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Old 03-03-2011, 09:12 AM   #1
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Ceiling Fan and Light Switch Problem

The ceiling fan switch in our living room recently started having problems. We have 3 switches in the panel: one controls the light fixture with the fan, the second controls the fan, and the third controls a light over the fireplace. The fireplace switch is a 3-way switch with a second switch on the other side of the room.

When I click the switch for the fan it works. If I click the switch for the light under the fan, it comes on for a second, then goes out and the fan stops working. The 3-way switch will turn on the fireplace light; however, that light goes off after a random period of time, then comes back on again after a random period of time and it does that repeatedly.

I opened up the fan and checked the electrical connections and everything seemed fine. I didn't find any loose wires or other problems.

I have changed the switch in the panel for the fan and the light under the fan, but the problem persists.

The fan and lights have worked fine for the past 5+ years. They were originally installed by the house builder when the house was built in 2005.

Any other thoughts?


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Old 03-03-2011, 09:17 AM   #2
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Sounds like there is a loose conenction on a hot wire in the switch box.
Turn off the breaker and open the swtich box. Carefully inspect the wirte connections and tighten any loose screws or wire nuts.


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Old 03-03-2011, 09:35 AM   #3
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Check the connections for the neutrals (the whites) too while you're in there. It's probably one or the other.

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Old 03-03-2011, 12:09 PM   #4
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Check wire nuts for possible looseness.

Note that wires that are poked into the backs of the switches can have loose connections inside that you cannot see, unless there is a screw next to the hole that specifically clamps the wire in place inside.

Without screw down clamps inside the holes it is better to screw the wire onto the outside of the switch (or receptacle) instead of using the holes.

If two or more wires want to go under the same screw, cut a short length (pigtail) of the same color and attach just that to the screw. Then wire nut the other end to the other wires.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-03-2011 at 12:12 PM.
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