Switch Loop and Ceiling Fan


Old 09-19-04, 08:07 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Switch Loop and Ceiling Fan


I installed a new ceiling fan and ran new 3 conductor wire from the ceiling fan to an exisiting switch location, replacing the single-pole switch with a new dual-purpose light/fan switch. The old switch was an end run and switched an outlet on the wall.

I was hoping to just replace the old switch with a new fan/light switch and connect it to the fan. Unfortunatley, it now appears the switch was a "loop" as the new setup does not work without the old floor lamp being turned on.

If the old floor lamp is turned on, the new fan/light switch works perfectly. If the old floor lamp is off, the fan/light are dead.

Is there a way to make this combination work as desired or can I rewire the outlet to remove the "loop"?

Any info would be appreciated.
Sponsored Links
Old 09-20-04, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Even though it appears to be working perfectly with the light on, it is not. The light and fan are in series and the fan is not getting all the voltage it wants. If you use it this way, the fan will eventually burn out.

You can make this work with the existing cable, but only by converting the receptacle to be unswitched. If you want to pursue that, then shut off the breaker, pull the receptacle out of the box without disconnecting any wires, and tell us all you see. Also tell us whether the receptacle is switched on both halves, or only switched on one half.
Old 09-20-04, 08:57 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Hello John,

Good to know and I would love to get rid of the switched outlet. Thanks for the response.

Here's the wiring in the outlet box:

1) Two 2 conductor cables (wires are black and white).
2) One black and white wire from different cables are tied together
3) The other black and white wires are connected to the receptacle on opposite sides.
3a) Looking at the face of the receptacle, the black wire is on the right side and the white wire is on the left side
3b) Both wires are connected to the top screw locations on the receptacle
3c) The receptacle is the 2 prong type
4) Both halves of the outlet are switched

Hopefully this provides you with enough information.


Old 09-21-04, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay, here's what to do. At the receptacle box:
  • Disconnect all wires (except grounding if any).
  • Connect the two black wires to the two brass screws.
  • Connect the two white wires to the two silver screws.
The receptacle is now unswitched, and you no longer have a switch loop but a real power feed at the switch.

By "3 conductor wire", do you mean a cable with black, red, white and bare? We haven't discussed switch wiring, but if this doesn't clear things up and you have questions about wiring the switch, post back with information on how you have it wired now.

Just so you know, it's illegal to extended an ungrounded circuit.
Old 09-21-04, 08:40 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Worked perfectly! I kinda wondered if that's what I needed to do, but having someone more knowledgeable help out was much appreciated.

And, yes, the 3 wire cable is black, red and white; for the fan and fan light. The installation went perfectly other than the switch loop issue. I'm now comfortable with light and air in my office!

Thanks again.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: