CEILING FAN PROBLEMS

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  #1  
Old 04-22-01, 07:00 AM
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Angry

I TOOK DOWN THE EXCISTING LIGHT FIXTURE WHICH WAS A 8 1/2" SQUARE METAL BOX. THERE ARE 5 WHITE WIRES AND 5 BLACK WIRES AND IM TRING TO HOOK A CEILING FAN UP BUT THERE SEEMS TO BE TO MANY WIRES. CAN ANYONE HELP?
 
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Old 04-22-01, 08:08 AM
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I assume that there was only a light fixture there before (no fan) and now you are replacing it wityh a fan/light combo or a fan only - please clarify.

Have you taken all the wirees apart at the ceiling or did you leave them exactly as they were so that only 1 black and 1 white are sticking out that was connected to teh old fixture ?

With the old fixture - was only 1 switch controlling it, or 2 switches that could control it from different locations ?

Also with the old fixture did teh switch or switches control only the 1 light fixture or did it control 2 or more light fixtures.

Please repost with this new info.
 
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Old 04-22-01, 08:44 AM
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Talking TO MANY WIRES

YES THERE WAS ONLY ONE FIXTURE, AND I KINDA TOOK MOST OF THEM APART, BUT I DO KNOW THAT 1 SET HAS 3 WHITE & 3 BLACK WIRES AND THE OTHER SET HAS 2 WHITE & 2 BLACK
 
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Old 04-22-01, 09:46 AM
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Ok, now as I asked was only 1 switch controlling this ceiling fixture ? No 2nd switch a different location controlling the same fixture ?

I want you to look at the switch, and tell me the exact colors of the wires that are actually attached to the screw of the switch. Also tell be how many wire cables are entering the switch box, each cable should have a black/white/bare.

At the ceiling location how many wire cables are entering that box, each cable again shoudl have a black/white/bare wire, if any other configuration please tell me.

All this will tell me if the circuit power source is at the light box or at the switch box.

I am suspecting that the the source of power is at the ceiling box but just want to confirm that.

[Edited by dkerr on 04-22-01 at 12:52]
 
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Old 04-22-01, 11:23 AM
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Craysee,

dkerr is very good and has great patience. You can stick with him and you will get this solved. However, I should warn you that there are a zillion possibilities, and it won't be easy to solve. If you feel that you are good at deductive reasoning, have a basic understandind of home wiring, and are good with a multimeter, then I'm sure you and Don will get this taken care of.

It is almost certain that the solution is not merely to hook all the black together and all the whites together. I think Don's guess that the power comes first to the ceiling is well supported by the evidence. The next step should just be to figure out which of those five cables goes to the switch. This is not possible without some testing.

You might want to consider just calling an electrician who will be able to sort this out in a few minutes.

John

P.S. The "Caps Lock" key is just above the left "Shift" key on most PC keyboards.
 
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Old 04-23-01, 05:30 AM
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2 email mnssages received as follows:

This is the message:

YES THERE WAS ONLY ONE FIXTURE, AND I KINDA TOOK MOST OF THEM APART, BUT I DO KNOW THAT 1 SET HAS 3 WHITE & 3 BLACK WIRES AND THE OTHER SET HAS 2 WHITE & 2 BLACK

___________________________________________________

This is the message:

ok, there is only one switch that goes to that fixture and it has 1 white and one black wire going to it. now the fixture had both sets of wires in it,but i think the one that was has 3wt/3blk was connceted to the fixture and 1wt/1blk from the other set was connceted also.
 
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Old 04-23-01, 05:59 AM
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Ok the source of circuit power is at the ceiling box.

Now we have to identify which wire cable is the circuit power supply and which wire cable is going to the switch.
----------------
2 quotes you said..

", BUT I DO KNOW THAT 1 SET HAS 3 WHITE & 3 BLACK WIRES AND THE OTHER SET HAS 2 WHITE & 2 BLACK"

"but i think the one that was has 3wt/3blk was connceted to the fixture and 1wt/1blk from the other set was connceted also."
------------------

Now I am not sure if you are counting any wires on the fixture itself, so take any fixture there away, we are not dealing yet with the fixture itself so put it somewhere for now, I only want to be concerned about the wires actually coming into the ceiling box.

Now in the first quote above you mention a total of 5 white wires and 5 black wires. In teh 2nd quote you mention a total of 4 white wires and 4 balck wires. These figures don't match.

I doubt there is 2 white and 2 black in the same cable.
There could be 2 cables entering the box from the same location giving you the impression that they are all together. I would suspect that each cable has a black.white/bare , you will have to look closer,as I said discard the fixture for now , we will deal with it later.

Now look very closely look for wires that come out of a single outer jacket, there could be 2 cable entering the box from a single location. Again each cable will likely have only 1 balck/1 white/1 bare .

The most inportant identification for me is teh cable that is going to the switch, but that may be a bit harder to find than the cirucit power cable.

Now get some paper tape for labeling. and as each cable entering the ceiling box is separate put a piece of tape around and call it cable 1, next cable is cable 2 and so on, need a reference that we can both go by.

Each cable has an outer jacket covering its black.white/bare wires, this jacket may be cut off at the point just after the hold down clamp in the box, but if you look at the exact entrance point into the box would should be able to spot it and identify what wire is in what cable.

Do all this of course with teh breaker off.

Now a volt meter / multimeter would be the best for testing but if you don't have one, we can find the circuit power cable by using a cheap unused light socket with short wires attached (with a known good light bulb in it). Now after each cable is identified and labeled, stick the wires out of the box grouped together by cable , and no wiring touching each other or the box (leave the bare ground. wires , just the white and black sticking out) Now the circuit breaker must be switched on , do not touch any exposed wiring. Now with the black and white wires from your test light and holding only by the insulated portions of the wire briefly touch 1 wire from your test light to one wire in one cable and the other wire from the test light to the other wire from the same cable. Now move on to the next cable, note which cable(s) turn the light on.

If you are worried about working with live electrical than temporary conenct using wire nuts to one cable, switch on breaker , note if the light came on, then switch off breaker move to the next cable , and repeat the process until all cables are checked, note the number of the cable that turned the lamp on as you labelled and repost back.
Make certain that no wires from the box are touching each other or nthe box during this testing procedure.

Once we have that info then the next step is to identify the switch wire.

repost with the above info.

I may have a way to test for the switch wire without a multimeter , but let me know if you did happen to have one.













[Edited by dkerr on 04-23-01 at 09:04]
 
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