Ceiling Fan/Light operated by 2 wall switches quit working

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  #1  
Old 05-28-07, 08:27 PM
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Question Ceiling Fan/Light operated by 2 wall switches quit working

Just bought a new fan from Lowes the other day to be placed in the dining room. Previously, a chandelierr was in the dining room. It was operated by two switches, one on each side of the room. One switch had a dimmer that would dim the lights on the chandelier.

I turned off the breaker, removed the chandelier which had three wires. To me, they were a power, ground, and another wire that I'm unsure of what kind it was but looked like speaker wire and was very thin compared to the two others. In the ceiling was a black wire, white wire and a bare copper wire. I removed the chandelier and hooked up the fan as per the directions.

There were 3 wires from the fan; power (black), ground/neutral (white), and light (blue) wire. The white (neutral or ground) wire was connected to the white wire in the ceiling. The black wire to the black wire in the ceiling (power), and the blue (light) wire to the black wire in the ceiling as well. However, the bare copper wire that was used by the chandelier was not used this time. Turned the breaker back on, the fan and light worked fine. However, the dimmer switch didn't do anything. I turned off the breaker and exposed the wires again.

My reasoning for the dimmer not working was because the bare copper wire in the ceiling wasn't connected to the light wire on the fan. I spliced a wire into the blue wire and connected it to the bare copper wire. Now this wire was also connected to the power (black) wire. Turned the breaker back on. Flipped the wall switch and heard a "pop" coming from the switch with the dimmer. The fan and lights didn't work. Turned the breaker off.

Disconnected the fan thinking I blew the fan up. Reconnected the chandelier with the original wires, turned the break back on, and to no avail, it did not work. Turned off breakers and removed the chandelier.

Removed the wall plate with the dimmer switch and the inside of the box smelled burnt.

Any suggestions how to take it from here?

Thanks
 
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Old 05-28-07, 10:08 PM
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ok ,,

I know it will be not easy to get out of this mess real quick but here it goes

you have two switches right ?? one with dimmer and other one is stanard switch ? if so you may have a switch loop there

""I turned off the breaker, removed the chandelier which had three wires. To me, they were a power, ground, and another wire that I'm unsure of what kind it was but looked like speaker wire and was very thin compared to the two others. In the ceiling was a black wire, white wire and a bare copper wire. I removed the chandelier and hooked up the fan as per the directions. ""

this junction box it only have 3 wires?? or it have other wires as well ??

if you see very thin wire which that is bare or green that is grounding wire

if it only have 3 wires then you should have no issue with hooking up with this.

""There were 3 wires from the fan; power (black), ground/neutral (white), and light (blue) wire. The white (neutral or ground) wire was connected to the white wire in the ceiling. The black wire to the black wire in the ceiling (power), and the blue (light) wire to the black wire in the ceiling as well. However, the bare copper wire that was used by the chandelier was not used this time. Turned the breaker back on, the fan and light worked fine. However, the dimmer switch didn't do anything. I turned off the breaker and exposed the wires again. ""

what you have with the 3 way switching system you have to get both fan and light hot lead [ black and bleu ] hook up to black wire and white to white and green to ground or bare wire

the dimmer switch dont work with ceiling fans at all they will useally not function at all with this set up


""My reasoning for the dimmer not working was because the bare copper wire in the ceiling wasn't connected to the light wire on the fan. I spliced a wire into the blue wire and connected it to the bare copper wire. Now this wire was also connected to the power (black) wire. Turned the breaker back on. Flipped the wall switch and heard a "pop" coming from the switch with the dimmer. The fan and lights didn't work. Turned the breaker off.

Disconnected the fan thinking I blew the fan up. Reconnected the chandelier with the original wires, turned the break back on, and to no avail, it did not work. Turned off breakers and removed the chandelier.

Removed the wall plate with the dimmer switch and the inside of the box smelled burnt. ""


tell ya to be bearer of bad news you did smoked the dimmer switch real quick there the dimmer switch can not take a short circuit at all and what you did with bleu wire to bare wire that is not a correct way to hook up at all

really you should read the " wiring simpifed " they are common in the big box store for few bucks and they will expain real clear how the 3 way switch work very clear.

Merci , Marc
 
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Old 05-29-07, 04:40 AM
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You fried the dimmer.

First, and most important, regular dimmers cannot be used with most fans. IF they work at all, they shorten the life of the fan motor. Usually the don;t work.

Connecting the dimmer wire to the ground wire in the ceiling was the wrong thing to do, and you created a short between power and ground, which is what fried the dimmer. if the dimmer had not fried you would have tripped the circuit breaker or blown the fuse.

Replace the dimmer with a traditional three way switch.
 
  #4  
Old 05-29-07, 07:30 AM
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You had it connected properly the first time. However you can't use a dimmer to control a fan. Replace the dimmer with a normal three way switch and connect the fan the way you originally had it.
 
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Old 05-29-07, 09:45 AM
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Thanks everyone.

Yea, I had it hooked up correctly the first time, but like I said, the lights didn't dim. I installed a ceiling fan 3-4 years ago in another house with a dimmer and it worked then. I'll just replace with a 3-way switch.

It didn't trip the breaker. Just those 2 wall switches do not work. The other switches on each wall in those same electrical boxes still work, just not the 2 that would work the fan.

Is it possible that any wiring could have been damaged within the walls? I removed the dimmer switch (4 wires) and let the wires from the wall hang loosely without any connections, yet the fan/light wouldn't work. I'm guessing they need to be connected to complete the circuit?
 
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Old 05-29-07, 10:43 AM
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Yes, the dimmer switch wires need to be connected for the circuit to work. When you have three way switches (and any four way switches in between) the hot wires is routed through each switch. If you completely remove a switch and leave the wires hang then whatever you are trying to control will get no power.

No, it is unlikely you damaged the wires in the wall in any way.

I hope you made notes about how the dimmer was connected. When you get the new three way switch you need to connect the common wire to the common terminal and the traveler wires to the traveler connections.
 
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Old 05-29-07, 12:31 PM
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I rehooked up the blown 3-way switch for the time being until I buy a new one. Otherwise, you're right, I would have forgotten which wires go where.

Thanks
 
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Old 05-29-07, 08:23 PM
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Bought a new normal 3-way switch. Reconnected everything the way I had it before and everything works fine now.

Thanks everyone
 
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