple of day and don't have time right now and will when i get back, Thanks
 
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Old 06-01-14, 08:46 PM
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it has one hot and one neutral connected to the switch.
That would be a direct short and trip a breaker. I believe you mean a white wire that was not relabeled and a black wire. Ditto for the second switch box. So far two switch loops and no source of power for the fan. Did this ever work? Does either switch box have at least two white connected only to each other and not to a switch?
A cable hooked to the switch controlling the fan has one hot and one neutral connected to it, the only other wire is a black wire connected between both switches in this box
Are you saying the switch has three screws and three wires not counting any ground? Does this switch say on/off?
 
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Old 06-02-14, 12:36 PM
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Explanation of what seems to be going on: They took the neutral from one source and the hot from another source. By code both the hot and neutral must be in the same cable. This has been a major violation for several decades.

What probably needs to be done: If one of the switch boxes has a power in cable the white of the switch cable from that box needs to be connected to the neutrals in that box. The black of power in and the black of the switch cable need to be connected to the switch. The other switch must be disconnected and that cable to the ceiling box abandoned.

Hint: The switch box with two or more whites connected only to each other will be the one where power comes in. The group of whites are your neutrals.
 
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Old 06-02-14, 05:15 PM
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Switch Box 1 is a two gang switch with the other opposing switch controlling an outside porch light. I assume the cable on the outside of the box goes from the switch to the light/fan, it has one hot and one neutral connected to the first switch. The cable coming in from the middle of the box has a black connected to the second switch and one neutral that is intentionally not connected.

Switch Box 2 is also a two gang switch with the other opposing switch controlling another light fixture. Call these switches #3 and #4 to distinguish them from the switches in box 1. A cable hooked to the third switch, controlling the fan(?), has one hot and one neutral connected to it, the only other wire is a black wire connected between both switches in this box.
What else is connected to the second and fourth switches? A switch with only one wire connected to it will do nothing when flipped.

A reminder: Turn power off before measuring connectivity or resistance or continuity. Turn power on to measure voltage.
 
 

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