ceiling fan/switches problems


  #1  
Old 10-16-05, 07:07 PM
madeskv
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Unhappy ceiling fan/switches problems

Hi - I would really appreciate any help possible-

I was trying to do the following projects and hit snags-

Project 1- I was attempting to replace a dimmer switch with a regular on/off switch. The dimmer controlled the lamp portion of a ceiling fan. When I removed the dimmer- it was attached to two wires on one of its' wires (a black and a white), the other side was attached to a white wire. I used a pigtail to attach the two wires together to one side of the switch and I attached the other wire to the other side of the switch. Now, the fan will not work, the light goes off and on with the switch.

Project 2- I was trying to replace an old ceiling fan with a new one. Unfortunately, while I was removing the old fan- it fell and I could not see how it had been wired. There are four wires coming from the ceiling- two very old ones that appear black, one white and another black. I tested the wires with the circuit breaker off with an electronic tester - the two old wires made the tester's light light up,the other black wire and the white wire did not light up the light. No matter how I arrange the wires, the light and the fan will not come on. I also replaced the switch in this room. It had a white wire and a black wire to a dimmer switch. I put the black on one terminal of the new on/off switch and the white to the other terminal.

Any suggestions?
 
  #2  
Old 10-17-05, 08:11 AM
J
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(1) In theory, connecting the new switch the same as the old should have worked correctly. However, your description of the old connections ("two wires on one of its' wires (a black and a white), the other side was attached to a white wire") seems very odd and does not conform to any wiring scheme I know. Are you completely sure the dimmer was previously connected this way?

(2) First of all, stop guessing. Guessing can lead to frying the fan or frying you. Worst case, it ends up with something that works just fine, but is dangerous and will burn you or your house six months later. Is there just the one switch? Did the old fan have a light? In what year was the house built?

What kind of tester are you using exactly? Is this a two-probe neon tester? Or perhaps a non-contact tester that flashes and beeps?

What you have here is a switch loop. The two "very old" wires are one hot and one neutral. The easiest way to figure out which is which, especially if your house is old enough to be ungrounded, is with a non-contact voltage "tick" tester. They cost about $15 at most home centers. When you find out which one is hot, connect it to the white wire, and to the black wire from your fan (assuming you want to use the pull chain to turn on the fan instead of the wall switch). Then connect the other very old black wire to the white wire from your fan. Finally, connect the new black wire to the blue (or black with a white stripe) wire from your fan (assuming you want the wall switch to control only the light).
 
  #3  
Old 10-24-05, 09:14 PM
madeskv
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Hi John,

Thank you for responding-

(1) Yes, I am sure that this was the way the dimmer was wired.

(2) There is just one switch- the old fan had a light- this is an OLD house built in 1920's or 1930's-

I was using a tester that looks like a screw driver with one led light. No beeps-
 
  #4  
Old 10-25-05, 09:33 AM
J
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(1) Just as an experiment, try putting back the dimmer and see what happens.

(2) Go ahead with the plan I outlined earlier.
 
 

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