Replacing a ceiling fan wasn't that easy....

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Old 08-15-12, 07:31 AM
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Replacing a ceiling fan wasn't that easy....

Before I give up and call an electrician I thought I'd see if the community could offer up some wisdom.

The old ceiling fan in my sun room died. It had two wall switches; an on/off for the fan and a dimmer for the light. I bought a new fan that has a remote for fan and light operation so I figured I'd just use the on/off switch circuit to power the whole assembly and cap off the the dimmer circuit. It works but I think I screwed up something; the fan seems to have a lot of trouble starting up and doesn't spin as fast as it should be, as if there were a lot more resistance in the circuit and the fan isn't getting enough power. Plus, I got a bit of a shock when I touched the neutral wire so I know something's messed up.

Coming out of the ceiling are two black wires, two white wires, and two bare wires. The new fan has only a single black wire and a single white wire going into the unit. The metal ceiling mount for the fan has a green wire screwed into it. According to the directions I match and connect the black and white wires to the ceiling, the green wire to the bare wire, and that's it.

When I first hooked up the fan I basically guessed at which black/white wire set was for the on/off switch. I figured, if I hooked it up to that set, turned on the switch and the fan worked then I guessed right. If not then I'd use the other black/white wires. Not very scientific but I seem to have guessed right. The fan has power when I turn the wall switch on and turns off when I turn the wall switch off. Nothing happens if I turn the dimmer switch on.

I capped off the other black and other white wire, figuring those were for the dimmer switch which I'm no longer using.

If it matters, the wires coming out of the ceiling are VERY heavy solid wires, almost like clothes hangers. The wires going into the new fan are stranded and much thinner/more flexible.

At this time one black wire and one white wire are capped off. Last night I went to tuck the wires away in order to hang the trim piece and when I touched the bare wire I got a little shock. (The circuit breaker was on but the wall switch was off when this happened.) That's when I stopped.

I have no idea where to even start troubleshooting this. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 08-15-12, 08:17 AM
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Start at the switch. Tell us how many cables and how they are hooked up. What color wires on the switches? Do you have a bundle (two or more wires) of white wires at the back wire nutted together?
 
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Old 08-15-12, 08:53 AM
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the fan seems to have a lot of trouble starting up and doesn't spin as fast as it should be, as if there were a lot more resistance in the circuit and the fan isn't getting enough power.
As a general rule, in order for a fan to operate easily with a remote control, the built-in fan motor speed control (the pull chain) must be set on High and all speed control done from the remote.
 

Last edited by Nashkat1; 08-15-12 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 08-15-12, 10:42 AM
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This fan has no pull chain. All controls, light and fan, are done through the remote.
 
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Old 08-15-12, 10:50 AM
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This fan has no pull chain. All controls, light and fan, are done through the remote.
Then the initial fan motor speed setting is not an issue, and not a probable cause.

That said, please tell us what you see at/in the switch box, as Ray suggested, and we can go from there. If you would like to post a picture showing the wiring there, see How To Include Pictures.
 
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Old 08-15-12, 12:18 PM
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What were the connections at the old fan?
 
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