Incomplete fan wiring ?

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  #1  
Old 05-12-15, 04:55 AM
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Incomplete fan wiring ?

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I have gotten this to work but still want to ask why it worked.

I have two fans. I was only able to wired one fan due to time that day. When I turned on the switch, it did not work. After a couple of hours figuring it out, as soon as I removed the black, white and ground wire from the left switch that I did not wire to the fan on the left yet, the fan on the right worked.

Question: is the switch on the left bad? Or does it needs to be a complete circuit in order for both to work.

If you have any suggestions on the wiring, please feel free.

I connected all the white wires together.
I connected the power source (black) to the bottom of each switch (piggy).
I connected the fans' (black) to the top of the switch.
I connected the grounds together.

The fan on the left was not connected but that end was left in wire nuts and in a junction box. As mentioned before, as soon as I remove the black, white and ground wires from the left switch, the fan on the right started to work. Please feel free to educate.
 
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Old 05-12-15, 05:18 AM
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Wiring

What type of switches are you using?
 
  #3  
Old 05-12-15, 07:58 AM
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Your diagram shows a connection outside of a junction box. That is not permitted. Where are the cables actually connected?
 
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Old 05-12-15, 02:15 PM
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Sorry Ray, I kind of put a quick diagram but they are all in three different junction boxes. Each fan has its own and the two light switches are in one junction box, with the source (power supply) running into it.

WirePuller, it is just regular light switches wired to a 20 amp circuit.
 
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Old 05-12-15, 02:58 PM
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Check your pigtail connections for hot and neutral.
 
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Old 05-12-15, 03:07 PM
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I have two pigtail connections. Both are black (HOT) coming from Power Source to each light switch. No pigtail connections on white (NEUTRAL) which are all connected together.
 
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Old 05-12-15, 05:02 PM
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Your diagram is correct. It should work if that is actually how it's wired but you said this....
as soon as I removed the black, white and ground wire from the left switch
White is not shown and should not be on a switch.

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  #8  
Old 05-12-15, 06:35 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to do that for me PJ! really appreciate it. That means that I did wire it correctly.

Yes, White was not on the switch. What I meant was as soon as I removed the left wires: black (piggy tail to power source), white (to power source) and ground wires on the left side, right fan was able to work. Also, in regards to your diagram, I actually did not connect the fan on the left yet, just light switch area. Could that be the reason why the right side did not work since left fan did not connect yet? Thanks
 
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Old 05-12-15, 06:39 PM
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Either side should work regardless if both fans were connected.
 
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Old 05-12-15, 06:44 PM
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Thanks for the confirmation. I will just have to live with the mystery for now.
 
  #11  
Old 05-13-15, 05:26 AM
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Wires

I actually did not connect the fan on the left yet, just light switch area. Could that be the reason why the right side did not work since left fan did not connect yet?
Wires at the fan may have touched and shorted the circuit.
 
  #12  
Old 05-13-15, 06:25 AM
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Hi WirePuller,

The wires on the left fan are not touching. They can't because they are in a junction box with caps on them, just not connected to the fan yet. In such case, if they did touch, it would have tripped my breaker and burn out the other fan.

I believe the mystery is in the junction box where I wired the two light switches.

Another note to this, the fan on the right side was wired on a 15 amp circuit last year. Since these fans pull about 2.5 amps each, I thought that I moved them to a 20 amp circuit. The fan on the left is brand new and has not been installed yet. I ran the wires first.
 
  #13  
Old 06-22-15, 03:06 PM
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Today, I installed a receptacle, in place of the fan on the left (original picutre). The fan on the left was never installed because it caused the fan on the right to not work.

Here is the weird thing. When I tested the receptacle with an receptacle tester (Klein Tools Receptacle Tester-RT100 - The Home Depot), it showed that all hook ups were correct. I then plugged a halogen lamp into the receptacle and it ran fine for about 50 seconds. After that, the light and the fan on the right all the sudden turned off. Strange but I then tested the receptacle with the receptacle tester again. This time, it shows HOT neutral or HOT ground.

I checked the breakers and nothing was tripped.

Could it be the distance of the 12 gauge romex (on 20 amp breaker) to the light switch? As soon as I disconnect the light switch from the left side from the circuit, fan on the right started again.

Weird thing is that the receptacle tested CORRECT and ran for about 50 seconds.
 
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Old 06-22-15, 03:11 PM
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Those testers are only okay for determining you may or may not have a problem but they can give wrong results. To test you need a multimeter, preferably analog.
 
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Old 06-23-15, 02:50 AM
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Could the distance or length of the romex be a factor? I am just really puzzled that it did work for 50 seconds.
 
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Old 06-23-15, 06:17 AM
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Circuit length is rarely an issue in residential.

Is the circuit protected by an AFCI breaker?
 
  #17  
Old 06-23-15, 10:32 AM
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I am not sure what AFCI is but yes, it has circuit breakers on it.
 
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Old 06-23-15, 10:49 AM
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Typical AFCI breaker. Yours may vary but will have a test button.

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  #19  
Old 06-23-15, 10:51 AM
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Thanks for the picture Ray. Yes, mine are like that.
 
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