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Old 06-14-2008, 08:21 AM   #1
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I need to tap into a 4 wire circuit....


Hello, I am new to this site but have been renovating our 120 year old farm house for a few years now. I found this site because I feel I would have more to offer in a DIY forum than in a specialized forum.

Years ago I removed an old beat up attic fan that had been running off a junction box that was basically a 4wire set that had been hacked and the fan patched in. I recapped everything but now I need to install a new fan in its place. I would like to use the available junction box but did not note which wires were being used.

The fan only has black & white, which I connected to matching b&w and it did not work. I then swapped the fans black wire to the red and left the white on white, but still did not work. Am I missing something? Please help!

SB


Last edited by jiggysmb; 06-14-2008 at 08:25 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:36 AM   #2
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I need to tap into a 4 wire circuit....


Is it still hooked up in the panel? Do you have a voltage tester?

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Old 06-14-2008, 08:43 AM   #3
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I need to tap into a 4 wire circuit....


Yes it is still attached to the panel and the switch I believe it goes to has the red and black wires on one side and the white on the other if that is any help. The only tester I own in a multimeter but can pick a voltage tester if recommended.
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:48 AM   #4
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I need to tap into a 4 wire circuit....


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Originally Posted by jiggysmb View Post
Yes it is still attached to the panel and the switch I believe it goes to has the red and black wires on one side and the white on the other if that is any help.
That sounds like a 3-way switch configuration. Given that, the white isn't a neutral. On the switch, does it have a black screw or say "common"? Pictures are worth a 1000 words.
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:56 AM   #5
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I need to tap into a 4 wire circuit....


ok I hope this is meaningful....

The 4 wire cable goes from the panel to this switch, you see the red & black with white on the other side


This switch on the left will also operate the same light


Maybe I should just try to tap in elsewhere because my wife may want a dimmer on this light down the road for our new baby.

Last edited by jiggysmb; 06-14-2008 at 09:57 AM. Reason: dont know my left from right
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:09 AM   #6
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I need to tap into a 4 wire circuit....


Yeah, this is a 3-way. Probably prior they were using the ground for a neutral (please don't do this, please) you need to find a circuit in the attic that's hot all the time. Is there a light or receptacle in the attic?
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:26 AM   #7
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I need to tap into a 4 wire circuit....


Thanks wirenut! I kind of got the feeling this wasnt the correct way to get it done. I will explore other options.
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Old 06-14-2008, 12:13 PM   #8
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I need to tap into a 4 wire circuit....


If you have a doorbell, there's usually a transformer somewhere in the attic. The box it's mounted on is another place to find a circuit thats always hot.

Rob
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:33 PM   #9
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I need to tap into a 4 wire circuit....


wirenut- I wanted to thank you. You saved me from doing this project in a rushed state and today I was able to spend an hour running a new cuircut from a 2nd floor sub panel that was recently installed for my AC unit. Turned out to be a fairly easy job and I have you to thank from saving me from a rig job that could of caused many problems down the road!
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:58 PM   #10
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I need to tap into a 4 wire circuit....


Glad to be of assistance.
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Old 06-21-2008, 10:43 PM   #11
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I need to tap into a 4 wire circuit....


Hmmm...glad to see your trying but, be careful, doing electrical work is not trial and error!!!!

-pete

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