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Old 02-04-2010, 10:49 AM   #1
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Light switch failure help!!


First of all, I know very little about wiring and electrical circuits. I have, however, replaced light switches in the past with little issue. So, I was hooking up a fan switch and ran into an issue. In the pic, when I hook A and B to the switch, the fan rotates. However, I cant seem to figure out how to hook up a basic on/off switch for the light. It is not a 3way switch-there are no other switches in the room. It was wired for a fan prior to me replacing the old stuff (yes I failed to take a pic of it).

In the pic, A and B are hot. C doesn’t seem to be hot (it wont power anything when attached to A or B. I have two wire bundles coming from the top of the box and one from the bottom. I am assuming the bottom is for the only outlet I have on that wall (which won’t work either, but did before I screwed with things).

Ultimately I need to wire a fan switch (just a basic click switch) a light switch, and get the outlet working again. Also attached is the switch for the fan and light.


Thanks, guys
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Light switch failure help!!-cimg0085.jpg   Light switch failure help!!-cimg0087.jpg   Light switch failure help!!-cimg0086.jpg  

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Old 02-04-2010, 10:59 AM   #2
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Light switch failure help!!


What was there before and what did those things go to?

How did they operate?

For example was there two regular switches there?

If yes, what did each switch go to?

How were they wired? (Did you write this down?)

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Old 02-04-2010, 11:07 AM   #3
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Light switch failure help!!


There was another clicker switch for the fan, and one for the light. One of the clickers broke, so I figured I'd change them out. I didn't write down the connections. I THOUGHT I would remember... I know better now.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:53 AM   #4
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Light switch failure help!!


What do you mean by HOT? 120 volts? Are you testing with a meter or a non-contact tester? Were there other short wires coming out of the wire nuts marked A and B? Is it a fan/light combination or are they two separate fixtures?
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:59 AM   #5
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Light switch failure help!!


What I mean by hot is that they run the appliance together. The fan and light are one unit, but wired for separate operation. My thought is that A or B had two wires, the other had none. Im not using a meter. Is there an inexpensive one you suggest?
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:20 PM   #6
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Light switch failure help!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by metalrex View Post
There was another clicker switch for the fan, and one for the light. One of the clickers broke, so I figured I'd change them out. I didn't write down the connections. I THOUGHT I would remember... I know better now.
You show a double electrical box there.

You mention a fan, light, and outlet.

There was a switch for the ceilng fan and this only turned on the fan?

And there was a second switch there and this only turned on the *ceiling* light?

Is the *ceiling* light part of the fan?

Did anything switch the outlet?
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:16 PM   #7
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Light switch failure help!!


Yes, one switch for the fan, one for the light. Is the *ceiling* light part of the fan? If, by part, you mean attached to the unit, then yes. I have two separate chain pullies for light and fan. As for the outlet, it seemed like it was always "on." I had a digital picture frame plugged in there. Right now, im using a surge protector in the outlet so I can see when power is supplied to it when it lights up.

What if I attach A&C, use two extra wires split from that to power one switch and then split B into two to run the fan? What are the red and white wires for? My basic understanding is that white is a return wire, Black is forward load wire.

Last edited by metalrex; 02-04-2010 at 01:20 PM. Reason: pic
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:22 PM   #8
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Light switch failure help!!


Also to help clarify the picture, what letter wires are bundled together? Is the outlet possibly not working just because the breaker is off? Or did you take the switches out while they were energized and THEN the outlet quit working?
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:29 PM   #9
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Light switch failure help!!


here is a crude diagram of the wall with fan in front.
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Old 02-04-2010, 01:32 PM   #10
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Light switch failure help!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb1 View Post
Also to help clarify the picture, what letter wires are bundled together? Is the outlet possibly not working just because the breaker is off? Or did you take the switches out while they were energized and THEN the outlet quit working?
Power was off when working with these. AED, BG, and CF are bundled together. Each has a ground.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:24 PM   #11
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Light switch failure help!!


Follow these instructions carefully.Do not let anyone help you with this as there is too much room for mis-communication.Keep this room empty of people when you are not in it.

1. Be sure that the breaker is OFF

2. Wire nut wire B to wire C.

3. Wire nut wire F to wire G.

4. Turn breaker ON.

5 Check if outlet is working.

6.Turn breaker OFF.

7. Undo wire nuts from B-C and F-G.

8.Tell us the results.
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Old 02-04-2010, 02:39 PM   #12
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Light switch failure help!!


It will be about an hour before I can check this. Ill let you know. Thnx
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:43 PM   #13
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Light switch failure help!!


Couple of questions and suggestions:

Why did you remove all the connections? Specifically, the bare grounds, were they not all tied together and somehow attached to the box? Twist those back together and wire-nut them, remember to bond to the box.

Were all the white conductors tied together under a wire nut? I don't see any markings to make me think they are anything but neutrals, verify by checking for voltage and if none, twist them together and secure with a wire nut.

You indicated wires A & B were hot, how did you determine this? Do they both go dead when you turn the breaker off?

Are wires A-E-D all from the same jacket? I believe this to be the cable to the fan.

=================

I suspect the cable containing C & F go to the receptacle and the cable containing B & G provide the incoming power although these could be reversed but the outcome would be the same. Incoming power can be identified with a meter.

I think the piece of wire nutted to A was originally not there, I think it was nutted together with the other jumper on B and C. This leaves 2 conductors available from the B pigtail to feed the two switches; the black labeled A and the red marked D are the switched wires for the fan and the light each goes to a switch.

These are just some thoughts and options to try should you feel safe and confident in your ability to try them.

Last edited by Pro_DYIer; 02-04-2010 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:08 PM   #14
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Light switch failure help!!


ProD these are all my thoughts as well except I wanted to verify what wire was the power feed.rex claims that touching A to B makes the fan run, so the neutral must be at the fan already.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:46 PM   #15
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Light switch failure help!!


I saw that and that statement confuses me but I think we are only getting part of the story, the part he remembers and there may be some details unintentionally left out. That was also why I asked if both wires lost power with the breaker off.

Without disconnecting and terminations, it would be nice if he could drop the canopy at the fan and post a picture of those connections. I've seen folks tie the neutrals and fixture bonding conductors together

Would be easier to diagnose if he had a meter. There may be multiple wrongs here.

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