Odd ceiling fan wiring...

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Old 05-07-17, 01:12 AM
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Odd ceiling fan wiring...

While replacing some old wall outlets, with new TR outlets, i came across a white wire connected to the hot side of a wall outlet... the black wire in this 14/2 pair is simply capped off in the receptacle box.
There are 3 pairs of 14/2 wires in this receptacle box total. see picture...
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In this particular 14/2 pair, the white wire is always hot and the black "capped" wire is only hot when the wall switch to the fan is turned "on".

The single pole wall switch that controls the fan has a single 14/2 pair in the receptacle box. The white wire in the wall switch receptacle box is connected to the top brass screw on the switch, the black wire is connected to the bottom brass screw on the switch, and the ground is connected to the ground screw.

The ceiling fan also has a single 14/2 pair in the box. the white is capped with the white from the fan, the black is capped with the black and blue of the fan, the ground is capped with the ground. see picture...
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My question is, why is there a white wire in a wall outlet that is always hot and somehow mixed in with the ceiling fan??
Removing this white "hot" wire from the outlet appears to kill all power to the switch and fan.
Is this normal/safe??

A little more information... my house was built in 1981 and i'm 90% sure the wiring is original. There was a reno job at some point during those years before i purchased the house.
I replaced a ceiling flush mount light with this ceiling fan years ago. It was a simple wiring job as the ceiling receptacle box had one 14/2 pair cable in it, nothing out of the ordinary there... although i wasn't aware of this particular wired outlet then.
 
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Old 05-07-17, 02:06 AM
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Do you have any switched receptacles?
 
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Old 05-07-17, 07:09 AM
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Sounds like a switch loop has been abandoned when the fan was installed. This would account for the unused black at the receptacle. The white is now feeding the switch and up to the fan.
 
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Old 05-07-17, 12:11 PM
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I do not have a switched receptacle, although it might have been at one time....

I found the mystery junction box in the attic.

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so this is what is in the junction box: (14/2 wire from the wall receptacle box, 14/2 wire from the fan, 14/2 wire from the switch)

--all 3 black wires are capped together.

--the white wires from the wall and switch are capped together.

--the ground wires are all capped together WITH the WHITE wire of the fan...

Is it safe to leave it like this??? At the very least i think i will replace this old junction box with a newer box that has a cap/lid. This one was simply buried under the insulation with no cap/lid.

I am still 90% certain this is original wiring/configuration from when the house was built as it is all "type NM 14-2 with ground cirtex plastic 600 volts cerro (ul)". If it was changed as part of the reno i would think there would be some newer romex in the mix.
 
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Old 05-07-17, 12:43 PM
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The white should not be spliced to the ground. It is creating a shock hazard.
 
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Old 05-07-17, 02:55 PM
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well, i was really hoping i wasn't going to have to change this but it looks like i will... to make this a "normal" ceiling fan switch, this is what i think i should do...

Re-purpose the 14/2 wire coming from the wall receptacle box (since it's already there) straight to the switch. Correcting the connection to the wall out (black to brass, white to silver, ground to ground etc.).

Then run the current 14/2 wire from the switch directly to the fan.

Since these wires are not long enough to make the runs i will have to junction them into their own separate 14/2 romex. I'll make these new junction boxes visible in the attic.

I really wish i could post another picture but it would essentially be this (http://www.do-it-yourself-help.com/w...eilingfan.html) diagram, scroll down to the "Source at the Switch", 2nd picture. As i said, my "source" wire would be the current "white/hot" 14/2 set as seen in my first in my original post. Although I will correct the connection to the outlet receptacle box (i.e. black to brass, white to silver, ground to ground etc.)

does that make sense?
 
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Old 05-07-17, 03:21 PM
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What you need to do is use the mystery box for a switch loop. No new wiring needed.
At the mystery box:
  • White of switch cable to black of power in cable.
  • White of power in cable to white of cable to the fan.
  • Black of fan cable to black of switch cable.
  • Grounds per code.

At the switch the black of switch cable to one side of the switch and white of switch cable to the other side.

At the fan fan black and fan blue to house black. Fan white to house white.

Note: By code switch cable white must be recolored black or red or any color but white gray or green.

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Last edited by ray2047; 05-07-17 at 03:45 PM.
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