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Help w/ ceiling fan shorting when wall switch is flipped, AFTER weeks of working

Help w/ ceiling fan shorting when wall switch is flipped, AFTER weeks of working

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  #1  
Old 11-02-11, 08:09 AM
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Help w/ ceiling fan shorting when wall switch is flipped, AFTER weeks of working

I replaced my light fixture with a ceiling fan. It worked fine (about 4 months)…then one day I flipped the wall switch off and heard/felt a buzz…I flipped the switch back on… then off and the ceiling fan sparked and burnt out…it would no longer turn on.
I thought it was the fan…so…I got a new one... (My ex put up both). The fan worked again…this time only for about 3 weeks…then the same thing….only it wouldn’t allow the breaker to turn on… until I took the fan down.
I bought a new fan…I do not know how to proceed….
The wall switch reads close to 0 flipped on or off. (Breaker is on). I have a cheap multimeter. There is power to the load(wires in ceiling)…with the switch up or down….it reads close to 110-125.
When I took the ceiling fan down… I noticed he didn’t have the ground wire of the fan connected to the ground coming out the ceiling. I don’t know if this was the case for the 1st burnt up fan….as I didn’t ever see how it was connected.
Where do I start? Why did it work awhile…then burn out when flipping switch…on both fans?
1) Could it have been the ground wire?
2) The wall switch?
3) Something like a screw sometimes touching the wire in fan?
4) I did have mice in the ceiling recently…
5) The wire in between wall…switch…ceiling…breaker box?
LOL…where do I start…I am a girl….fixtures and switches are easy….so long as there is no problem…I workout and want my fan!
Any help is appreciated…thanks.
Becky
 
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  #2  
Old 11-02-11, 08:18 AM
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The lack of the ground wire should have had no effect on the fans short life.

Is this a dimmer, a toggle switch or a speed control?
 
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Old 11-02-11, 08:24 AM
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I believe it’s a toggle switch….it only turned the fan off or on…it did not control the speed or slide up or down to dim the lights.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 08:26 AM
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Does power come in at the fan or switch? What color wires are attached to the switch? How many wires in the ceiling box?
 
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Old 11-02-11, 08:45 AM
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There are 2 black wires going into the back of the switch on the wall. If I touch the leads from the multimeter to both wires (set to 200 ac)…I read close to 0. If I touch one black wire and the twisted group of ground wires in the box…I read close to 110…on each black wire.
The wires coming out the ceiling are One Black, One White and a bare copper wire. I read close to 110 on the meter when I touch both black and white wires to the 2 leads on the meter. I get this reading with the switch on or off.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 09:40 AM
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Is there a group of white wires at the switch in addition to the ground wires you mentioned?
 
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Old 11-02-11, 10:02 AM
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yes...there is a a group of white wires twisted together in the outlet box... on the wall.
there is another switch in the same box that controls outside porch lights.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 12:18 PM
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Try the switch with the fan disconnected. Be sure the disconnected wires aren't touching anything or cap them with wire nuts.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 12:27 PM
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the switch sounds and seems fine without the fan connected.
 
  #10  
Old 11-02-11, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Sassyvirgo View Post
the switch sounds and seems fine without the fan connected.
Then likely it is the fan. I'd suggest as a final test connect a receptacle to the two wires that normally go to the fan and plug in a lamp. If it works OK dump the fan and buy a new one. Buy a different brand and pay a bit more.
 
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