Switch Box Wiring Problem with weird voltages?

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Old 08-09-15, 08:27 AM
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Switch Box Wiring Problem with weird voltages?

Hi!

I have a problem that I am stumped with. I am installing a new ceiling fan and had to run a new 14-2 as there was no existing line where I wanted the fan. Now, when I was running the wire, I was trying to enlarge a hole and hit the wire that is connected to the switch and it sparked. I made sure all of the breakers were off prior to me starting and then discovered that I had a mislabeled breaker. Shut that off and continued to wire. Now, the light that is attached to that switch doesnt work. The switch that controls it only has a hot and a ground with a black wire just sticking out the back - no nut to cap it or anything, just floating around. But it is from the back so I don't know how to tell what it exactly. I dont know if this is how it was wired to begin with or if the short I caused made something blow out of somewhere?

After this, I ran the line back to the switch box that controls the rest of the room. In that box, there is a switch that has no function that I can find - tried every outlet on the floor and they all work whether the switch is on or off so I thought I could just rewire the switch to control the fan but ended up hard wiring the fan just to make sure it would work (so no switch currently). When I opened the switch box the connections, one hot, neutral and a traveler, were all wired into the back of the switch. I took them out and wire nutted the neutral from the source to the neutral in the fan and then wire nutted the traveler, source hot and fan hot. I thought this would work but it does not appear to be.

When I check the voltages between the various wires I get the following:

hot to ground - 122.5 V (as expected-ish)
neutral to ground - 0 V (as expected)
neutral to hot - starts at 120 ish and then ticks down to about 88.5 V (huh?)

I am at a loss to figure out what is going on here. Any help you could offer would be appreciated. I tried to upload a photo but was met with only upload errors so I hope the description is complete.

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 08-09-15, 09:14 AM
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I was trying to enlarge a hole and hit the wire that is connected to the switch
Do you mean cable, two or more wires in a metallic or non metallic sheath?
The switch that controls it only has a hot and a ground with a black wire just sticking out the back - no nut to cap it or anything, just floating around.
Please post a picture of that. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html Be sure you picture is 1000px wide or less. If you still can't upload post to an image sharing site such as Photobucket and post the URL here.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 09:30 AM
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It was a 14-3 and after further investigation, I believe it to be the power feed that I am using. I am going to try and splice that section out and put a patch of new wire in - but would this affect the light? I guess it would if it was on the same circuit but I am not sure.

Name:  20150809_082124_resized.jpg
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Size:  20.9 KB - I think the original image was too large to upload... The wire to the second switch is actually black, it looks like the builder originally sprayed primer over everything but it is just a black and a ground to the middle switch.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 09:35 AM
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Name:  20150809_093143_resized.jpg
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Name:  20150809_093156_resized.jpg
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Two more a little closer up
 
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Old 08-09-15, 10:40 AM
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I am going to try and splice that section out and put a patch of new wire in
Any splices must be in an always assessable junction box.
but would this affect the light?
If it was carrying power to the switch box or light yes.
 
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Old 08-09-15, 10:48 AM
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I was trying to enlarge a hole and hit the wire that is connected to the switch and it sparked
Assuming you were using a big drill bit, this is probably your problem. You need to replace the cable and test again.
 
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