changing switched outlet to being always on/ adding a ceiling fan with light

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Old 05-18-13, 11:38 PM
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changing switched outlet to being always on/ adding a ceiling fan with light

I would like to put in a ceiling fan in a bedroom.
The only switch in the room currently controls one single outlet. I would like to make that outlet unswitched/always hot and replace the single switch with two switches: one for the light and one for the fan.
Current setup: The switch only controls that one single outlet. The outlet itself has 2 wires (both black) going into it from two different sides. The switch itself has 2 wires (both black) going into it from two sides. I already know which one the hot wire. I hung the fan with a mounting bracket, ran 14-3 wire to the box and the switch box, however I am unable to connect all the wires now.
I installed another fan last summer and didnít have any problems whatsoever, set up was different though. I originally wired everything the way I thought it should have worked and I was not able to connect. When I plugged in my television to the outlet and turned it one, the tv did not turn on however the power momentarily flickered the lights and fan. The tv worked as a switch somehow.
Any schematics or ideas anyone can provide would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-19-13, 12:55 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Makes sense for the switch to have two black wires on it. Power in and switched out to the receptacle.
Having two black wires only on the receptacle does not make sense. A receptacle needs at least one white (neutral) wire and one black (hot) wire to work.

We need to confirm exactly where power comes into the circuit.

I'm going to assume for now it comes in at the switch location. You should remove the switch and combine the two black wires. Your receptacle should be always live now.

At the switch box you will now add two short pieces of the same size wiring in black. So you'll have a black connection with four wires. The two new jumpers you just added will be the feeds to your switches. One black wire to each switch.

Your three wire should be in the box. You'll connect the white wire to the two white wires that are connected now in the back of the box. You will connect the red wire to one switch and black to the other one.

Connect the ground to the existing ground system in the box.
 
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Old 05-19-13, 02:25 PM
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I would like to... replace the single switch with two switches: one for the light and one for the fan.
You may already know this but a fan motor shouldn't be controlled with an on/off switch. The motor needs full power at startup, which means that the pull-chain switch needs to be on "high" before the wall switch is turned on, every time.

You can make one of your two switches a fan motor controller and the other a switch or dimmer for the light. Or you can use a combination fan and light control that fits in a single space. Then you won't need to make the box larger.
 
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Old 05-19-13, 04:51 PM
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PJmax, "You'll connect the white wire to the two white wires that are connected now in the back of the box."

Thanks for the help, the only thing is that there are no white wires in the switch box whatsoever, that is my dilema.
The switch box itself has 2 wires (both black) going into it from two sides. Any further ideas/suggestions.

As for the fan/light not being on two seperate switches, well that's how I've seen it down here in practically everyones home that i've been in, even new construction has it like that. Does having a switch reduce the motor life span if the fan is started on low?
 
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Old 05-19-13, 05:06 PM
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If you only have two blacks wires at the switch..... and coming from two different directions then you must have conduit in the walls. Is that correct ?
 
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Old 05-19-13, 05:39 PM
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Without a neutral at the switch location, you will need to find another source of power. You do not have a complete circuit at the switch.
 
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Old 05-19-13, 08:51 PM
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Does having a switch reduce the motor life span if the fan is started on low?
Starting an electric motor with anything less than full power will reduce its life span regardless of how it's done. The short answer is "yes."

The switch box itself has 2 wires (both black) going into it from two sides.
One of those wires obviously comes from the box with the controlled receptacle. Where does the other one come from? How did an individual black conductor get there -- through conduit?
 
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Old 05-20-13, 05:56 PM
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PJmax, "If you only have two blacks wires at the switch..... and coming from two different directions then you must have conduit in the walls. Is that correct ?

I do have flexible conduit in the walls- not really too sure how that affects anything. So I got a simple light to test my wiring, black/white wires. I know which one the hot wire is, however when I touch the white wire (from my light) to the box itself, then it turns on and then I have light. Not really too sure if maybe system is grounded incorrectly. However I believe I have established my neutral as being grounded and therefore that would explain why I get juice when I connect simple light to box. My house was built in the early 70's- not sure if that plays a factor in anything. Does anyone have any ideas. Thanks.
 
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Old 05-21-13, 12:38 PM
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when I touch the white wire (from my light) to the box itself, then it turns on and then I have light. Not really too sure if maybe system is grounded incorrectly.
That should mean your system, and that box, are grounded correctly.

However I believe I have established my neutral as being grounded and therefore that would explain why I get juice when I connect simple light to box.
The proper name for what we commonly refer to as "neutral Wire" is "grounded conductor."

Where did you find this neutral - in the receptacle box or switch box?

I do have flexible conduit in the walls- not really too sure how that affects anything.
All you're missing in order to connect everything is a neutral in the switch box. You have neutral at the receptacle box. Those two boxes are connected. If they're connected with conduit, you can pull a white wire from one of those boxes to the other to bring the neutral to where you need it.
 
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