Need help wiring light fixture using ceiling fan pre-wire

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Old 05-27-14, 11:18 PM
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Need help wiring light fixture using ceiling fan pre-wire

I recently moved in to a newly-constructed house that has ceiling fan pre-wires in all of the bedrooms. Instead of installing ceiling fans, I would simply like to install a light fixture in each bedroom.

The ceiling fan pre-wire consists of a red, black, white, and ground wire. The light fixture has a black, white, and ground wire. My first attempt was to connect black to black, white to white, ground to ground, and cap the red wire from the ceiling. When I turned the power back on, the light fixture lit up but I could not turn it off using the wall switch. My second attempt was to connect red to black, white to white, ground to ground, and cap the black wire from the ceiling. When I turned the power back on, the light fixture did not light up and I could not turn it on using the wall switch.

My uneducated guess is that the wall switches are wired specifically for a ceiling fan instead of a simple light fixture. There are two wall switches that control the ceiling fan pre-wire -- one to control a light and one to control a fan. One switch has a red wire connected on top, a black wire connected on bottom, and a ground wire. The other switch has a black wire connected on top, a red wire connected on bottom, and a ground wire. It looks like each switch has a unique red wire connected to it, but the black wire from each switch appears to join with other black wires in a bundle that are connected together with a wirenut.

Any ideas on how things need to be wired in order for the light fixture to be controlled by one of the wall switches?
 
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Old 05-28-14, 07:20 AM
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The wiring at the switch and ceiling is as expected.Just to verify at the ceiling you capped the black and connected red and white to the light? If so I suspect a switched receptacle in the room that the switch is currently controlling. It may be only half the receptacle is controlled so you will need to plug a lamp into each half of every receptacle and test.
 
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Old 05-28-14, 09:09 AM
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I tried connecting the wires two ways:
First, ceiling black to light black and ceiling white to light white. Capped the ceiling red. Light came on but switch didnt turn it off or on.
Second, ceiling red to light black and ceiling white to light white. Caped the ceiling black. Light wouldnt turn on at all.

You lost me with the part about the switched receptacle. The wall switch panel has three switches: one to control a ceiling fan light, one to control the fan itself, and one to control a single wall outlet. My idea was that after installing the new ceiling light fixture that the first switch would control the light, the second would be unused since I wont have a fan, and the third would still control the wall outlet.

Since you said that the wiring of the ceiling and switches is as expected, am I simply not connecting the light wiring to the ceiling wiring correctly?
 
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Old 05-28-14, 10:09 AM
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You are connecting correctly. I meant maybe they were using the switch for a receptacle. Didn't know you had more than one switch. Do you have a multimeter? (If you don't get a cheap, $8-$15 analog, analog not digital.)
 

Last edited by ray2047; 05-28-14 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 05-28-14, 01:16 PM
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There's no such thing as 'wiring a switch for a fan instead of a light'. The switch doesn't care what's on the other end be it a light bulb, a fan, a water pump, or an ice cream maker, it just turns electricity on and off.

Ok so there are three switches, and you already know one controls an outlet..

The other two switches (which you say are for the light and fan) BOTH have a red wire connected to them? And there is only a black and a red in the ceiling (as opposed to two blacks and two reds)?

The black in the ceiling, does it come out of a 'bundle' like the blacks at the switch do or does it come out of the end of the same cable as the red?

Is there a red wire capped off at the switch box?

It really sounds like the electrician screwed up.

Can you post some pictures of what you're looking at?
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...-pictures.html
 
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Old 05-28-14, 01:50 PM
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Thanks for the input so far. I will try to collect additional data and take some photos later this evening.
 
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Old 05-30-14, 09:15 PM
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Well, I am happy to report that I finally got the ceiling light working properly. It turns out that the wall switches were wired incorrectly. I connected another ceiling light in a different bedroom and it worked properly right from the start. So, I then compared the wiring of the wall switches in the two rooms and realized that the first bedroom was wired completely different than the other bedroom. After rewiring the wall switches in the first bedroom to match the switches in the second bedroom, the ceiling light finally started to work properly.
 
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Old 05-30-14, 09:38 PM
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Glad you got it. Thanks for letting us know.
 
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