Light/exhaust fan won't turn off

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Old 11-29-11, 08:04 PM
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Light/exhaust fan won't turn off

Hope you can help! My 1968 home has interesting electrical mappings!I recently removed one of the lights in my bathroom ceiling with the intent to replace it with a light/exhaust fan combo (since it had no exhaust fan). The 'new' system will turn 'on' (so light and fan work); however, the switch will not turn the system 'off'. Help!
 
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Old 11-29-11, 08:19 PM
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Tell us how you wired it.
 
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Old 11-29-11, 08:20 PM
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wired it the same way it was wired before...
 
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Old 11-29-11, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by pearson View Post
wired it the same way it was wired before...
If you won't give us information we can't help. At this point we don't even know if power comes in at the fixture or the switch.
 
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Old 11-29-11, 08:33 PM
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my husband says the power came into the light itself (which we are now changing to be a light/exahust fan combo)...which I assume is the 'fixture'. He is trying to not only get it to work, but change it so the power comes in at the switch.
 
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Old 11-29-11, 08:36 PM
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Also, there are only black and white wires; as well as copper wires (with no color).
 
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Old 11-29-11, 09:01 PM
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SO my husband hooked up two toggle switches (one connects to a light; and the other one is supposed to connect to a light/exhaust fan combo fixture). When he hooks up the one that goes solely to the light and I turn the power back on, the light 'lights up'. When he connects the wires to the 2nd toggle, and I turn the power on, the power on the circuit breaker automaticaly turns from back to 'off'. Do you know why?
 
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Old 11-30-11, 07:52 AM
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What do you mean by "the power on the circuit breaker automaticaly turns from back to 'off'". Do you mean when you turn the circuit breaker (in the breaker panel for the house) back on it immediately clicks back off, killing power to your light and other parts of the house? If so, something is wired wrong and there is a dead short. The breaker is sensing the short and turning off the power as fast as it can. I am guessing you have wires crossed somewhere and when the second switch is thrown you are shorting a hot (usually black) wire to ground (usually bare copper) or to neutral (usually white).

When getting into a confusing wiring situation sometimes it helps, though sounds silly, to get out some colored pencils or crayons and draw out the wiring. Use one color for your hot wires which are the ones carrying the power, another for your neutral which are the sort of like the return lines, and ground which are there for your safety. If you carefully draw out what you have going on and it may make it easier to spot your problem. You never want to have a hot wire connecting to a ground or neutral wire. The only time a hot wire can meet a neutral wire it through your fan or a light.
 
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Old 11-30-11, 08:32 AM
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I reread your first reply. Perhaps I misjudged it. Perhaps you thought there was only one way it could be wired. Actually there are multiple ways and without knowing which of those ways it is impossible to answer. You didn't initially mention adding a second switch. That would be virtually impossible with out adding a cable.

He is trying to not only get it to work, but change it so the power comes in at the switch.
That would make things harder to do and require new cables. Why does he want to do that?

SO my husband hooked up two toggle switches (one connects to a light; and the other one is supposed to connect to a light/exhaust fan combo fixture).
He would need a new cable for the new switch unless you had 3-wire cable with an unused wire. Did he add a new cable?

t goes solely to the light and I turn the power back on, the light 'lights up'. When he connects the wires to the 2nd toggle, and I turn the power on, the power on the circuit breaker automatically turns from back to 'off'
As Dane said a dead short. It sounds like he connected a neutral to a switch.

Lets go back to the beginning. How many 2-wire (+ground) cables in each box (switch box and light box). Were there any 3-wire (+ground) cables in the boxes. How were the wires connected when you started.


2-conductor (2-wire) cable
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-30-11 at 09:14 AM.
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