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Old 02-06-2013, 10:22 PM   #1
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


My wife....wanted me to remove the ceiling fan and install recessed lighting. Ok, no biggie. I did it and everything worked. But I installed CFL bulbs so I wanted to install a new 3-way dimmer switch that supported CFL bulbs in place of the 3-way dimmer switch that I had to control the lights on the ceiling fan. That's where everything turned to dark, kind of.

Before I go farther, I had one dimmer switch on one wall to control the lights and on another wall, I had a standard switch for the lights and a standard switch for the fan.

So I installed the new dimmer switch and everything worked. I told my 13yr old son that it was working and he came over and flipped the dimmer switch, and nothing. The lights would not come on again. I pulled the switch cover off to make sure that none of the wires crossed or came off the switch, and everything looked fine. I gave up for the night and grabbed a beer.

So today I decided to tackle it again, because the wife reminded me that the lights weren't working. Here's where it gets weird. While I'm checking everything, I realize that the switch that used to control the fan now controls the lights. And neither of the switches that used to control the lights do anything.

Help!!! I'm one of those guys that HATES asking for help. If I can't do something, I'll read up on it and figure it out. But this time, nothing seems to work. I've included a picture of the switches and the wires that are going to them.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:40 PM   #2
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


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Originally Posted by emargoli View Post
My wife....wanted me to remove the ceiling fan and install recessed lighting. Ok, no biggie. I did it and everything worked.

...so I wanted to install a new 3-way dimmer switch
So I installed the new dimmer switch and everything worked.
1) Did the set up EVER work with 3-way switches?
2) Do you know where the feed power for the circuit starts?
(the choices are at the light or at the switch)

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Old 02-06-2013, 11:04 PM   #3
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


Thanks for the reply

1) Did the set up EVER work with 3-way switches?
Yes, they worked with my previous 3-way dimmer and my new 3-way dimmer

2) Do you know where the feed power for the circuit starts?
The power feed is coming in from the switch. Not sure which one though.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:21 PM   #4
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


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Originally Posted by emargoli View Post
Yes, they worked with my previous 3-way dimmer and my new 3-way dimmer
The power feed is coming in from the switch. Not sure which one though.
You have two separate 3wire cables running between the two switch boxes plus the 3wire cable going up to the ceiling. In the course of making the change to light fixture only (eliminating the need for one of these) you have probably mixed them up.

Do you know how to check continuity? Identify the "extra" cable, tape the ends up and stuff it in the back of the box. Then connect the dimmers using only the remaining cable.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:06 AM   #5
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


Cool, thanks. I'll take s look in the morning and let you know what I find.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:59 AM   #6
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


Just change the switch legs at the switches.
You should have one red and one black coming from the same cable, going to different switches, swap those two.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:19 AM   #7
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


What's weird is that I never removed the fan switch. I have no idea how the legs got mixed up when I had only removed one switch from the outlet.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:56 AM   #8
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


Quote:
Originally Posted by emargoli View Post
What's weird is that I never removed the fan switch.
I meant to ask what you did about the cover plate.

Quote:
I have no idea how the legs got mixed up when I had only removed one switch from the outlet.
A) you're still investigating. we don't know what is mixed up.
B) the issue could be at the ceiling too.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:31 AM   #9
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


Looks like you connected the recessed to the ceiling red lead instead of the ceiling black.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:00 PM   #10
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


I just can't figure it out. The diagram below shows all of the wires, as they are right now. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:47 PM   #11
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


Quote:
Originally Posted by emargoli View Post
I just can't figure it out.
Alacrity for making pretty drawings or not...

When you changed out the original functioning 3way switch...
did you touch any of the switch box wiring aside from the 3 wires attached to that switch?

When you were at the ceiling box did you keep track of which
(switched hot) wire was for the light and which was for the fan?
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:06 PM   #12
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


When you changed out the original functioning 3way switch...
did you touch any of the switch box wiring aside from the 3 wires attached to that switch?
A- at the time, no. But a few have now been changed in trying to figure out what's wrong.

When you were at the ceiling box did you keep track of which
(switched hot) wire was for the light and which was for the fan?
A- I assumed (I know better) that the red wire was for the fan. At the time of changing from the fan to the lights, I connected the red and black wires at the fan to the light. This did work at the time. Now, regardless of if the red wire is connected or not, the dimmer switch does not work.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:31 PM   #13
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


According to your diagram, lights should be connected to the red wire.

do you have a catalog number for your dimmer, some require they be the end connected to the fixture of your 3 way circuit
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:13 AM   #14
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Converting Ceiling Fan to Resessed Lighting


Ok, so I got both if the switches to work. But if the dimmer switch is ON and I flip the other light switch, the lights stay on, on or off, the lights stay on. Personally, I can live with it so I'm just going to leave it this way unless anyone thinks that there's some kind of danger doing so.

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