Installed new ceiling fan, now outlets don't work!


Old 08-25-05, 10:20 PM
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Question Installed new ceiling fan, now outlets don't work!

I replaced an old ceiling fan/light in a bedroom today and completely forgot the connections. After a few tries, I got the light and the fan to work so I finished hanging it up only to discover after the fact that now the wall switch does not control the fan or light. They simply remain on unless I turn them off with the pull chain. That is fine. Then I discovered none of the wall outlets work in the room. What did I do wrong?

Coming from the ceiling, there were 3 groups of wires coming out. In each group were both white and black. I left a black and white wire alone that were joined together with a wire nut assuming these were the grounding wires for the box since neither one was hooked up to the old fan/light. One of the other groups of wires has 2 white wires and one black and the other group has a white and a black. I now have the 2 whites and one black from the ceiling hooked to the white neutral wire from the fan/light. The other black wire from the ceiling is hooked to the blue and black from the fan/light and they both work. The first time I tried to hook it up, I had the blue and black fan wires attached to the other black wire by itself as I had lost sight of the second black wire. When I did this nothing worked.

Old 08-26-05, 11:01 AM
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Oh boy, I hope your insurance is current!
Okay...first thing...go back to square one. Disconnect the light fixture wiring, and reconnect the box wires as they were before you started. At that point, verify that your wall outlets work properly. You should use a socket check tool that has three small diode lights to indicate the condition of the wiring. Cheap tool, great tool. (Note: there are two types, a yellow version for standard receptacles, and a red one for GFI/GFCI receptacles). Next, check any other light fixtures in the room for proper operation.
If everything seems to work correctly, take a breath and start over. If not…
The reason that you have multiple cables in the ceiling box is that it is being used as a junction box also. Your wiring (Romex type?) probably runs through the ceiling/attic area and this is the simplest way to lay out the circuits. My guess from your description is that one of the cables is the primary from the breaker, one is your receptacles, and one is the switch. You don't mention any bare copper wires, but normally none of the black or white wires is used as a ground wire, which of course leads to question of how your circuits and boxes etc. are grounded.
To help to return to square one, I would suggest that you expose the wall switch to see what the wiring is at that spot. Is it two black wires connected to the switch or one white and one black or two white wires?…It would not be unusual to see one white and one black if the electrician used a single Romex cable for the switching, when the power enters at the ceiling. You need to know what your situation is with these cables, especially with the one that has two whites and one black. Which white and black are connected together per your post?
Also, do you want just the light to be controlled at the switch, or both the light and fan? Typically, the light is switched at the wall and the fan is controlled by pull cord, however some of the new fan/light combos provide multiplexed switches so you can control both individually at the wall without an extra wire. Also, does your black wire control the light and the blue wire the fan? Check your installation directions for that info.
Don’t mix black and white wires unless you have a reason, bad move for the inexperienced. Never run commons through a switch. Good luck, let us know what you find if you want more help.
Old 08-26-05, 01:38 PM
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do this and it should work.
1.Leave the white connected to the black. That is power to the switch.
2.Take the black from the same cable as the white from above and connect it to the fan black and blue. This will be switched power for the fan and light.
3.Take the remainig 2 whites and connect them together with the one from the fan/light.
4.Take the remaining black and connect it with the black and white from step #1.

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