ceiling fan

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  #1  
Old 05-18-01, 06:36 PM
sleeper
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i seem to have the same problem as(csledge)on wiring a ceiling fan.i didnt write down the original wiring.i have 4 wires coming into the box instead of 3.i got it wired up but the problem is that (naturally)i seem to have it wired wrong.my switch is in the off position but the fan and lights work,and when i turn the switch on it kicks the breaker off when i turn the lights and fan on.i have a double wide trailer and all the power for the lights in one half is wired seperate from the other half,so that only half the trailer is without lights and it is wired seperate from the outlets.
i need any help i can get!!!
thank you.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-18-01, 08:26 PM
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Your symptoms are reported over and over again, and identify a very specific problem.

Your power comes first to the ceiling and then to the light. You connected wires in the ceiling by color. This has the two effects you mentioned: the fixture is always on, and the switch shorts the hot and the neutral together. This problem has been reported a hundred times in this forum.

At your ceiling box, you have two cables, each with one black and one white wire. One of these cables is the power cable and one is the cable to the switch. to wire this correctly, you need to figure out which is which. The easiest way to do this is with a voltmeter or circuit tester. Here's how:

(1) Turn off the breaker.
(2) Disconnect and separate all the wires at the ceiling.
(3) Turn the breaker back on.
(4) Put your circuit or voltage tester on each of the two pairs of wires in the ceiling. The one with voltage is your power cable. I'll call this cable "P". The cable with no power is the cable to the switch. I'll call this cable "S".
(5) Shut off the breaker again.
(6) Make the following connections:
(a) Pb (the black wire in cable "P") to Sw.
(b) Pw to the white wire from the light/fan.
(c) Sb to the black wire (and the blue wire too if it has one) from the light/fan.

To be completely correct, you need to reidentify Sw with black tape to indicate that it is hot.

Post back and let us know how it came out.
 
  #3  
Old 05-18-01, 08:33 PM
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One of these wires comes from the switch leg and you probably have it doubled onto either the white or black wires, thus creating a dead short when the switch is on. If all of the wires are black and white, they used a standard 2 conductor with ground to be the switch loop, which means one the "white" wires is supposed to be on the hot (black) side instead of neutral.

If you have a means of testing for voltage, the easiest way is to separate all of the wires, and establish which one is your constant hot supply cable. If this leaves only two unpowered conductors, those are the switch leg wires. I usually mark them with red or blue tape to prevent future confusion. Any one of the switch legs attaches to the black wire.


For the fan you have 3 choices:
Fan and light controlled only by pull-chain.
Fan controlled by pull-chain; light with either chain or switch.
Fan and light both with chain or switch.

For option 1, cap off the switch legs with wirenuts and tuck them out of the way: The blue and black wires (typical configuration) go to black, the white wire goes to white.

For option 2 (the most popular), the fan black goes to black, the fan (light) blue goes to the switch return (the one you didn't hook to black), white goes to white.

For option 3, the fan black and blue both go to the switch return, the white to white.
 
  #4  
Old 05-20-01, 05:55 AM
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Talking ceiling fan again

sorry, i got it wrong,i meant to say i have 4 cables coming into box not 4 wires,that makes it 4 black wires and 4 white wires.can you help me with this one?im tired of having no light on one side of the house!! haha.
will appreaciate any help at all.
 
  #5  
Old 05-20-01, 01:59 PM
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It's the same process, just a little more involved. A cheap multimeter is the ideal tool.

First, separate all four pairs of wires. Turn the breaker back on and find out which pair supplies power to the junction box. Mark it. Turn power back off.

Second, using the continuity or ohm meter figure which of the remainig three pairs are the switch legs. The one that has continuity with the switch on and none when it's off is your switch leg pair. Mark that one appropriately.

Those that are left are feeds through to another lighting circuit or recepticals. They should simply go color to color (barring something weird from the original electrician). From that point the wireing is as above with the original assumption of a pair of 2-conductor cables.

Use of the lighting boxes as junction boxes is very common.


 
  #6  
Old 05-20-01, 02:10 PM
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It's the same process, just a little more involved. A cheap multimeter is the ideal tool.

First, separate all four pairs of wires. Turn the breaker back on and find out which pair supplies power to the junction box. Mark it. Turn power back off.

Second, using the continuity or ohm meter figure which of the remainig three pairs are the switch legs. The one that has continuity with the switch on and none when it's off is your switch leg pair. Mark that one appropriately.

Those that are left are feeds through to another lighting circuit or recepticals. They should simply go color to color (barring something weird from the original electrician). From that point the wireing is as above with the original assumption of a pair of 2-conductor cables.

Use of the lighting boxes as junction boxes is very common.


 
  #7  
Old 05-28-01, 06:37 PM
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ok i know im a dunce but here goes...
ok, with the power on, i have 2 cables that connect to the hot wire that when connected are on all the time no matter what position the switch is in.
then i have one when connected to the hot wire is on when the switch is off but when i turn the switch on it kicks the breaker off. now which one would be the cable to the switch??
 
  #8  
Old 05-29-01, 04:48 AM
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At the box where the switch is, tell me how many wire cables are entering this box. (each cable should have a black/white/bare) , what are the color of the wires that are actually connected to the screws of the switch ?

Is there only 1 location that the ceiling is controlled from, or is there a second location that can control the same ceiling fixture ?

If only 1 location, is it a single switch, or 2 switches going to the ceiling ?

In the ceiling you say you have 4 wires cable each having a black/white/bare wire, is this correct ?
Is anything in there still connected to something that you have not touched ? Label your cables in the ceiling for a reference for us, call is a, b , c , d or cable 1 ,2 , 3 ,4. put a label tape on it and leave it there until we have solved this .

If a red wire exists in either the ceiling or switch box , tell me , and if that red wire is in cable 1 9or a) or cable 2, etc.

I am suspecting that it is a single switch with 1 cable at the switch box, and a short has been created at the ceiling
because the switch white was connected to neutral and switch black was connected to hot which creates a dead short with the switch is on.

Please repost with this information and we will take it from there.

Right now I am a bit confused, please post with this info.
 
  #9  
Old 05-30-01, 05:20 PM
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ok here goes,
there is just one cable to the switch,only one switch for the fan,it is a single switch. four cables in the ceiling,(4 black wires,4 white,and the 4 ground). all wires are disconnected and there are no red wires just black white and the ground.
hope this helps.
 
  #10  
Old 05-30-01, 07:01 PM
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Okay sleeper. The solution is the same as my prior reply when I thought there was only two cables. Everything I said there was correct, but you have some extra wires to hook up too.

The procedure I outlined before can find cable "P", the cable with the line power. An ohmmeter can find cable "S" (by finding which pair of wires is either zero ohms or infinite ohms depending on the postion of the switch). Let's call the other two cables "X" and "Y". If nothing else is to be switched by the same switch, then "X" and "Y" are just feeding downstream stuff such as receptacles (it doesn't really matter what).

So here are the connections now. Remember the notation, e.g., "Pb" means the black wire from cable "P", and "Fb" means the black wire from the fan.

(a) Pb to Sw to Xb to Yb (four wires under a wire nut).
(b) Pw to Fw to Xw and Yw.
(c) Sb to Fb (if your fan has either a blue wire or a black wire with a white stripe, connect it here too).
(d) Connect all the bare wires to each other and to the grounding wire from the fan.

Post back and let us know how it comes out.
 
  #11  
Old 05-30-01, 07:08 PM
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Now comes the tricky part...

of the 4 cables at the ceiling..
we know that 1 cable goes to the switch box.
we know that 1 cable is your circuit power supply.

I will assume that the switch only controls the one ceiling fixture and no others.

Therefore the other 2 cable are continueing the circuit on.

Now the question remains how can we determine which cable goes to the switch and which one is the power supply..

I would like to lable the 4 cables , so we can use this as a reference and you can remember what you find.

If you don't have a voltage meter then try this..

Find a basic light socket (with a known good light bulb) , make sure that no wires touch each other or the box, switch off power, connect the light socket to the black and white of 1 cable , switch power on, does the light come on ? then switch off power move socket to black and white of cable 2 ,power on, does light come on. continue and check cable 3 and 4. note which cable turned on the light. switch off power.

know we check for the switch wire. I would prefer that everything on the same circuit is unpluged when you do this one...

Now the cable that turned on the light in the previous test is your circuit power , I will refer to this cable as circuit black and circuit white.. Remember that one , now you have 3 remaining cables, one of them is going to the switch ...

check 1 other cable at a time ,
connect the circuit black to the white of other cable, and connect your test lamp socket to the black from the other cable and to circuit white. switch on power , does the light come on, switch on and off the switch, does the light go and off with the switch. If not check this same procedure but using a different cable with the circuit cable as explaiend above until you find the cable that will switch the light on and off with the switch.

Now remember that, we should now know which cable is ciruit supply cable and which cable is the switch cable.

Disconenct everything at the ceiling.


Let say cable 1 - circuit supply
Let say cable 2 - switch cable
Let say cable 3 & 4 are the other cables.

circuit black (cable 1)connects to black of cable 3 & 4, and white from cable 2 (switch cable)

circuit white to white of cable 3 & 4 and white going to fixture.

black from cable 2 (switch cable) goes to fixture.

Ground bares are together and grounded to box and should the fixture have a green wire or a grounding screw then ground it also.

Now the black wire mentioned above going to fixture conenct to the hot wire or brass color screw of fixture.
the white mentioned above as going to fixture connects to neutral (white or silver color screw)

It would be helpfull if you had a voltage checker but with a basic simple light socket I described a way that you can test without one.
 
  #12  
Old 05-30-01, 07:14 PM
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John your too fast for me , you got while I was typing, ha ha !!
 
  #13  
Old 06-02-01, 06:28 PM
sleeper
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Question

ok fellows,im getting myself confused here so im going to just tell you what i know from here and see what happens.
ok for starters i forgot to tell you how the cables are numbered here so i will start from there.
ive got 4 cables as you know, cable 1 is the hot wire.
ok when 1&3 are connected and power is on,light is on no matter what position switch is in (on or off).
when cables 1&2 are connected and power is on light is on with with switch off but kicks breaker off when you flip switch on.
when 1&4 are connected, light is on no matter what position switch is in.
ok here is the rest i know...
there is just one cable to switch and it just for the fan nothing else.
i do have 4 cables coming into box (4 black-4white-and the ground wires.
all wires are disconnected and there are no red wires at all. i hope this helps some and im sorry i forgot to mention the way the cables were listed here, i know it would have helped.
 
  #14  
Old 06-02-01, 07:06 PM
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It is clear that cable "1" is cable "P" as I called it in my last post. Cable "2" is clearly cable "S". Cables "3" and "4" are "X" and "Y". Just hook it up as I said before. I'll repeat it here, substituting in your cable numbers for my cable letters. As you remember, "F" means the wires from your fan.

(a) 1b to 2w to 3b to 4b (four wires under a wire nut).
(b) 1w to Fw to 3w and 4w.
(c) 2b to Fb (if your fan has either a blue wire or a black wire with a white stripe, connect it here too).
(d) Connect all the bare wires to each other and to the grounding wire from the fan.

Post back and let us know how it comes out.
 
  #15  
Old 06-03-01, 05:56 PM
sleeper
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ok just to make sure im reading this right,in (a)i connect 1b to 2w to 3b to 4b. is that correct? i didnt know you could connect a white wire to a black one.
just want to be sure. but i am finally seeing a picture here and i think im finally getting it.
 
  #16  
Old 06-03-01, 06:46 PM
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Yes, sleeper, that is correct. You will actually be connecting a white wire to a black wire!!!! To be completely correct, you need to reidentify both ends of that white wire with black tape.
 
  #17  
Old 06-06-01, 07:29 PM
sleeper
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congradulations!!!!!!!!! i got it right!!!!!
thanks so very much for the help fellows,you dont know how much i needed it...well, maybe you did. haha.
again thanks so very much for your help.
 
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