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mumblemouth 08-07-2008 05:43 PM

Electrical problem, bad wiring?
ok, had a light hanging in dining room. wanted to replace with a ceiling fan. the existing junction box would not support a ceiling fan so had to replace.

went into attic, pulled wiring up about 6-8 in to remove from old junction box, installed new box and placed wiring in. after hooking up fan, would not work, tried hooking up old lighting system up , would not work, when testing for current on line has some power but light is extremely dim compared to the other lines when i test. i thought maybe when i pulled up wire i damaged the wiring near the bend, i replaced the wiring approximately 5 feet prior to junction box just to be safe, same problem.. am i going to have to replace entire line to the switch/??? what other cause or solution, thx in advance

gregzoll 08-07-2008 09:54 PM

Possible loose Neutral somewhere. If hooking a regular 60w light fixture, should be Black to Black, White to White, and Copper to Copper. If 3way with Red, the red could be White, or could be Black, will have to check back at the switch.

Now as for the other end, did you change out the switch, or even touch, same with the Breaker?

mumblemouth 08-08-2008 08:05 AM

everything is connected right, black - black ect. the only thing that was touched was that the wire was pulled up from the junction box then put into new junction box. nothing else was touched. the switch is part of a 4 switch panel, everything else works fine.. i even pulled the panel off at the switches. i test with the current tester, one with the light... all the switches test bright, test the one to ceiling fan, tests real dim, tried changing switches. same... using 12-2 wire so only wiring is the black, white, ground

javan 08-08-2008 08:30 AM

So, correct me if I am wrong....

New fan is controlled via a wall switch? You have almost no current at the fan. How about at the switch? Are the other switches in the wall panel from the same circuit (you say they have power, so it is doubtful).

Do you have power to the switch? My guess is that the switch has called it quits, or has a bad contact. I would kill the power to the switch, disconnect the switch and then check the wiring.

Think of the power as a drop of water. It has to go from the source, to the destination, then back. What can get in it's way...

mumblemouth 08-08-2008 08:35 AM

yes the fan is connected to a switch... the switch initially controlled my dining room light... all i did was replace the light with the fan, but i had to put in a new junction box to support weight of the fan. this is why i am so confused. nothing was done but pulled the wire up about 8 in to remove from junction box then place back in.. all the other switches have power and the lights ect that they control work.. i tried changing the switch. same thing.. for some reason im not sure how, but im thinking the wire got damaged or something.. but i did not want to have to pull 25 feet of wire through my wall and ceiling if there is another idea on what can be causing it.

javan 08-08-2008 08:57 AM

Well, my guess is that if you have power to the switch, then you need to pull new wire to the fan...

mumblemouth 08-08-2008 10:02 AM

k thx, figured that , was just hoping there may be a simple oversight on my part. thanx for replies

Yoyizit 08-08-2008 10:13 AM


Originally Posted by mumblemouth (Post 146975)
k thx, figured that , was just hoping there may be a simple oversight on my part. thanx for replies

If you can post what you believe to be the schematic, we can tell you whether the symptoms you describe are possible, given the schematic that you post.

I'm stumped.
Nothing else in the house is acting weird?
You might want to measure and post the actual voltage at the dim bulb, which I assume is an incandescent of some wattage? If you used a neon lamp all bets are off.

jogr 08-08-2008 12:12 PM


Originally Posted by mumblemouth (Post 146804)
i replaced the wiring approximately 5 feet prior to junction box just to be safe, same problem..

Did you replace it back to another junction box?

Wires can go bad but ussually it's something else. I'd look at every possible something else before I pulled new wiring. Check the entire line from breaker to fan with a voltage metrer and figure out where you're losing the power. You did turn the breaker back on didn't you?

J. V. 08-09-2008 11:06 AM

When you unwired the light, were there any other cables in the ceiling box you had to disconnect? If the answer is yes, it is either not connected back correctly or one of the wires has come loose from a wirenut. Remember the light WORKED before you did the work. Double check your connections.
This is the reason we always recommend that you make note or mark ALL wires before removal.

fw2007 08-09-2008 11:52 AM

What type of wiring do you have? Is it old BX/AC? or newer Romex?
If I tried to pull 8" of cable on an existing line in my house, I would probably end up having to replace the entire run, since it's old AC cable and rubber covered wires, which are now very brittle in places.

From the way you're describing "dim" light, I am thinking you mis-wired something, and now have two or more fixtures in series. Is there another light or fan that doesn't work properly?

If you had a bad connection, it would most likely leave you with no voltage or an intermittent voltage at the fan. If there were a short, it should pop the breaker/fuse.
gregzoll suggested loose neutral. That would definitely cause such a problem, since losing neutral can put two or more fixtures in series.

Being a bit obsessive, I would be replacing the entire run from fixture to switch, or even further if necessary. I don't like "extra" splices.
Sure, it's more trouble, but it makes me sleep better<g>


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