Ceiling fan stopped working, need advice on how to diagnose

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Old 02-16-06, 03:39 PM
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Ceiling fan stopped working, need advice on how to diagnose

Hi All,

Recently my ceiling fan stopped working completely (neither the lights come on nor do the blades move). The fan is normally operated by a remote control. Neither the remote nor the manual chains have any affect. I have checked that no circuits are popped, and all electrical outlets in the room work as expected.

Given this, I was looking for advice on how to diagnose the problem. It seems highly unlikely that both the fan motor and the lights would fail at the same time, so my guess is that a wire is now loose. Before taking the fan out of the ceiling and inspecting the wiring, are there more obvious things I should be checking? For example, what if the room's light switch itself is bad? Any advice on what steps to take to diagnose would be appreciated. The part I am most worried about is if I pull the fan out of the ceiling and find all the wiring nutted tightly as expected, because then I don't know what else to think other than the wiring itself is bad...

Thanks
 
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Old 02-16-06, 04:57 PM
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Is it possible that a wall switch or switches somewhere also control power to this fan.

Did you do more than visually check the breakers? A visual check is not always reliable.

It is possible that the light switch is bad. It is also possible that the remote receiver went bad. And it's possible that you just need a new battery in your remote transmitter, or that the transmitter is bad, or that somebody dropped the transmitter and the shock changed the dip switch code.
 
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Old 02-20-06, 10:39 PM
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Old 03-08-06, 05:01 PM
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Hi All,

I eventually figured out the problem and am following up to note the issues. I started with the wall switch and found that the A) voltage was coming into the switch and B) the switch was working as expected (it was a single pole switch). So, before I resigned myself to messing with the ceiling fan itself I recalled my housemate saying that they had dropped the fan's remote control when putting in a new battery and that since that time the fan did not work. I had not thought much about this coincidence since I figured that the manual chains (for fan speed and for the lights) should still work, regardless of the remote. But, we pulled the remote apart to check the four dip settings (binary "up" or "down"). They were all "up", and the manual I had for the fan said that this is how the remote is shipped from the factory and that these default settings should be changed. So, figuring the dip switch settings got moved when the remote was dropped, we cycled through the other 15 possible dip settings. up-down-up-down seemed to do the trick and the fan works now as expected. So, the stumper for me was that the manual operation was in fact affected by the remote's control of the switch. Would anyone mind following up to explain why this behavior happened? It seems that once the fan was turned off via the remote it could not be truned on with the manual chains if the remote no longer worked. Its not clear to me why this is, but I am just learning the basics of electrical systems.

Thanks
 
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Old 03-08-06, 06:25 PM
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Thanks for the update.

The manual switches do not override the remote receiver. Instead, they are in series with the remote receiver. If the remote receiver is not passing voltage to the fan, the manual switches cannot do anything. The manual switches are usually left on at all times, so that when the remote receiver sends voltage to the fan, it comes on. In other words, the manual switches can turn the fan off when the remote receiver says to turn it on, but they can never turn the fan on when the remote receiver says to turn it off. Or, put yet another way, both the remote receiver and the switches need to be on to make the fan work.
 
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