Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-18-2012, 11:15 PM   #1
Doing it myself
 
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Crescent City, CA
Posts: 3,692
Send a message via AIM to Alan Send a message via MSN to Alan
Share |
Default

Took down my ceiling fan and found something that I think is odd. . . .


3 wires entering the light box (metal) in the ceiling. Two of them are the old cloth wrapped romex cable and i'm not sure yet where they go (that stuff is bad right?) One of them is some other kind of romex with a black jacket that I haven't seen before (this is the one that runs down to the switch). The jacket is similar to any of the other yellow or white stuff I've seen.


Anyway my boggle is this :

The two neutral wires from the cloth romex were wire nutted together and connected to the neutral on the ceiling fan.

The hot lead from the wire going to the switch was going directly to the ceiling fan's black wire.

The hot leads from the cloth wrapped romex were wire nutted together WITH the neutral from the wire that runs into the switch.

This seems wrong to me.

Any good reason it would be this way?

Grounds were all connected together and bonded to the metal box, just for the record.

__________________
Journeyman Plumber
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2012, 11:20 PM   #2
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 4,854
Default

Took down my ceiling fan and found something that I think is odd. . . .


Switches don't need neutral they are using it as constant hot to the switch. Like so ... it's called a switch loop. The second image is onward power in the same configuration which is what you probably have.
Attached Thumbnails
Took down my ceiling fan and found something that I think is odd. . . .-switch-loop.jpg   Took down my ceiling fan and found something that I think is odd. . . .-switch-loop-extension-onward.jpg  

__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie

Last edited by Stubbie; 01-18-2012 at 11:41 PM.
Stubbie is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Stubbie For This Useful Post:
zappa (01-19-2012)
Old 01-18-2012, 11:23 PM   #3
Doing it myself
 
Alan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Crescent City, CA
Posts: 3,692
Send a message via AIM to Alan Send a message via MSN to Alan
Default

Took down my ceiling fan and found something that I think is odd. . . .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
Switches don't need neutral they are using it as constant hot to the switch. Like so ... it's called a switch loop.
That makes sense, since I knew a switch doesn't need a neutral. So they are using one wire to make the switch operate, and in theory the white wire IS actually a black wire, and by your diagram it should be marked as such, similarly to using a white wire on a 240V circuit in a breaker panel.

Thanks. Shoulda been able to figure that one out myself. I'm tired. No more electrical tonight for me.
__________________
Journeyman Plumber
Alan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2012, 11:48 PM   #4
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 4,854
Default

Took down my ceiling fan and found something that I think is odd. . . .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan View Post
That makes sense, since I knew a switch doesn't need a neutral. So they are using one wire to make the switch operate, and in theory the white wire IS actually a black wire, and by your diagram it should be marked as such, similarly to using a white wire on a 240V circuit in a breaker panel.

Thanks. Shoulda been able to figure that one out myself. I'm tired. No more electrical tonight for me.
Not a problem I am perfectly capable of making a similar oversite talking about plumbing ...

The code did not require the identification of the white wire in the days of cloth wrapped cable.
__________________
" One nice thing about the NEC articles ... you have lots of choices"

Stubbie

Last edited by Stubbie; 01-18-2012 at 11:51 PM.
Stubbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2012, 01:15 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 100
Default

Took down my ceiling fan and found something that I think is odd. . . .


Alan, just two things I wanted to add that I've picked up along the way recently.

When you're using a black and white wire both as hots at a switch, it has to be the white that supplies power to the switch and is always hot. It has to be the black that sends power back when the switch is on. It doesn't matter from a will it work standpoint, but they standardized it this way.

Second, NEC 2011 (which is adopted in some areas, but not all) now requires that a real neutral be present at light switches. It's not a safety change - it's so newer "smart" switches that are themselves electronic devices can be used. (Programmable switches, switches that talk to your computer, etc.) Even if NEC 2011 is adopted in your area, this doesn't mean you have to replace your wiring so there's a neutral... Just something to keep in mind if you trigger negating the grandfathering clauses. Also note that if a neutral can very easily be added by putting a new wire into a raceway or open framing cavity to the switch, you can still leave it out.
darlingm is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to darlingm For This Useful Post:
zappa (01-19-2012)
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.