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Old 08-14-2010, 05:49 PM   #1
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Roofers Damaged Electric Cable?


The ceiling fan in my cathedral ceiling hasn't worked in a while. I thought the remote was the problem but it turns out I don't have power at the fixture. The wall switch has power going through it and is only used to allow the fan to turn on using the remote and also to turn the fan off.
So I'm fairly certain the roofers that repaired the leak around the chimney flashing a few months ago damaged the wiring to the fan that appears to run to a hidden junction box inside the chimney structure. This chimney was part of a previous owners renovation 10 years ago. The reno was installing a chimney and gas fireplace which involved opening up an exterior wall and the roof. The ceiling fan was probably installed at the same time.
The chimney is a wood framed structure with aluminum siding that matches the house.
The cable running from the wall switch up to the ceiling is BX cable and the wire coming into the fan fixture is romex so I'm fairly certain that the junction is inside this chimney.
The roofers did a great job and I hope that if they saw wires or junction boxes when they took the siding off for the repair they would have said something. They torched some shingles back on and torched on a new asphalt sheet on the chimney chase. The water leak could have also corroded the wires so it may not be related to the work that was just done.
I have the name of the company that did the reno but this was over ten years ago and I don't have any paperwork that says they ran wire to the fan.
So if I bite the bullet and get the roofing company back to pull the siding and flashing I have no way to repair this properly since there is no way to run a new cable without opening the roof or the drywall since there is no attic above.
What to do? I need the fan for cooling the place down in the summer. What was the point of using BX cable for part of the run?

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Old 08-14-2010, 06:43 PM   #2
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It looks like you need to call an electrician to take a look. He might be able to snake in a new cable to re-feed the fan. Other than that, you really don't have much to work with unless you are ready to open up drywall or the chimney like you said.

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Old 08-14-2010, 10:58 PM   #3
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Roofers Damaged Electric Cable?


I'd still like to know why they used BX cable from the switch to the junction box?
If I remove the potlight above the fireplace I can see the romex from the fan up until it goes into the insulation in the ceiling.
Is a 6" dia. hole in the ceiling considered an "accessible" area?
I'd have to remove insulation to see if this junction box can be seen through the potlight hole but I can barely get my arm through.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:20 PM   #4
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Roofers Damaged Electric Cable?


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I'd still like to know why they used BX cable from the switch to the junction box?
Maybe that run of BX was existing, then when they changed something around they use romex.
Quote:
If I remove the potlight above the fireplace I can see the romex from the fan up until it goes into the insulation in the ceiling.
Is a 6" dia. hole in the ceiling considered an "accessible" area?
I'd have to remove insulation to see if this junction box can be seen through the potlight hole but I can barely get my arm through.
Yes, if you can get to the box thru the hole it is code compliant, but no one says that whoever installed it cares about the code.

Get yourself a small mirror and look around the hole, maybe the box is there.

You have to determine where the break in the cable is and then run a new cable. You also have to be sure that the old cable is disconnected and abandoned properly.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:22 PM   #5
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Roofers Damaged Electric Cable?


The junction box can not be buried inside the chimney. It must remain accessible. It is possible that the problem is simply a loose connection inside that junction box. You need to find it, inspect the connections and move it to an accessible location. It's not the roofers fault the junction box is buried.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:18 AM   #6
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Get yourself a small mirror and look around the hole, maybe the box is there.

You have to determine where the break in the cable is and then run a new cable. You also have to be sure that the old cable is disconnected and abandoned properly.
I can pull the insulation out to see better, I just hope I can get the insulation back in place after through the small ceiling opening. I'll check it out in the morning and take some pictures so you can see what I'm dealing with.

Joed; I still don't know exactly where this junction is so hopefully I can get to it through the potlight opening. You're right, it's not the roofers fault since there should not be wires or junctions where they were working. I just said that if they came across electrical wires they should have pointed it out if they did know that was the case.
I'm just upset because there's more to this botched reno than a possible buried junction box.
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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Roofers Damaged Electric Cable?


There is not a box for the fan wires that I can see. I can follow the white romex white in the picture for a few feet and no box. The insulation and slope of the ceiling makes it hard for me to see very far into the opening.
What is shown in the picture is the junction box for the track lighting above the fireplace. The white romex cable is the one that travels up the ceiling to the fan.
So instead of looking for an illegal junction box what if I used the switched power in the track lighting junction box box to power the fan. This would mean the lights needs to be on for the fan to work. Not ideal but better than no fan or pulling new wires that may involve opening the ceiling etc? I would just need to cut the romex long enough to bring it into the box. The box is good for 8 #14ga. wires.
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