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Old 02-04-2009, 08:56 PM   #1
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Ceiling Fan /w light wiring question


This is my first home improvment project on a 2 year old house. I am trying to install ceiling fans. The house has ceiling fan outlet boxes with 2 wall switches to control the Ceiling light/fan. There are 4 wires coming out of the ceiling outlet box. Black (fan-hot), Red/Orange(light-hot),White(fan-light-common-neutral) and one bare copper wire (18 or less gause) which is ground. Now if I try to measue the voltage across black & white or red/orange & white. The mm shows the current for a fraction of a second and then it drops to 0. First I thought the mm is faulty and tested it in the wall plug outlet and it shows 110volt correctly and steady. Also the wall switches are turned on.
Now my questions:

1. Why the mm shows 110v for a fraction of second and then drop to 0. I checked the Main Electric Circuit-breaker board and found none of the swithces tripped. (In fact nothing marked for ceiling fans - even though the builder collected $1000 to install about 6 ceiling fan outlet box installation).

2. The fan comes with a remote control to operate both light and motor and its diagram shows only to connect to black(hot) and white(neutral).
but I do want to make it 2 way (operatable from remote and wall switch - in event the remote is lost or its battries dies).

Can you help me with this project?

Thaks in advance
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Old 02-04-2009, 09:09 PM   #2
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Ceiling Fan /w light wiring question


Do you get anything when you test black and red to ground? If so, sounds like an open neutral.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:08 PM   #3
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Ceiling Fan /w light wiring question


If your fan/light has a black,white and blue wire:

A) Throw away the remote and use just the wall switch for operation.

B) Only hook the fan to the remote and hook the light (blue) to the red controled by the wall switch.

C) Hook up the remote and use it exclusively.

The fan needs 120V power to operate the remote system. The power is controled by the wall switch. If you hook the remote up you will have to depend on it entirely.

As far as the tester, I would blame the meter or operator error.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:35 PM   #4
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Ceiling Fan /w light wiring question


I wish people wouldn't use digital multimeters for this kind of testing. Use a simple light tester. It's likely you aren't maintaining good contact with both wires with your probes. You can't have 120 volts one second at then nothing the next. Unless you have a very loose connection in a wirenut but I don't think you have any in that box.

220/221 has pretty well summed up your options. You can't have the best of both worlds.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:42 PM   #5
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Ceiling Fan /w light wiring question


Probably set to DC or something and shuts off.
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