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Old 06-28-2010, 09:04 AM   #1
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Ceiling Fan with light wiring?


I put up a ceiling fan with a light today, it is a Hunter fan The Stratford Model. When I installed the fan that was not to hard but then I noticed that the light switch had a dimmer and it controlled the Fan. I wanted to remove the dimmer. When I opened the outlet the dimmer was hooked to a black wire and then hooked to the black wire running to the light switch. (I have an outlet with 2 switches (one for the fan and one for the light) I took off the dimmer switch and bought a new switch. The switch I have has 2 screws to hook the wires and a ground. The switch that is in the wall only has two screws and no ground. There are 3 different sets of wires running to the box with about 3 wires coming out of them. It looks like the ground wires are all hooked together and capped off. The switch that was in the wall already had a red wire and a black wire to it. The one I put in I put a black wire to it that went to the dimmer switch. The black wire going to the other switch had the wire coating taken off from one spot and this is where the dimmer switch had it wire hooked to. So I hooked the wire from the one switch that was already in the wall to the new switch I had by wrapping the wire around the bottom screw. I have attached pics to show you what I did. Can someone tell me if this is safe? The light works and the fan worked but it cut off after a min or so, I turned off the breaker for now until I can see if this safe. The other problem is the other fan in my other room is wired the same way. Do you think I should call someone out to fix this or is it okay and won't burn the house down. See pics attached.... The switch with the green screw is the one I bought the other one was in the wall already (with the red wire and the wires are in the back not on the screws) Also I replaced a ceiling fan in my other room because I bought one at lowes (harbor breeze) and it died after one year, it would just make noise and not turn. The wiring in the switch housing is the same way as the pics below but there is now black wire on the top of one of the switches, could this be why the fan died?
Thank You
Sean,
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Last edited by Snowwolf; 06-28-2010 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:40 AM   #2
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Ceiling Fan with light wiring?


Ground the switch on the left to the ground wires in the box. If the fan quit on its own while it was running you have a problem. Try replacing the switch on the right. It is back stabbed and the connection may be loose. Hook it up like the switch on the left.
There are no visible safety issues with the wiring in the pictures.

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Old 06-28-2010, 02:42 PM   #3
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Ceiling Fan with light wiring?


I could not make the ground wires reach to the switch. So I took some left over wire I had cut from the fan and wrapped it around the ground wires several times and put electrical tape around it and put that wire on the green screw of the switch, will that be okay? The light and fan are working now when I turn on the switches, and the fan does not turn off like it did before after a few seconds.

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Ground the switch on the left to the ground wires in the box. If the fan quit on its own while it was running you have a problem. Try replacing the switch on the right. It is back stabbed and the connection may be loose. Hook it up like the switch on the left.
There are no visible safety issues with the wiring in the pictures.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:48 PM   #4
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Ceiling Fan with light wiring?


Two issues with your fix, 1) the grounding pigtail you made should have been correct for the circuit size, the fixture wire is too small, 2) you should have used wire nuts instead of tape to secure the joint.

Gounding the switches should have had no effect on the intermitant operation of the switch.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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Ceiling Fan with light wiring?


Jim,
Do you know what size wire I need or how do I find out? Can this be a fire hazard if I don't fix it correctly? The fixture is working fine I just don't want to cause a fire from not wiring it correctly. Also the other switch that has the wires stuck in the back does not have a ground to it do you know why this would be? All of the ground wires are just wrapped together and have a wire nut on them.

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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Two issues with your fix, 1) the grounding pigtail you made should have been correct for the circuit size, the fixture wire is too small, 2) you should have used wire nuts instead of tape to secure the joint.

Gounding the switches should have had no effect on the intermitant operation of the switch.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:32 PM   #6
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Ceiling Fan with light wiring?


The grounding wire for a 15 amp cirucit would be a #14, for a 20 amp circuit it would be a #12. You can check the circuit rating on the breaker handle for that circuit.

Older code editions did not require switches to be grounded. Newer editions now require switches to be grounded.
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:54 PM   #7
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Ceiling Fan with light wiring?


I checked the breaker box and it is not listed what type of amp circuit it has, I is just left blank. So do you think I could leave it the way I have it and it is going to be okay (not a fire hazard), since the other switch does not have a ground? I checked some other switch boxes in my house and none of them have a ground. Do you think that I should have someone come out and fix the switches in my house since none of them have grounds. Thanks for your help.

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Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
The grounding wire for a 15 amp cirucit would be a #14, for a 20 amp circuit it would be a #12. You can check the circuit rating on the breaker handle for that circuit.

Older code editions did not require switches to be grounded. Newer editions now require switches to be grounded.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:30 PM   #8
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Ceiling Fan with light wiring?


The breaker rating is typically on the handle of the breaker.

Adding proper ground pigtails is something easy enough for you to do. You can even buy premade grounding pigtails that would just replace the wire nuts on your grounds now. Look for Ideal Term-a-nuts

http://idealindustries.com/products/...ut_pigtail.jsp

I would not say that this is a fire waiting to happen. If a wire were to contact the mounting strap it could create a shock hazard. Without being grounded the breaker would not trip.

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