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Old 07-10-2011, 07:10 PM   #1
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ceiling fan/1950's low voltage wiring


My home still has the low voltage relay system in the ceiling of several rooms. The ceiling lights all work fine. My question is, can a new ceiling fan be installed on the existing wiring or is a line voltage replacement in order for the install?

The ceiling utility box has the relay mounted inside of it. Existing wiring colored black & white and a red lead off of the relay are there, but I don't see a ground strap to the utility box. I can see that the red line off of the relay would need to go to the plus side of the fan. The fan/light kit is calling for a third line ground to be attached to the utility box/ground strap. I don't want to attempt installing w/o knowing what the grounding situation is on that utility box - I'm sure it's been there since 1957.

In a situation like this, is it ok to go with only a negative connection, no ground strap?

Thanks for the help!
Mike

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Old 07-10-2011, 10:35 PM   #2
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ceiling fan/1950's low voltage wiring


A new fan will work perfectlyh well with the old fashioned electromechanical relays. It will work perfectly well with no ground, just hot and neutral (positive and negative if you really insist although it will not work with real DC positive and negative and might not work with modern solid state relays).

The significance of being properlyh grounded is so that if someone should reach up and touch any metallic parts, it is much safer that way.

Separtely routed ground wires (grounding conductors) can be retrofitted to an existing electrical system and still be code compliant.

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Old 07-11-2011, 12:02 AM   #3
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ceiling fan/1950's low voltage wiring


I thought that was the case, but I didn't trust my memory or previous experience

I'll check after I install ...
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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ceiling fan/1950's low voltage wiring


Ceiling fan up and running w/o issue - thanks for the guidance
Mike
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:12 AM   #5
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ceiling fan/1950's low voltage wiring


I have the low voltage electric system common in houses built in the 50s/60s. A royal pain the rear - no clue why they did this
Anyway - my bathrooms fans have both stopped working (and heated lamps) and ive traced the culprit back to the Relay Box in the crawl space - any idea how to proceed and find out if its a dodgy relay ?
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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ceiling fan/1950's low voltage wiring


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Originally Posted by grahamswilliams View Post
I have the low voltage electric system common in houses built in the 50s/60s. A royal pain the rear - no clue why they did this
Anyway - my bathrooms fans have both stopped working (and heated lamps) and ive traced the culprit back to the Relay Box in the crawl space - any idea how to proceed and find out if its a dodgy relay ?
The quickest way, is to swap over with a known working relay.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:38 PM   #7
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ceiling fan/1950's low voltage wiring


Not sure what kind of relays you have but I've had good luck with a loop of solid wire about 6" long. Strip the ends just 1/4". Short out the relay you suspect is the correct one. It's basically a switch. Then you would have to check to see if voltage is going to the relay when the switch is being held on or off. They are latching relays if they used GE relays. Not sure if GE RR7 or RR8's are available anymore but I think we found RR8's were replacements.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:18 AM   #8
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ceiling fan/1950's low voltage wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by deverson View Post
Not sure what kind of relays you have but I've had good luck with a loop of solid wire about 6" long. Strip the ends just 1/4". Short out the relay you suspect is the correct one. It's basically a switch. Then you would have to check to see if voltage is going to the relay when the switch is being held on or off. They are latching relays if they used GE relays. Not sure if GE RR7 or RR8's are available anymore but I think we found RR8's were replacements.
Just becarefull the RR7 et RR8's are simauir but not the RR5 which it is a non latching while the RR7 et RR8 is latching so to make sure you have correct one you should heard a short buzzing sound with a clunk which it will move a cam inside to either on or off postion.

But they are still avaibale to get it but I feel that the big box store may not stock this so run by the electrical supply centre this will be next best bet to find them.

Merci,
Marc

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