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Old 03-04-2008, 09:34 PM   #1
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ceiling fan installation PLEASE someone help


Ok, I just bought a new house and installed ceiling fans with light kits in all the main rooms. Well, when I went to install the fan in my bedroom I was in a hurry and just undid the wiring on the old fan and pulled it down. Well, now that it is gone and no hope of remembering what the wiring was done up like, I cannot figure out the wiring on it. The wires hanging down from the ceiling are different than the others. The wires are stiff and heavy and there are two intertwined that are both white and then 3 intertwined 2 black and 1 white, there was also a single black wire that was not hooked into the previous ceiling fan with lighting kit. Well, I tried using my previous knowledge of match up the wires and used the black and blue wires with the 3 wires and the white with the 2 wires. Well, it didn't work. So, I tried to reverse it and it worked but when the power was turned back on to check it, the wiring sparked. Well, I went to Home Depot to buy one of the digital meters to check the power on it. Well, I guess it would have been a great idea to know what I was testing for and how to do it before I got up there messing around with the wires. I didn't get shocked or anything because I turned the main breaker off to the power. But I couldn't figure out how to test anything. The guy at home depot said to hook some wires together that I was trying to find the power source for and turn the meter to the thing that looks like an echo and then check the wires and when I got a reading I would know that was the connection I was looking for. Well, once I got home with the meter it was a little confusing becausing I didn't know whether to use the black thing or red thing or both or what to hook together to test (the ceiling wires to ceiling fan wires, ceiling wires to black or red thing, fan wires to black or red thing). It all sounded so easy when he explained it but when I got up there I was just lost. So, I am miserable and desperate for some help with this as I have absolutely no one to help me right now and I have been without a light in my room for a week now. My home was built in 1970 and I took a couple pictures so maybe someone, anyone can help me with this. If anyone can help me with this I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks, Brandy


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Old 03-04-2008, 09:53 PM   #2
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Brandy, I'm going to tell you this once and once only: If you do not feel comfortable with testing the wires hot, call a professional. You don't have to touch the wires with your hands or anything, just the tester you picked up at the store. I believe that the three wire splice is your hot. Take one lead of your tester on this and the other end of the tester on the white splice. You should read 120 volts.

step two: put a wire nut on the hot.
step three. Turn the wall switch off, and then take your meter between the switch leg ( single wire) and the white. You should read 0 volts. If there is a small voltage reading, don't panic.
step four: Turn the wall switch on and measure between the same wires. You should now read 120 volts (these readings may vary, but will always be in the neighborhood.)

Now if all is as I suspect, then your black three wire splice should be your hot, whites are neutrals, and the single is your switch leg. The weird cut wire in top looks like it could be a ground but I'm not sure.

Do those tests and report back, then we can tell you how to hook it up. Any questions, let us know.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:16 PM   #3
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ceiling fan installation PLEASE someone help


Is that Romex going through BX clamps in the box? When he bent those wires down he might have shorted out on the box. Change those clamps to Romex clamps (type L) if they are not, and see if the wire was pierced by the clamps.If it was then that is why it sparked. It looks like the arc took place by the clamps.

Last edited by James Con; 03-05-2008 at 02:41 AM.
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:59 AM   #4
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Looking at the picture, I would say that the single black is the switched leg, twisted blacks (Hot feed ), twisted whites ( neutral from feed, neutral to light).
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:17 AM   #5
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ceiling fan installation PLEASE someone help


But where does the short wire from the wire nut go?? Don't guess, TEST
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:29 AM   #6
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ceiling fan installation PLEASE someone help


I doubt if that box is rated for fan support. If not it should be switched for one that is rated.
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Looking at the picture, I would say that the single black is the switched leg, twisted blacks (Hot feed ), twisted whites ( neutral from feed, neutral to light).
Correct.


You have a couple of options here.

If your fan has a light, you might want to control the light from the existing wall switch and control the fan by the built in pull chain.

To do this,

1) attach the fan white to the jbox whites.

2) attach the fan black to the jbox blacks*.

3) attach the fan blue (or black with white stipes) to the jbox single black.



If your fan has no light and you want to control it from the wall switch:

1) cap the jbox blacks*

2) white to white

3) black to single black.


Make sure your wire nut connections are TIGHT. The #1 homeowner problems are loose connections which cause arc/spark/fire.



The pics were worth a thousand words...........and use paragraphs next time.




* I realize that there is a white in the jbox "blacks" but didn't want to confuse the issue.

Last edited by 220/221; 03-05-2008 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Correct.


You have a couple of options here.

If your fan has a light, you might want to control the light from the existing wall switch and control the fan by the built in pull chain.

To do this,

1) attach the fan white to the jbox whites.

2) attach the fan black to the jbox blacks*.

3) attach the fan blue (or black with white stipes) to the jbox single black.



If your fan has no light and you want to control it from the wall switch:

1) cap the jbox blacks*

2) white to white

3) black to single black.


Make sure your wire nut connections are TIGHT. The #1 homeowner problems are loose connections which cause arc/spark/fire.



The pics were worth a thousand words...........and use paragraphs next time.




* I realize that there is a white in the jbox "blacks" but didn't want to confuse the issue.

SORRY about not using paragraphs, I didn't think about the readability of the post. I was just so upset about not being able to get this thing running. I do appreciate everyone's help. I will get in there now and get this thing going and get back with you to let you know that all is well. Thanks again!!!
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Old 03-05-2008, 07:41 PM   #9
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ceiling fan installation PLEASE someone help


That box is NOT rated for fan support. Besides, it looks as if it is just nailed in place (common years ago).

DO NOT hang a fan on that box. I hope the others were not the same way.


Also, it looks as if the grounds are just cut.

Finishing it up and the fan working is NOT a sign that all is OK. There is WAY more to it than that.
I hate to sound rude, but if you did not have a good clue before you started you should have left this to someone who was more experienced. Or at least gotten some good books on home wiring and get the basics down pat first.
Again, just because the light lights and the fan spins does not mean it is safe.
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Last edited by Speedy Petey; 03-05-2008 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:37 PM   #10
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AWESOME....DOUBLE THANKS!!!!! I appreciate the step by step instructions and you were 100% correct so it is hooked up and running properly. I cannot tell you how you much this helped. I am a single mom and my man will be away for 3 more years. So, all the housework falls on me until then. I have found that you find ways to do the things that need to be done when you need to. So, now I am an electrician and a plumber I replaced the faucet in my kitchen all by myself. I am so proud. Anyways, thanks for all the help.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finleygoddess7 View Post
AWESOME....DOUBLE THANKS!!!!! I appreciate the step by step instructions and you were 100% correct so it is hooked up and running properly. I cannot tell you how you much this helped. I am a single mom and my man will be away for 3 more years. So, all the housework falls on me until then. I have found that you find ways to do the things that need to be done when you need to. So, now I am an electrician and a plumber I replaced the faucet in my kitchen all by myself. I am so proud. Anyways, thanks for all the help.
You do understand that just because it is working does not make it correct right? That box IS NOT LISTED FOR INSTALLING CEILING FANS!!

That IS NOT a proper and safe installation.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
That box is NOT rated for fan support. Besides, it looks as if it is just nailed in place (common years ago).

DO NOT hang a fan on that box. I hope the others were not the same way.


Also, it looks as if the grounds are just cut.

Finishing it up and the fan working is NOT a sign that all is OK. There is WAY more to it than that.
I hate to sound rude, but if you did not have a good clue before you started you should have left this to someone who was more experienced. Or at least gotten some good books on home wiring and get the basics down pat first.
Again, just because the light lights and the fan spins does not mean it is safe.
I appreciate your concern however an electrician put the original ceiling fan in and it was the same type of fan (ceiling fan with light kit) and it worked properly. I just had some different fans in my other house I moved out of and I liked them a lot better because they were wood colored whereas the others were white.
Also, I did buy a wiring book and read the entire book. I was very careful because I do know that electricity is dangerous but I made absolute sure that I did everything as instructed. Also, I could only wish I was lucky enough to have someone to help me out right now but my husband is away out of state for work, my father passed about a year ago, my older brother is out of town working, and my younger brother has cancer and has been quite ill. So, I have not had the liberty of having someone to help me. Anyways thanks for the concern. Brandy
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:54 AM   #13
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ceiling fan installation PLEASE someone help


Quote:
Originally Posted by finleygoddess7 View Post
I appreciate your concern however an electrician put the original ceiling fan in and it was the same type of fan (ceiling fan with light kit) and it worked properly.
Once again, and cannot state this strongly enough, just because it's up there and it works does NOT mean it is correct and that it is safe.

That's all I'll say because I doubt it matters anyway.
Contrary to what you might think, we ARE (I am) trying to help.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:46 AM   #14
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ceiling fan installation PLEASE someone help


It's been touched on several times in this thread already, but it just doesn't seem to be sinking in....

You cannot simply mount a ceiling fan on/to an "electrical box" on a ceiling.

This point is about WEIGHT, not electricity.

I'll try to make this as clear as possible:

Standard lighting boxes CANNOT (and are NOT approved by code) to hold the weight of a functioning ceiling fan.

Example:
"An appropriate junction or outlet box securely attached to the building structure is required. Replace the old box with one labeled as approved for ceiling fans or ceiling suspended "paddle" fan installation. The box and its support must be able to support the moving weight of the fan. Use the installation hardware recommended by the junction box manufacturer. Fans of over 35 pounds, with or without accessories, require additional support independent of the outlet box."- http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...lingFan.html#4

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-06-2008 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:34 AM   #15
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Ok, Speedy Petey, I am sorry if I seemed like I was not listening. I did go to my book to read about fan rated boxes and went onto home depot and lowes website to see if I could figure out the difference last night. I did not ignore your warnings, I was concerned. I am headed to home depot or lowes this afternoon after my test at school to get the right box and the tools to cut the hole in the ceiling bigger in case I need to do that for it to fit.

I was not making lightly of the situation as I did after reading your post investigate what I needed to do. I do appreciate your help because without it I would not have known either way that the box wasn't fan rated. Let me ask you this, I plan on checking the other fans I installed to make sure they have proper fan rated boxes. Just by looking at them, how do I tell? I know the ones on lowes website had a brace behind the box but I did not see that on either of the boxes because they are already up so how else can I tell if they are right? Is there writing on them or a code I should look for?

Also I wanted to thank everyone else for your help and support. If anyone can think of anything else I need to know just let me know. I appreciate it. Thanks, Brandy
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