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Ceiling fan has light, but light switch does not turn light on, just the fan?!

Ceiling fan has light, but light switch does not turn light on, just the fan?!

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  #1  
Old 01-10-10, 09:19 PM
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Ceiling fan has light, but light switch does not turn light on, just the fan?!

I just moved into a new home, and it has a normal looking ceiling fan. Definitely low end, but a normal ceiling fan. I cant find any manufacturer or model information, but it looks a lot like this fan:



The problem is this:

The light seems to be hard wired with power. If I hit the switch on the wall the fan will turn on, which is ok thats, what I want.

However, in order to turn the light on I have to pull the cord. If I pull the cord the light turns on and off regardless of the position of the switch on wall, which is why I stated earlier it seems that the light is hard wired for power.

How do I hook the light up to be on the same or even separate wall switch?

Can someone point me to detailed instructions with pictures preferably illustrating how to do this? I would imagine it is a fairly common thing?

Thanks for your help!
 
  #2  
Old 01-10-10, 10:20 PM
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You will probably need to lower the ceiling fan from the ceiling. How you do that depends on the fan. Lowering it will be easier if you remove the blades first. While one person can do this it will be easier with two people on step ladders, one on each side of the fan. One person holds the fan the other does the wiring. If your lucky there is a canopy that slides down and you won't need to remove the fan.

Turn the breaker off before starting. Make sure both the light and fan are off. You should see a black and a blue wire coming from the fan.

Disconnect the blue wire. Put a wire nut on the wire the blue wire was connected to.

Remove the wire nut from where the fan's black wire is connected. Add the fans blue wire to that connection.

Re-hang fan and test. The switch should now turn both the fan and light off.

Note: occasionally the light wire will be red instead of blue.
 
  #3  
Old 01-11-10, 06:07 AM
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Ray has given you some good info. Check the switch box and see how many and what colors of wires are in the box and connected to the switch. Report back. It may be possible to add another switch without changing any wiring in the walls.

It may also be possible to add a remote kit to the fan so you could have separate switching.
 
  #4  
Old 01-11-10, 04:57 PM
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Thanks so much for the responses! What Ray suggested worked like a charm!

I took a picture of the fan wiring:



The fan wiring was as such:

The fan has:
2 green wires
1 black wire
1 blue wire
1 white wire

Coming out of the ceiling has:
1 black wire
1 red wire
1 white wire
1 bare copper wire

both green wires connect to bare wire in an end cap, and one of the green wires comes back out and is screwed into base of ceiling mount.

the white wire comes out of the fan and connects to white wire coming out of ceiling

the blue wire comes out of the fan and connects to the black wire coming out of the ceiling (I changed this to what Ray suggested)

the black wire comes out of the fan and connects to the red wire coming out of the ceiling

Can this fan be controlled by remote? If so what is the least inexpensive kit that you could recommend. If not you also mentioned possibly being able to wire the fan so that a separate switch controlled the light, and another separate switch controlled the fan.

Judging by my setup is that possible?

I also took a picture of the switch wiring:


The switch on the right controls the fan, which now turns on the fan AND the light! Thanks Ray!

The switch on the left controls an outlet in the wall. The outlet that it controls has the plugs mounted upside down. I know why this is done, but its really of no use to me. Is it possible to hardwire the outlet so its always on like a normal outlet?

Thanks for all your help! I really appreciate it!
 
  #5  
Old 01-11-10, 05:43 PM
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Is it possible to hardwire the outlet so its always on like a normal outlet?
Yes. Just take the two wires off the switch and connect with a wire nut. You can replace the switch cover with one that has a blank and a space for a switch or just leave the unused switch. If you leave the switch put a note in the junction box so the next person will know what you did. If you have access above the fan ans switch such as an unfinished attic you can run new cable and use the disabled switch for the fan.

Can this fan be controlled by remote?
Yes. It would go in the canopy with the other wires. That might be sampler the re-purposing the receptacle switch.

Just two tech notes: There may be other ways to make the receptacle always hot but I have given you the simplest.

There is really no upside down position for a receptacle but like religion that is something best not discussed in an open forum. LOL
 
  #6  
Old 01-11-10, 06:02 PM
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Sometimes the switched receptacle is installed "upside down" to denote the switched vs unswitched receptacles.

As a side note there is no right side up or upside down receptacle placement.
 
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Old 01-11-10, 06:06 PM
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I can't see enough detail in the switch box wiring, but it looks like you could remove a wire from the bundle that has the hot wires in it to make it a switched hot.

Ray what do you think? Jumper from hot bundle to feed 2 switches with the red and black being switched to the fan?
 
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Old 01-11-10, 06:14 PM
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Ray what do you think?
I think you are right. Didn't even think of that. Good catch.

Azilluminati is there a 3-conductor cable in the switch box (red, black white). Is the cable at the fan/light 3-conductor?
 
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Old 01-11-10, 06:39 PM
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You guys are awesome. You helped turn a crappy day into a less crappy day!

I wont bring up religion, or upside down outlets. ;-) I can see why it wouldnt be considered upside down, because it really can work both ways!

The wires coming from the ceiling to the fan have red, black, white, and a bare copper wire.

The wires coming from the fan have 2 green, 1 blue, 1 black, and 1 white.

The wires in the wall switch receptacle appear to have a group of 3 also, red, black, and white/clear. Although its hard to tell because the wires all covered in paint or caulk or something.

I would actually like to use the extra switch if I can, especially if I am going to wire the other outlet hot.

I wouldnt mind adding a remote to the living room ceiling fan though since its placed a little higher. Can you recommend an inexpensive remote that would work with these fans? Would the remote also be able to control the speed of fan?

One last question, and this is purely for safety. I turned off the electricity at the breaker, but I have always heard its good to check anyways. I bought a simple circuit tester with two wires, but I am unsure how to properly use it, especially when there is as many wires as there are with the fan. Is there a general rule of thumb?

Thanks for all your help!
 
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Old 01-11-10, 08:11 PM
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In the 3 wire cable that goes to the fan, please describe the connections both to the switch and any wires that do not connect to the switch but are in the same cable.

You can probably gently scrape the paint off the wires with your fingernail. Only do this with the power off for safety.

To test for power you would normally go from the black or red to a bare ground. You could also use the white neutral in place of the bare.
 
  #11  
Old 01-12-10, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
In the 3 wire cable that goes to the fan, please describe the connections both to the switch and any wires that do not connect to the switch but are in the same cable.
In the wall receptacle the cable that runs to the wall fan switch contains 4 wires.

The wires are: black, red, white, and bare copper.

The red wire runs directly to the switch.

The black wire runs to a wire screw cap, and then comes back out to the switch.

The bare copper wire runs to a wire screw cap, and then comes back out to the switch.

The white wire runs to a wire screw cap, and stays there.

There is another group of cables that runs to the switch for the power outlet, and they are setup in the same fashion as above.

There are 3 other groups of cables coming into the receptacle. These have black, white, and bare copper wire, but NO RED.

Did I miss anything?
 
  #12  
Old 01-12-10, 09:49 AM
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Lets get some terminology straight to make this simpler and clearer for everyone. No need to mention ground wires. They are not relevant for this discussion. We will assume ground wires are there and connected. When you write:
The black wire runs to a wire screw cap, and then comes back out to the switch
You really mean a pigtail, a short length of wire, connects to the switch.

That bundle of black wires pigtailed to the switches contains your hot wire for everything. We don't really need to know which wire just that that is the hot bundle.

I’m going to throw you a bit of a curve ball now. Remember when I said there might be a different way to make the switched receptacle always hot. Well I'm going to suggest doing it another way. Are both of the plugins on the receptacle hot? If not post back. If so open up the receptacle. If it has a red wire to one of the brass screws and two black wires that are connected with a wire nut but not to the receptacle disconnect the red wire and cap with a wire nut. Connect one black wire to each blrass screw, Turn the breaker back on and test. The switch should no longer turn it off and on.

I'm going to stop now and wait for you to post if anything was different from what I said. If so just stop, don't do anything and post back and then we will continue. If you get as far as converting the receptacle to not switched I'll continue with how to put fan and light on separate switches.
 
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Old 01-12-10, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
I’m going to throw you a bit of a curve ball now. Remember when I said there might be a different way to make the switched receptacle always hot. Well I'm going to suggest doing it another way. Are both of the plugins on the receptacle hot? If not post back. If so open up the receptacle. If it has a red wire to one of the brass screws and two black wires that are connected with a wire nut but not to the receptacle disconnect the red wire and cap with a wire nut. Connect one black wire to each blrass screw, Turn the breaker back on and test. The switch should no longer turn it off and on.
I did not see exactly what you described but perhaps I misunderstood what you were looking for or perhaps it is there and I just didnt recognize it.

In any case I am going to provide several pictures in hopes that from the pictures you can see what it is you are looking to determine, and then perhaps you can explain it to me?

Thanks Ray! Heres the pics some are bad quality but hopefully with all the pcis you can piece together a full picture of whats going on:
----------------------------------------





 
  #14  
Old 01-12-10, 03:58 PM
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See edit at bottom before starting.

First let me recommend a bit of house keeping on your receptacle. Use of the backstabs for connection is not recommended by most in this forum because the connections tend to have a higher failure rate then screws so move the white wires to the screws.

Remove the red wire and cap it.

Move the back stabbed black wire to the unused brass screw. You should already have a black wire on one screw.



At the switch for the receptacle remove the red wire and cap with a wire nut.

Check that there is a pigtail from the bundle of hot wires to the switch.

You have a three conductor cable from the fan/light fixture. One already goes to a group of white wires. Leave that as is.

One wire goes to the fan/light switch. Leave that in place.

One wire from the fan/light goes to the hot wire bundle. Remove that wire and connect to the un-used terminal on the ex-receptacle switch.

At the fan put the blue wire back where it was.

Note if they used back stabs on the switch it is best to move the wires to the screws but not required. Tech note:: A backstab forms a connection pair with the screw nearest it so if you have a wire on the screw and one in the backstab they are connected just like a pigtail. I point this out only so you will better understand what you had on the receptacle.



Edit: You are going to need to replace the receptacle if the tab between the brass screws is broken and it should be for the setup. I missed that, sorry. All else remains the same.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-12-10 at 06:03 PM.
  #15  
Old 01-12-10, 07:20 PM
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Well I tried to follow your directions to the letter, but obviously I went wrong somewhere because now nothing works!

I have attached pictures and diagrams of what I did. The switches do not turn anything on now, and I changed the wires back to the way they were inside the fan. I moved the blue wire back to the black wire.

As for the wall outlet. It only has one plug that is hot, which is shown in pics below.

WALL SWITCH:
------------------------------------------



WALL POWER OUTLET:
------------------------------------------


At least I havent electrocuted myself or started any fires yet!
 
  #16  
Old 01-12-10, 08:32 PM
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The red wire in the cable to the fan goes to one of the switches. I see two disconnected red wires. There should be one.

Are you sure you have a pigtail from the bundle of hot wires to each of the switches.

Did you replace the receptacle? The one that was there had the tab broke between the brass screws. You could jumper the screws with a wire in the two back stabs on the brass side just to test.

Let me explain another way. There should be a pigtail from the hot bundle to each switch.

The red from the fan/light goes to the other screw on one switch.

The black on the fanlight goes to the other screw on the other switch.

The receptacle must be replaced or jumpered.

The red wire from the receptacle is capped.

The black wire from the receptacle must go to the hot bundle at the switch.
 
  #17  
Old 01-12-10, 11:08 PM
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Ray! You are the man! Beer 4U2

After reading your post several times and looking at everything again the light bulb finally went on - some pun intended! ;-)

Everything is working like a charm thanks to you, and pcboss! I would have never attempted something like this before, but it was actually a lot of fun, and I learned a ton! So thanks for all your help and patience. I know its painful dealing with newbies. ;-)

Only one more question. You mentioned these fan setups would work with a remote kit. I actually looked at some at home depot, and noticed that the receiver was probably 3-4 inches long and 1-1.5 inches thick, which doesnt seem like much, but im not sure how you would stuff that up in the fan housing?

I was looking at something like this:
Hampton Bay Ceiling Fan & Light Remote Control Unit - eBay (item 300385746081 end time Jan-17-10 20:00:37 PST)

Looks pretty straight forward im just concerned about where the receiver is suppose to fit?

Thanks guys!
 
  #18  
Old 01-13-10, 08:43 AM
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Congratulations on a job well done. I have only installed one remote. It did fit. Others with more expedience may have found canopies that didn't have room. Your canopy looks about average so I'm pretty sure it will fit. I can only advise buy it locally so if it doesn't fit you can take it back.
 
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Old 01-13-10, 10:48 AM
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In the last photo of the receptacle with the red tape; the black wire loop should go around the threads of the screw. As it is now it is not properly terminated and should be corrected.

Glad to here of your sucess. Ray, thanks for the help.
 
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Old 01-15-10, 10:57 AM
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So I finally got a little time to tackle the rest of the rooms in the house, and everthing wen flawless. Until I got to the last room. The master bedroom.

For some reason the power outlet in the master bedroom didnt have the same wire configuration as all the other outlets. The wire configuration it had is seen in the first picture.



 
  #21  
Old 01-15-10, 11:14 AM
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The white wire should never go to the brass screw.

Did you also fix the wire around the screw on the one receptacle?
 
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Old 01-15-10, 11:21 AM
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Do not remove wires from bundle, pigtail. As PCBoss wrote never run white to brass. Be sure the tab on the brass side hasn't been removed.

Removing the wires from the bundles probably caused the problem.
 
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Old 01-15-10, 12:25 PM
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That was a typo on my part! Sorry. So just to clarify I DID NOT CONNECT WHITE WIRE TO BRASS. ;-)

Pcboss, yes I did fix that wire!

Ray, Yes it definitely seemed like removing the wires caused the problem. My logic behind doing so was because the other outlets both had two black wires, and two white wires, and this one only had 1 black wire, and 1 white wire. Just out of curiosity - why shouldnt you remove wires from the pigtail?

Also, you specified to make sure that the tab on the brass side wasnt removed. Is there a difference between removing the tab on the brass side, versus the other (silver) side? In the context of our earlier posts I gathered that having the tab broke on the silver side causes only one of the two outlets not to function? Does not having the tab on the brass side cause a different affect than just disabling one outlet?

The tab on the brass side is broke BTW. It seems like every outlet I pulled one of the tabs was broke. Is that intentionally done? If so why?

Despite the tab on the brass side being broken, one of the outlets was still hot when the red wire coming from the wall switch was connected to the outlet backstop.

Where do I go from here! ;-)
 
  #24  
Old 01-15-10, 02:47 PM
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My logic behind doing so was because the other outlets both had two black wires, and two white wires, and this one only had 1 black wire, and 1 white wire
Having one black and one white should no be a problem.
why shouldnt you remove wires from the pigtail?
Either I miss-read your post or you miss-read mine. I meant simply no wires should be removed from the bundle. They must remain in the bundle. If power needs to be taken from the bundle to the receptacle it should be done by adding a pigtail.
The tab on the brass side is broke BTW. It seems like every outlet I pulled one of the tabs was broke. Is that intentionally done? If so why?
The tab caries power between screws. If the tab is broken only the plug-in the wire is fastened to will be hot. The other side of the receptacle will be dead. If you have a switched and un-switched plug-in on the same receptacle then the brass tab will be broken to isolate the two feeds from each other.
Is there a difference between removing the tab on the brass side, versus the other (silver) side
Yes. The receptacle is fed by two hots but only one neutral. The silver must be intact to so both screws share the neutral feed.

There are reasons why the neutral tab might be broken but that is not applicable to this situation.
 
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Old 01-15-10, 10:18 PM
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Ray! Once again your a lifesaver and your information was dead on accurate. I replaced the receptacle. Hooked up ground, black, and white. I left the pigtails alone this time, and everything worked like a charm!

I have one more electrical task, and then I am done for awhile!

The original wall switch I posted about shares a wall with a closet. Underneath this wall switch is a normal duplex power outlet, and obviously shares the same wall with the closet. My question is this:

Can I tap into either one of these, the switch, or the power outlet, and install another duplex power outlet on the other side of the wall in the closet.

PICTURE OF ORIGINAL SWITCH SHARING WALL WITH CLOSET (THIS WAS FIXED SO DISREGARD DIAGRAMS:
-----------------------------------------------------------


PICTURE OF WALL WITH SWITCH & POWER OUTLET:
-----------------------------------------------------------


PICTURE OF INSIDE OF CLOSET WALL:
-----------------------------------------------------------
 
  #26  
Old 01-15-10, 11:12 PM
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Simplest is to tap into the receptacle. You don't want the new box directly behind the existing one because the boxes take up more then half of the wall depth. Instead depending on the location of the stud place the new box about two inches to the left or right of the existing box. In other words place it so neither the existing box or stud interferes with the new box.

If both sets of screws are in use on the receptacle in the existing box remove one set of black and white wires from the receptacle and connect along with a pigtail to the wires for the new receptacle. Run the pigtails to the screws on the receptacle you removed the other black and white wires from. Of course if you have a set of unused screws you can just go to those. Tie all grounds and pigtail to the receptacle.
 
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Old 01-16-10, 10:24 PM
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I was able to do exactly what you said and install an outlet in the closet! It even looks good! No duct tape or anything! ;-)

Thanks Ray! You really helped me out, and I learned a lot in the process!
 
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Old 01-16-10, 10:57 PM
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Glad it worked out for you. Come on back when you start your next project if you need help.
 
 

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