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Old 02-12-2013, 12:07 AM   #1
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Switch with no power


There is a switch in my living room with wires connected but no power at the terminals. The switch shares the box with another switch that does have power. How can I determine why/where there is no power? The switch has never worked so I'm not even sure it powers anything since every light and receptacle checks out.

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Old 02-12-2013, 07:28 AM   #2
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Switch with no power


pigtail to non working switch
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Switch with no power-2-switch-2-fans-fan-fan-3.jpg  

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Old 02-12-2013, 10:02 AM   #3
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Hammer, Ok I sort of get it. The switch in the same box is powering that switch. But I dont understand the purpose of it? They actually do the same thing, both power the fan and/or light. Not to mention there are two more switches in the room that power on/off the entire light and fan as well as a remote. Everything works, just seems unnecessary. Thanks.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MisterSteve View Post
Hammer, Ok I sort of get it. The switch in the same box is powering that switch. But I dont understand the purpose of it? They actually do the same thing, both power the fan and/or light. Not to mention there are two more switches in the room that power on/off the entire light and fan as well as a remote. Everything works, just seems unnecessary. Thanks.
Regarding the diagram---No the switch is not powering the switch. Conductor "A" is powering both switches via the pigtails. I have no idea what your setup looks like. You have used too many vague terms like "the switch" and "that switch"

This diagram is a common setup for ceiling fans that have light canopies. One switch operates the fan motor(the left switch in the diagram) and one switch powers the light canopy( the right switch in the diagram)
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Last edited by hammerlane; 02-12-2013 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:52 AM   #5
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Switch with no power


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Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
Regarding the diagram---No the switch is not powering the switch. Conductor "A" is powering both switches via the pigtails. I have no idea what your setup looks like. You have used too many vague terms like "the switch" and "that switch"

This diagram is a common setup for ceiling fans that have light canopies. One switch operates the fan motor(the left switch in the diagram) and one switch powers the light canopy( the right switch in the diagram)
Two separate switches to power a fan/light? And 12AWG wire to do it? I don't believe this is a common method.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:01 AM   #6
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Switch with no power


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Two separate switches to power a fan/light? And 12AWG wire to do it? I don't believe this is a common method.
It is if the circuit is wired for 20 amp circuit then you will have to use #12 awg for it.

This is semi common and I have done that few time with #12's all it depending on the exsting circuit layout that is the key issue.

And if you did see Hammerlane's drawing mention red conductor in there so it can be used as second hot switched leg for either fan or luminarie.

That is very common methold I done all the time with ceiling luminaires and when the customer mention talking about ceiling fan ., I automatique install the ceiling fan rated box and use XX-3 conductors and be done with it.

The cost differnce is very small when you do it rightaway but when you have XX- 2 in there and want to change to XX-3 it will cost more in long run due you will have to find a way to snake in new cable etc etc .

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Old 02-15-2013, 01:31 AM   #7
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Switch with no power


Yeah, if it's on a 20amp breaker, then #12 is req., I'm just pointing out that it's overkill to run lighting on a 20 amp circuit. Use #14 and put in a 15a breaker.

As far as the 2 switches controlling fan/light separately, why would this be a common installation when one switch w/ 3-wires will do the same?

My point is that the 2nd switch in the 2 gang (OP) probably switches a receptacle somewhere.

This isn't all that common for ECs, is it?
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:42 AM   #8
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Back so many years ago, copper wire was cheap. I built my entire home using #12. Not sure of your house's age, but it is (was) not uncommon to use #12 for a 15 amp circuit.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
Two separate switches to power a fan/light? And 12AWG wire to do it? I don't believe this is a common method.

Are you kidding me? You consider separate switches for a ceiling fan with a light canopy as uncommon??

Not around my trailer park!!!!

And there is nothing wrong with #12 wire for fan/light. Upcost is minimal.

My home has all #12 wire.

Last edited by hammerlane; 02-15-2013 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:31 AM   #10
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Switch with no power


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Originally Posted by MisterSteve View Post
There is a switch in my living room with wires connected but no power at the terminals.
How many wires? How many terminal screws on the switch?

Quote:
The switch shares the box with another switch that does have power.
Again: How many wires? How many terminal screws on the switch?

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How can I determine why/where there is no power?
You'll have to do some detective work.
Meanwhile... open up the box to take a clear photo and then post that here.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by al_smelter View Post
........not uncommon to use #12 for a 15 amp circuit.....
That's what I did in 1990 when I rewired my 1954 house with all 12AWG THNN. Used every color I could find and went from 60 AMP Service with 5 Breakers to 200 Amp service in 3 panels with 54 breakers. Right after I showed it to my next door neighbor he did a complete house rebuild with 55 breakers.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:45 AM   #12
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....with all 12AWG THNN. Used every color I could find and went from 60 AMP Service with 5 Breakers to 200 Amp service in 3 panels with 54 breakers.
Like to see a photo of that.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by PaliBob View Post
That's what I did in 1990 when I rewired my 1954 house with all 12AWG THNN. Used every color I could find and went from 60 AMP Service with 5 Breakers to 200 Amp service in 3 panels with 54 breakers. Right after I showed it to my next door neighbor he did a complete house rebuild with 55 breakers.

All #12? and your range, dryer, and A/C still work AMAZING!!!

They make different size wire for different purposes, why waist the resources.

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