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Turnip 02-03-2008 09:28 PM

Lights are dim when they shouldn't be...
Hi everyone, looking for some advice.

I'm in a 55 year old home and just had a bathroom gutted, which included some new wiring. After my contractor left I notice my bedroom fan and light don't seem to be getting enough juice (my bedroom is right next to the remodeled bath). The lights are very dim and the fan doesn't turn as fast anymore. It is controlled by a switch at the door.

Anyone seen anything like that? How should I trouble shoot this? I can get to box from above in the attic or I can take the fan off. It's an old two-wire system.

Any pointers are appreciated. Or any suggestions on how much is reasonable to have something like this repaired.

Or if anyone can recommend some good help in the Charlotte area...

jbfan 02-03-2008 10:21 PM

Call the contractor back and make them fix it. If it was working before they came, it should be working when they left.
Without knowing what was done, it will be hard to help troubleshoot.

Turnip 02-03-2008 10:55 PM

This guy's not coming back. I'll leave it at that... I can get some pictures tomorrow if that will help?

nap 02-03-2008 11:28 PM

is there anything else odd?

Are they always like this or does it change when some other lights of power user (like in the new bath) are on or off?

leroyme 02-04-2008 12:56 AM

Check the switches, then check the wires at the fan and light. You can pull them down and get to the wires with a voltmeter or multimeter.I wouldn't think that the wires are so thin that the light and fan don't work like they should. If he used approved wire, there shouldn't be a problem with it.
Good luck, though!

frenchelectrican 02-04-2008 01:51 AM

If you can get the photo of the connection in safe manner that will be great.

now while we are on this subject i dont know what the guy did but he got the wire hook up in series instead of parallel that is the first clue when the light is very dim and fan run very slow.

do not run the fan/light much as you can because it can overheat the motor pretty bad.

is there two switches on the wall or one switch for both fan and light ??

let us know maybe we can help ya the correct way to hook it up

Merci, Marc

Turnip 02-04-2008 07:15 AM

Thanks for all the responses, you all are great.

I'll try to answer all these questions. I'm comfortable with electric, it just takes me a long time because I'm obsessed about safety (considering I don't do much electric work, it always takes me a long time). So I can safely get a picture and will this afternoon.

I think the whole house was wired funny originally (parallel instead of in series, I guess). Someone else commented on that before.

The lights are dim no matter if the bathroom lights are on or not. I've kept the fan and lights off completely other than some initial troubleshooting to make sure my bulbs were in, etc. There is only ONE switch for the fan/light combination... I use a remote to control the fan speed, on/off, etc.

The contractor didn't mess with my switch or fan, but I noticed that he did install some new wiring back to a junction box right beside the light housing in the attic. It looks like the old wire to the fan comes into the new JB.

I can get some pictures this afternoon. I'll see if I can get the voltmeter and see what I'm pulling at the JB and the light housing...

The fan had no problem prior to the new work.

Thanks again guys...

Turnip 02-04-2008 03:56 PM

Ok, here are some pictures.

First two of the switch (which hasn't been altered to my knowledge).

Last one of the new JB installed by contractor. Description of picture: In the top of the picture you can see the old steel housing that my ceiling fan/light is connected to. The old (black) wire comes into the JB from the left. A new wire (yellow) comes into the box from bottom right - you can't see that one in the picture. It comes into the box and and picks up the old two-wire black wire back to the housing. The new wire, continues out of the box in the up left and goes back to the bathroom. There is a barely visible bare copper wire left over from the 3-wire to 2-wire conversion that is just hanging out. It points southwest and is at the bottom of the box on the left/down side.

Hope that makes sense.

Hope these pictures show something...

joed 02-04-2008 08:08 PM

Can't tell anything from those pics. Try this test. Remove the light bulbs from the dim fixture and try the fan. Sounds like the fan and lights are wired in seiries. If htey are the fan will not work with the bulbs removed.

leroyme 02-05-2008 09:04 PM

I don't think that's the case. If it is, the fan would NEVER come on with the lights off. Using the remote or the pull chains, you should be able to independantly operate each. Also, wiring in series would give you that effect, if something else in the series is turned on. If nothing else is on, nothing is drawing from the current on the light/fan. Try turning EVERTHING off, and then turning on the lights/fan. Also, when other things in the circuit are turned on, the fan would run slower, the light would dim, and you would notice the other things in the curcuit not getting enough juice as well. It sounds like he mis wired something with that junction box.

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