Ceiling fan stopped working

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Old 08-25-11, 07:03 PM
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Ceiling fan stopped working

My friend has a ceiling fan in the bedroom without a light. It's controlled by a slider type variable switch. Shave told me that it stopped working a couple days ago.

What should be my plan of attack for troubleshooting this?

Not sure if it's related, but today the breaker for that room popped. I reset and all is well (except the fan is still inoperative). She doesn't know exactly when it popped (like if she was using the hair dryer, etc).
 
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Old 08-25-11, 08:27 PM
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With breaker off wire nut the two wires on the wall slider switch together. Turn the breaker on. If it still doesn't run try all the positions on the fan's built-in switch.
 
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Old 08-25-11, 08:33 PM
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You're saying to bypass the slider, using the breaker as an on/off switch. Correct?
 
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Old 08-25-11, 09:03 PM
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Yes, just as a test. Replace the slider if it works jumpered. Be sure you use a fan speed control not a dimmer switch if you replace it.
 
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Old 08-31-11, 04:23 PM
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OK, I bypassed the switch by connecting the two black wires and turning the breaker back on. No luck. Just for fun I checked for 120VAC at the switch and per my test light it's good.

There are no switches or pull chains on the fan.

Is the next step checking for voltage at the fan? For the life of me I can't figure out how to get the cover off of the ball/bracket at the ceiling. There are no screws at all. I tried pulling and twisting and it doesn't feel like it wants to come off.
 
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Old 09-27-11, 06:17 PM
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Ok I finally got back to this. Got the cover off. I used a meter and stick the probes into the wire nuts for the black and white wires. Measured 120VAC with the speed control on full.*

Bad motor? Replace the fan?
 
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Old 09-27-11, 08:07 PM
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Always best to remove and replace the wire nuts. You could have a loose wire or corrosion inside the wire nuts. Also often the wire nuts that come with some fans are "fake". They are just a plastic insulator with out the wire spring normally found in true wire nuts.
 
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Old 09-27-11, 08:19 PM
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Ok I'll check it. But I did remove one of them and the connection looked good.
 
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Old 10-02-11, 08:59 PM
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Connections look good.

I was going to take it down but this confused me. A bare, multi-strand silver-colored cable from the fan up into the cable box. Whatever it's connected to is in the attic; it comes straight from the fan and up through the hole in the box with the other wires. The fan does have a green ground wire as well.

 
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Old 10-03-11, 03:25 AM
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If it is gray or silver, it is most likely the antenna for the remote control. Will it pull down from the hole in the ceiling? Do you have the remote control?
 
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Old 10-03-11, 03:38 AM
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"A bare, multi-strand silver-colored cable from the fan up into the cable box."

More than likely is a safety cable, whether it's attached in the attic is a different question. Antenna wires typically are insulated.
 
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Old 10-03-11, 10:52 AM
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I was sort of thinking safety cable. I pulled it out of the attic a bit but once it started to get difficult to pull since I didn't know what it was attached to. I do NOT want to go into the attic on this house.

The fan has no remote that in aware of. It's controlled by a slider wall switch.
 
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Old 10-03-11, 04:12 PM
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I know what you mean. I didn't want to be in the attic I was in today, but that's a different story. Look the fan over. It must be attached somewhere. Maybe you can get to that attachment point so you can at least get it down.
 
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Old 10-03-11, 04:32 PM
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Do I really need it? I've never had one on any others that I've messed with.

The cable goes down the tube and into the fan somewhere. Not sure what I could take apart to find where it's attached but I'll look.
 
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Old 10-03-11, 04:51 PM
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Many fans don’t have them, the heavier ones can have them. The fan end of the cable might be looped through or around a pin near the motor housing. Might be able to disassemble some parts to get to it.

If you’re going to replace the fan with a ‘standard’ size, you probably won’t need the cable with the new one, it which case you could just cut it and tuck it away, preferably into the attic and out of the box. It looks like in the photo that the fan box is rated for use with a fan. If the box is securely mounted, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t need the cable with a new fan. But it’s best not to hurt the cable if you don’t have too, until you’re sure the new fan doesn’t need it. Might save you a trip to that dreaded attic.
 
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Old 10-03-11, 07:15 PM
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I'll see what I can do about disconnecting the cable from the fan.

She said she had the fan installed a couple years ago and there was nothing there before, so I assume they used the appropriate hardware.
 
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Old 10-03-11, 07:34 PM
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Just a thought...Might be a local code to have a safety cable.
 
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