which wires are which?

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  #1  
Old 03-25-15, 02:50 PM
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which wires are which?

I installed a ceiling fan that only uses an remote control wall switch (Casablanca universal wall switch). It does not work when installed where my old ceiling fan switch was (signal not strong enough), but shows promise working across the room in another spot. The only wire coming from the switch is supposed to be attached to the grounding wires. So basically I would use a wire screw to attach both the hots together and another wire not to attach both the grounding wires together plus the wire from the switch, the screw the switch in the wall.

Where I want to put the new switch there are there decora switches side by side and I want to put the remote wall switch in the middle. The problem is all the wires are the same color (black with with dust) and my hand tester is too sensitive to identify the wires.

Sooo, one wire comes from the first switch, attaches to a side nut to the middle switch. Another wire comes from that same nut and goes to the third switch. (Are these the ground wires?) Then two wires come from the wall and go directly into little holes in the back of the switch. These are the hot wires?

Also, how do I get the wires that go into the little holes out of the holes?

Thanks for your time.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 03:08 PM
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Before getting into wiring at other box, the first box you chose should work.
You didn't bury the antenna in the fan canopy did you? The antenna should hang out the side of canopy and that will increase the remote range.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 03:20 PM
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The remote receiver did not come with antenna, not that I remember or mentioned in the fan instruction manual. The wall switch seems to work everywhere except when its placed in the wall at the old fan switch spot. I prefer having the switch at the location I asked about anyways because its in a convenient location.

This does raise another issue I had and never received an answer from Casablanca fans. Is it possible for the signal from the wall remote to travel up the grounding wire to the remote receiver? Because otherwise, I do not think the remote will send a powerful enough signal while its in the wall.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 03:47 PM
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The problem is all the wires are the same color (black with with dust) and my hand tester is too sensitive to identify the wires.
You have a non-contact tester and it is performing exactly how intended. These testers are just intended to show that voltage is present somewhere in the nearby proximity, they aren't for troubleshooting or identifying hot wires like you are trying to do. There are inexpensive voltage testers available that will do what you need for under $10 at any box store.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 03:48 PM
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Let's wait for more ideas or input. I'll look at remote requirements.
As far as I know, there should be a small wire antenna that hangs out canopy.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 04:26 PM
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I couldn't find info on remote, there are too many.

Assuming this is battery operated.
It is intended to go into the spot where fan switch was located.

It is easy enough to bypass a switch, I can tell you how to do that.

The middle decora switch location you want to bypass (and house remote) - what does it control now?
If you bypass this switch, whatever that switch controls will be on always.

Is this what you want?
 
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Old 03-25-15, 04:42 PM
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This is the fan I got (when it was cheaper)
Casablanca Capistrano Gallery Ceiling Fan CA-54032 in Antique Pewter - Guaranteed Lowest Price.

Yes it works off a battery. I also got the handheld remote which can be mounted on the wall. I was going to mount the handheld next to where the fan switch is at. Both the handheld and wall remotes work very well all over the place. Just the wall control does not work while its in the wall (at least in the wall at the original fan switch spot). I have seen other reviewers say the same thing.

The middle switch controls an outlet. The one where my computer, modem, monitor, speakers are currently plugged in at. I never use the middle switch. Its at the top of the stairs to my 2nd floor condo and it would be very convenient to for there to be a switch there to control the light to my living room. In fact, its kind of awkward for there not to be a switch that controls the living room light at that spot.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 05:36 PM
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OK,
The wire going to all three switches is probably the ground, it will be Bare Copper. Verify this.

The 2 wires going into back of middle switch (backstabbed), are the ones you will connect with a wire nut.
Before proceeding:
Ensure the 2 wires into back of switch are insulated, and ensure there are only 2. If that's the case, go ahead and remove switch and connect the 2 wires.

To remove the wires from backstabs: Insert a small (jewelers) screwdriver into the small slot next to each wiring hole. The wire should just fall out. You may need to pull just a little. The slots are finicky as to where you press the screwdriver. When the wire releases, you will know it.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 06:34 PM
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Thanks

There are no bare copper wires. This condo was built in 1997 if that matters.

I will pick this up tomorrow after work as its getting late here on the east coast

Thanks for your time
 
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Old 03-25-15, 06:42 PM
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The remote wall switch can have distance problems when installed in a metal gem box.
 
  #11  
Old 03-27-15, 11:52 AM
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Ok, I used a wire nut to bind the two wires coming out of the wall. Attached the grounding wire from the universal wall control to what I think is the grounding wire. Screwed in the remote wall control unit and the remote wall unit is powerful enough to control the fan.

So I turned the circuit breaker back on and the outlet that the original switch operates gets power, but the the two switches on either side of the middle switch that was replaced do not turn on the lights they should.

Any ideas?
 
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Old 03-27-15, 01:18 PM
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but the the two switches on either side of the middle switch that was replaced do not turn on the lights they should.
Do you mean they turn on the wrong lights or the lights don't work at all?
 
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Old 03-27-15, 01:33 PM
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They wont work at all. I just pulled the other two switches out, but did not disconnect anything, to get a better look at the wiring
 
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Old 03-27-15, 02:29 PM
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I didn't know they made these things so complicated. Its a three gang switch set up. The main power wire comes from the wall to the middle switch, then the power goes thru the switch unrestricted to the two switches on either side. Then on the left switch, the main power (after flowing thru the left switch unrestricted) goes to an outlet on the other side of the room.

The middle switch has no ground, which is what I need to ground the remote wall switch I want to install. Both the side switches have 2 additional wires coming out of them, one obviously powers the lights they were designed to do. The other (on each side switch) is red and registers having no charge in it from my tester. Is this the ground? If it is, wouldn't be odd for the side switches to have a ground, but not the middle switch?
 
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Old 03-27-15, 03:13 PM
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Grounds are not red. They should be green or bare.

Can you post a picture of the switches?
 
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Old 03-27-15, 03:33 PM
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The Red wire nut connects two wires coming from the wall that went to the middle switch and a wire that comes from the left switch connects to a nut on the former middle switch then goes to the third switch. In other words, it looks like the red wire nut has four wires, but it actually has three wires, one of which is folded with no rubber coating on the part of it in the wore nut.
 
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  #17  
Old 03-27-15, 03:55 PM
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Don't remove any wires from left and right switches.

- remove wire nut you added
- cut "folded" wires at middle bare point
- Properly strip all three wires and connect with a Yellow wire nut

The wires you connected should work from what I can see. You must have a bad connection.
 
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Old 03-27-15, 03:56 PM
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Back stabs are unreliable so the first thing to do is move those wires to the screws. Second I think forgot to mention these are 3-way switches or did I just miss it? Have you tries moving the position of the other 3-way switches?
 
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