Turning on ceiling fan also turns on lights???

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Old 03-21-17, 06:21 PM
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Turning on ceiling fan also turns on lights???

I have some electrical experience but cant figure out this one. Before making any changes everything worked fine. I wanted to move my ceiling fan so I replaced the electric line going to the ceiling fan.

before changes:

light switch had 3 wires:

gray 14-3 wire - ceilng fan
white wire - power in
gray 14-3 wire - lights, and powers electric outlets

because the gray wires were identical, i used color tape to label the wire going to the ceilng fan, and i labeled the wire going to the lights. However, when i removed the ceiling fan and started tugging on the gray wire, the wire labelled for the lights started to move! It's possible i could have made a mistake, but i dont see how that was possible.

after the changes:

light switch still has 3 wires:

new white 14-3 wire going to ceiling fan (red wire not used)
white wire - power in
old gray 14-3 wire going to lights (not touched) - black goes to outlets, red wire goes to lights.

Now there is no power to the light switch. Ceiling fan works fine. If i turn on the ceiling fan after about 20-30 seconds the light switch turns on, and my lights turn on! So turning on the ceiling fan turns on the ceiling fan AND the lights!

The old gray wire powered some electric outlets for awhile, but eventually those outlets went out. All other lets in the room work fine.

To me, it seems an obvious neutral/white wire issue. I am guessing when i turn on the ceiling fan it outputs power on the white wire, which goes to the white wire the lights use, which closes the loop.

Is it possible the black wire and white wire for the old gray 13-4 wire are mixed up? Would that explain how i mislabeled the wires????

Is it possible i could have somehow damaged the old gray wire when i was removing the old wire? In the ceiling they were not next to each other, but possibly they were????????
 
  #2  
Old 03-21-17, 07:18 PM
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First off what you are calling gray wire is not wire it is cable. Gray is an unusual color for interior cable.
gray 14-3 wire - ceilng fan
white wire - power in
gray 14-3 wire - lights, and powers electric outlets
Are you saying there were two 3-conductor cables (black, red, white) for a total of 6 wires? Are there no other wires at the switch other then those six wires (grounds are ignored for purposes of discussion)? Is there only a single 3-conductor cable at the fan?
 
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Old 03-21-17, 08:13 PM
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I read the post three times and I'm still baffled.

It sounds like you tried pulling a cable out of the ceiling ?
Not usually a good idea as usually those cables are stapled.
 
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Old 03-21-17, 10:52 PM
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If you google "Romex 14-3" you'll see the cable I used. I thought it was pretty standard.

My house was built in 1990. All the 14-3 wires/cables have a grey plastic sheathing. Other than the exterior color it is identical to modern 14-3 wire.

Rather than debating the color of the wire do you have any thoughts that could actually help me? I guess I'll have to test the upstream outlets for an open neutral, but so far all outlets have passed all tests
 
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Old 03-21-17, 10:55 PM
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"I read the post three times and I'm still baffled.

It sounds like you tried pulling a cable out of the ceiling ?
Not usually a good idea as usually those cables are stapled."

I don't understand what's so confusing. I knocked 2 holes in the ceiling to remove the nails, then fished the new wire. Am I the only one who has done this?

The symptoms I describe sound like a simple open neutral. I don't know how it worked before, but as I said the wiring may have been different before to get around the issue.

Are there no experts in this forum?
 
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Old 03-21-17, 10:57 PM
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We can't follow what you have there. You need to clarify what the wiring situation is.
Instead of insulting us..... work with us.


gray 14-3 wire - ceilng fan
white wire - power in
gray 14-3 wire - lights, and powers electric outlets
Ok.... ignore cable colors.
You have a single 14-3 cable at fan and it goes to the switch ?
power in.... where ?
14-3 - lights and electric outlets. How ?
 
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Old 03-22-17, 08:43 AM
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Are there no experts in this forum?
They ARE experts, and they're helping out for FREE! Perhaps you can call an electrician and PAY them to do the work for you.
 
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Old 03-22-17, 09:16 AM
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If i turn on the ceiling fan after about 20-30 seconds the light switch turns on
Is this a standard switch, or some kind of touch sensitive, occupancy sensor, wifi, something else?
 
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Old 03-23-17, 06:59 AM
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Steve,
You should cool it. You obviously are not an electrician nor understand basic electricity as manifested by the description of your problem. These journeymen are asking you to provide basic information needed to understand your problem before they can offer a solution. They cannot see what you can see and are having difficultly, as I did, understanding your description of the AS FOUND and AS LEFT wiring. If you find this process burdensome, I suggest you hire an electrician.
 
 

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