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Old 05-22-2010, 11:50 PM   #1
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Best way to test wiring prior to installing ceiling fans


Hi all,

I have recently added 3 ceiling fan fixtures to 3 bedrooms without overhead lighting. I have a continuous line of 14/2 going from the breaker panel to the first fixture, then to the second fixture and then finishing at the third fixture.

From each fixture, I have run a 14/3 down to new double gang box switches. I have wired the switch boxes already ( 14/3 black running in and out of one switch, 14/3 red running in and out of another switch. Black, Red and White pigtailed, white is taped black).

I now will be putting up the ceiling fans and wiring them in but I am concerned that if I already have or end up getting the wiring wrong I will be wasting what free time I have taking the fans back down and rewiring them. Is there an easy and safe way to test that I have wired the switches correctly before hooking up the fixtures.

(Incidentally, at each fixture I plan to :
-connect the power source 14/2 black to the 14/2 going out black and the 14/3's white (painted black)
-connect the power source 14/2 white to the 14/2 going out white and the ceiling fan's white
-connect the 14/3's red to the ceiling fan blue
-connect the 14/3's black to the ceilnig fan black)

Are my plans going to work and can I safely test what I have already done?

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Old 05-23-2010, 07:18 AM   #2
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Best way to test wiring prior to installing ceiling fans


Sounds about right. You could install some temp light bulb pigtails in place of those fans if you really want to test your setup first. Or, use a voltage tester.

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Old 05-23-2010, 08:14 AM   #3
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Best way to test wiring prior to installing ceiling fans


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I have wired the switch boxes already ( 14/3 black running in and out of one switch, 14/3 red running in and out of another switch. Black, Red and White pigtailed, white is taped black).
Not sure what you mean by this but it should be this.
White with two pigtails. One to each switch. Red to one switch and black to other switch.
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:30 PM   #4
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Best way to test wiring prior to installing ceiling fans


To test circuit/connection/switch integrity all the way back to the panel put a 10A load on the circuit, then switch it off and look for a 2.6vac increase in voltage, which is what you'd expect for 50' of copper Romex, #14.

Using a 100w bulb and switching it off you'd see a 220 mVac increase.
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Old 05-23-2010, 02:31 PM   #5
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Best way to test wiring prior to installing ceiling fans


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Originally Posted by joed View Post
Not sure what you mean by this but it should be this.
White with two pigtails. One to each switch. Red to one switch and black to other switch.
He is saying the same thing, it took me a few reads to see what he was saying as well.
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Old 05-23-2010, 02:52 PM   #6
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Best way to test wiring prior to installing ceiling fans


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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
To test circuit/connection/switch integrity all the way back to the panel put a 10A load on the circuit, then switch it off and look for a 2.6vac increase in voltage, which is what you'd expect for 50' of copper Romex, #14.

Using a 100w bulb and switching it off you'd see a 220 mVac increase.
I think this is a bit more than he had in mind....just a voltage tester or a test bulb socket is how I'd go if you want to test. Voltage should read at or around 120.
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Old 05-23-2010, 03:47 PM   #7
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Best way to test wiring prior to installing ceiling fans


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Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
I think this is a bit more than he had in mind....just a voltage tester or a test bulb socket is how I'd go if you want to test. Voltage should read at or around 120.
Yes, it might be overkill.

I guess my philosophy is, as long as you're going to make a measurement you might as well get all the info out of it that you can.
If he has symptoms later he can go back, though.
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Old 05-23-2010, 07:53 PM   #8
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Best way to test wiring prior to installing ceiling fans


Thanks, all, tested with voltmeter for live circuits with switches on and off, all seems well. Thanks
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:09 PM   #9
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Best way to test wiring prior to installing ceiling fans


Ceiling fans up and everything works! Hurray! Thanks to everyone who helped me out with advice and tips (this and other threads)
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:26 PM   #10
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Good to hear, congratulations!

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