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adamiano86 01-29-2012 08:16 PM

Swithced Outlet to Ceiling Light/Fan Troubles
Hello -

I've searched the forums and I've read a bunch of different articles on how to make a switched outlet always hot and then wire in a ceiling fan and light - the problem is that whenever I hit the switch when I have the fan and light wired in, it trips the breaker.

I'm pretty sure that the power is being fed from the outlet to the switch using the black wire, and then with the white wire (electrically taped to black) it is wired back to the outlet so make the top outlet switched. So at the switch, I have taken both of the wires and moved them to the top of the switch to make the outlet always hot. (The wire you see capped in yellow is the new wire I ran from the switch to the ceiling)

So at the outlet now everything is always on. What I have at the outlet was four black wires that were capped together. One of those wires was the white wire that was electric taped to black to make the outlet switched originally. The black wire coming off of the bottom hot side of the outlet is a pig tail that I'm guessing connects the incoming hot power so the bottom was always hot and that it got ran to the next outlet in the room.

So I had my black wire hooked up to the bottom of the switch, and I tapped in to a neutral wire in the attic and I had the fan all wired (blue and black from the fan/light to the black that is now going to the switch) and I turned the power back on at the breaker - but when I came back to the bedroom and hit the switch, the lights flashed on and then went off and the breaker was tripped.

Any help would be great.

Thank you!

Jim Port 01-29-2012 08:29 PM

You cannot just grab a nearby neutral. All the conductors of the circuit need to be run in the same cable.

Based on what you have done and your level of understanding of electricity I am going to suggest you hire this out.

You may also have issues with mixed gauge wiring.

adamiano86 01-29-2012 08:53 PM


Originally Posted by Jim Port (Post 838598)
Based on what you have done and your level of understanding of electricity I am going to suggest you hire this out.

That's why I'm on this forum, so I can get a better understanding of how the things in my house work.

Are you saying that I need to be tapped in to the neutral wire that is connected to one of those outlets in that room; one of the outlets that is controlled by that breaker?

Jim Port 01-29-2012 09:08 PM

The white taped black should have been moved to the other whites in the receptacle. The black would have spliced into the hots at the receptacle.

You would now have a hot and a neutral at the switch box.

The receptacle should have been replaced with one that did not have the brass tab broken.

adamiano86 01-29-2012 09:16 PM

Thanks Jim.

Once I read that it seems to make complete sense. I have an extra outlet that I can wire in tomorrow as well as changing the neutrals.

Thanks again. :notworthy:

jbfan 01-29-2012 09:23 PM

Does the bare wire from the 14/3 look like it is connected to the switch?

Jim Port 01-29-2012 09:25 PM

Adam, all the bares need to be spliced together and connect to the switch or receptacle.

adamiano86 01-29-2012 09:36 PM

I have to splice the ground wires together and pigtail to the switch. I had both under the green screw just for testing.

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