Three way switch with ceiling fan issue

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Old 09-18-17, 04:58 PM
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Three way switch with ceiling fan issue

Thanks for taking the time to read. I have been reading the answers to previous questions similar to mine. They don't seem to quite fit my situation, but everyone is so helpful I decided to post my question.

I have a ceiling fan with pull switch chain controls that are a bit inconvenient to reach. Operating this fan are two switches, one at each side of the room. The switches are basic on/off toggle light switches and just kill the power to the ceiling fan or turn it on to whatever the pull strings have it set to.

I have replaced one light switch with a Westinghouse 7787500 wireless ceiling remote wall control. The installation instructions are here: https://www.manualshelf.com/manual/w...ly-french.html

Coming out of the wall are a red, black and white wire. There's also the copper, I think, ground, tucked in there too. The Westinghouse unit has two black and one green (ground) wire coming out of it. Currently, I have the wall red and wall black going to the Westinghouse blacks. The wall white goes to the Westinghouse green.

I am confident I installed the receiver in the ceiling fan correctly as it was simple, and the colours matched perfectly too.

As it is, the setup is working well-ish. Unfortunately, well-ish with electrical is not good! On occasion the breaker will blow. It used to only blow when using the untouched wall switch. However once it blew on it's own. And curiously, it only seems to blow when I've put all the Westinghouse wires back in the junction box. I've never had an issue before I've tucked it all away. The junction box isn't metal, my wire nuts are perfect and I also had someone look at it and they agreed it looks correct from a connections standpoint.

I believe the issue is the load because of the three way switch configuration and the way I have it wired. I'm happy to call an electrician if this isn't something simple I'm missing.

I'm also happy, and quite frankly now do want to add another Westinghouse controller to the other switch. Will this fix my breaker issue? The breakers are 15 AMP.

Otherwise I can restore the toggle switches and buy a remote control which is less desirable.

Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to explain as much as possible for any helpers. If you need photos or something or something isn't clear, please ask!
 
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Old 09-18-17, 05:11 PM
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Welcome to the forums.
Currently, I have the wall red and wall black going to the Westinghouse blacks. The wall white goes to the Westinghouse green.
Wrong.... the green of the control goes to ground. Ground will usually be a bare wire. If no bare wire present.... cap it off.

You have 2) three way switches. Turn the power off to the circuit. Go to the switch that you are not using. The switch will have a dark or black screw. That is the common terminal. Remove this wire from that screw and connect to the red wire that is also on the switch. Now you'll have the common and red connected. Leave the other wire on the switch. This disconnects this switch from the circuit.

Go to the control location. Locate the wire that WAS on the common switch terminal. You may not know which wire it is now. Look at the red wire. Find the cable it goes into. The red and the other loose wire are the travelers. You will use the red. Cap off the other traveler wire.

That red wire and the common wire will go to the two black wires on the switch.
 
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Old 09-19-17, 04:29 PM
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Hi Pete,
Thanks for the reply.

Go to the switch that you are not using. The switch will have a dark or black screw. That is the common terminal. Remove this wire from that screw and connect to the red wire that is also on the switch. Now you'll have the common and red connected. Leave the other wire on the switch. This disconnects this switch from the circuit.
Correct. The switch I hadn't touched had a dark screw and connected to it was the black wire. I removed it and connected it to the same screw as the red wire. I did not touch the white wire.

Go to the control location. Locate the wire that WAS on the common switch terminal. You may not know which wire it is now. Look at the red wire. Find the cable it goes into. The red and the other loose wire are the travelers. You will use the red. Cap off the other traveler wire.

That red wire and the common wire will go to the two black wires on the switch.
I went to the control location and connected the red and white wire wires to the two black controller wires. I capped off the black wire.

Once I turned the power back on, nothing happened. Did I make a mistake?

Thanks for the help!
 
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Old 09-19-17, 04:33 PM
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For Pete and other potential helpers...

I left the controller just dangling for two days and it worked awesome. Just as it should. I tried tucking it back in the wall box, hit the switch I'm not using and the breaker blew. I reset everything with the controller dangling, no issues. This time I left all the wires outside the wall and still put the controller back in the wall box. Flipped the switch I'm not using and again the breaker blew.

What about the controller being in the wall box would cause the breaker to blow? There's no wire connections or anything inside the wall at that point. The only thing I can think of is some sort of interference with the receiver in the fan, but that seems absurd. That shouldn't blow a breaker.

Help?
 
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Old 09-19-17, 10:21 PM
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I wanted you to connect the red and black together......off..... not connected to the switch.
We're trying to get the switch out of the circuit.

It sound like one of the wires is bare/nicked and is hitting the box with the pressure of the control installed. It's not always easy to see. It could be at the clamp in the back of the box.
 
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