Low voltage at electrical box


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Old 11-12-17, 08:28 PM
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Low voltage at electrical box

Good evening all, hope all is well!

I have an electrical issue at my house and was hoping you all could help. Heads up, my knowledge of electricity is about that of a two year old...

I have a switch panel with two switches, one for light, one for fan, they operate indepently. No dimmers. Speaking of two year olds, mine was messing around flipping the switches, next thing I know, the light doesn't work. Odd thing is fan still does (light is on the ceiling fan unit).

I have taken both switches out to eliminate them from the equation and still can't get the light to work. The two black wires that were in the fan switch measure 120 volts but the black and red wire to the light measure 26-29 volts.... I would have expected 120 or zero but not thirty. What on earth is going on?

Additional information: there are 3 romex wires coming into the box, two have a ground, a neutral, and a hot. I assume one of these comes from the breaker box and one goes to another power consumer. The third romex has a ground, neutral, black and red. I am assuming this goes up to my ceiling fan, black is hot for fan and red is hot for light (or vice versa but I don't think so). All grounds are bound in a wire nut as are all neutrals. Two blacks go into a wire nut where two more blacks come out and did hook into the switches. The remaining black and remaining red (from the same romex) were the other half of the switch before I took them out. Here is the finale, I can hook either of the blacks coming from the wire nut to the black going to the fan and it works. However either black from the wire nut hooked to the red and the light doesn't work and I register 30 volts.

What is going wrong! My opinion is it is the red wire or the fan unit itself but I cant imagine why either would break because my son flipped the switch a few times.

Thanks for your help!
 

Last edited by Ctitus; 11-12-17 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 11-12-17, 09:25 PM
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Have you checked the bulb or the fan light switch at the unit? Rule those out first simply because they are the easiest .
 
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Old 11-12-17, 09:29 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

That's called tailing the wires. You take one hot wire and make two... one for each switch. So that means you should have 120v on either of those two wires. That also means the two switches should each have 120v to one screw.

When you are connecting the black fan wire to the second screw on one switch and the red to the second screw on the other switch...... when those switches are on.... you should measure 120v from the black wire and the red wire to ground.

Now you need to measure at the fan box from red to neutral. There should be 120v.
 
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Old 11-12-17, 09:29 PM
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Hummm.. I have replaced all three bulbs and know they are good. I hadn't looked much at the unit yet as I am not too sure what to look for there. But if that is the next step, I will go there next!
 
 

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