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Old 07-19-2009, 02:19 PM   #1
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My ceiling fan is operated by pull chain. There is a main switch that gives it power. That switch has only one black and one white wire. These wires don't seem to have any measurable current going to them---it doesn't register on a meter. If the switch is off, the fan doesn't work.

I tried to install a light kit but couldn't get power to it even though the fan was getting power and working properly (the light kit worked on another ceiling fan in another room). The wires from the fan to the light kit are enclosed in a plug and all the colors match. Any ideas where the breakdown might be? I haven't taken the fan down yet, that's my next step.

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Old 07-19-2009, 02:37 PM   #2
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Check the canopy where the fan is hung from the ceiling. Are all the wires connected up there?

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Old 07-19-2009, 02:56 PM   #3
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Yeah. The blue wire in the canopy isn't connected (to the black)

I suggest that you hook ONLY the blue (fan light) to the single black wire so the switch just operates the light.

I'd tie the fan wire (black) into the hot power (the black or blacks tied with a white) and operate the fan from the pull chain.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:32 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions. I tried the blue-wire only method but the fan wouldn't work. I tied the blue and black together to the black wire in the ceiling and the light and fan both work. Appreciate your help.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
I tried the blue-wire only method but the fan wouldn't work.
Because you didn't do step two


Quote:
tie the fan wire (black) into the hot power (the black or blacks tied with a white) and operate the fan from the pull chain.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:20 PM   #6
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Hmmm...you may be right.

I tied the blue to the black and then the black and white to the only other wire that was in the canopy which was white and tied to to another set of wires. Old house...the color of the wires not clear. I'll look again. While I'm at it...there was a green ground attached to the ceiling plate but no green wire to connect in the fixture...I thought it would be the other way around.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by EdHouston View Post
Hmmm...you may be right.

I tied the blue to the black and then the black and white to the only other wire that was in the canopy which was white and tied to to another set of wires. Old house...the color of the wires not clear. I'll look again. While I'm at it...there was a green ground attached to the ceiling plate but no green wire to connect in the fixture...I thought it would be the other way around.
Connect the green fan wire to the ceiling box supporting the fan. Since you only have one hot wire in the ceiling fan box you cannot control the fan and light separately. You need to connect the fan black and blue to this hot wire. Then you can use the wall switch for the light or fan depending on the pull chain position.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:37 AM   #8
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I think he may have power at the ceiling box:

"...which was white and tied to to another set of wires."

There could be only the switch loop at the switch box & only switched power at the ceiling box, but that would mean it's being fed from a 3rd location between the two. The neutral tie-in in the ceiling box suggests otherwise.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:32 PM   #9
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I tried to measure power at the wall switch but didn't get any reading. Either way, it's working real well using the pulls. I'm happy. Thanks everyone for your input. I've learned a lot.
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:24 PM   #10
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Hmmm...you may be right.
Of course I'm right

You didn't measure any voltage because you weren't measuring to ground.

It's tough to read voltage with no neutral and an ungrounded system.

The white wire at the switch would read 120V to ground. The black would read zero until the switch was turned on, then it would read 120V.

If you ever get tired of messing with the light pull chain, simply hook the black fan wire to the "hot" wires (one white with one or more blacks).
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:31 AM   #11
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Of course I will... Thanks again.

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