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Old 09-09-2008, 10:07 AM   #1
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Ceiling Fan


I recently tried to hook up a ceiling fan unsuccessfully. It should be rather simply. Black to Black, white to white, grounds together. Nothing...
When I test the lines in the box I get the Black lighting up the tester when I touch to the ground as well as the white when I touch to the ground. Black to white however doesn't complete the circuit. I'm totally confused.

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Old 09-09-2008, 10:16 AM   #2
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sounds like both white and black are hot and you are missing a neutral. Is this wiring old.... It may have been wired with the ground serving as the neutral and two hots being used for the fan and light (switched separately). I have seen this arrangement several times. It is wrong and should be fixed. If you look at the switch side you will see the hot coming into the box is connected to both the white and black being run to the ceiling fan.

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Old 09-09-2008, 08:10 PM   #3
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Ceiling Fan


I've seen the same thing as borninpa has,the first time stumped me big time.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:41 PM   #4
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Are you replacing a fan or is this a new fan installation?
As Borninpa says, someone may have been using the black for a fan and the white for the light.
This should be obvious if you check out the switch(s).
Open up the switch box and check how its wired.
Another possibility, is that the neutral has come open, somewhere.
If so, you could see the voltage coming through another device.
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:46 PM   #5
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Yes this is older wiring...the house was built in'85 and there was a fan there with the previous owners. They took the fan and left a simple light fixture. I didn't take note on how it was connected assuming it would be simple. This has had me going crazy doubting myself....LOL. So when you test the lines with a tester touching one to black and one to white it should light the tester right?

But if both were hot wouldn't crossing them with the tester cause a short?
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:51 PM   #6
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There was a fan there with the previous owner but a simple fixture now. I actually was trying to bypass the switch since the instructions call for constant power since it works on a remote. I'm so confused...when i use the voltage tester to see if there is power when I touch one wire to black and the other to white it should light if there is power right?
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:21 PM   #7
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Sounds to me like you are testing a switch loop. How many cables are entering this ceiling fan box?
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fconticello View Post
There was a fan there with the previous owner but a simple fixture now. I actually was trying to bypass the switch since the instructions call for constant power since it works on a remote. I'm so confused...when i use the voltage tester to see if there is power when I touch one wire to black and the other to white it should light if there is power right?
Normally, you would be correct! Connect one end of your tester to the ground in the box. Touch the other lead to the black conductor. It should indicate that voltage is present.
Then connect from ground to the white. It should not indicate voltage being present. If voltage is present you have a problem. If no voltage is indicated on the white conductor, connect your tester from black to white.
If voltage is found, your white neutral is at ground potential. This is normal.
If voltage is on the white, its means one of two things. One would be that someone has illegally used the white as a switched conductor and is using the box ground for current return.
If this is not the case, then the white neutral conductor must be open somewhere. The voltage that appears on the white comes from another device that is connected to the same circuit.
When electricians get a 'poke' it is mostly from open neutrals, as they are not on their guard for voltage on the neutral and get careless!
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:58 PM   #9
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Ned more info. Describe all the wiring in the box.

Hook the light fixture up to see if it still works.

Your dip switches may be set differently.

Your pull chain may be off.

Your reversing switch may be stuck in the middle.

No batteries in the remote.


The list goes on forever.

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