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    blue_diamond2077's Avatar
    blue_diamond2077 Posts: 10, Reputation: 2
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    #1

    Apr 19, 2007, 01:21 PM
    Trying to hook up a new celling fan but wires don't seem right
    Hello, A few days ago I took down an old celling fan to find the older one was not put up right. It only was screwed to a block of wood so I removed that and put up a bar and box supported on the beams of the house. Anyway that was my first problem that I ran into the next one was the wiring . I noticed that the old fan was wired in a odd way. From the roof copper(ground) went to white in the fan. Black from the roof went to blue in the fan. White from the roof went to black in the fan.

    I noticed the new fan(that has no blue) works with white to ground and white to black and black to green but is it safe? I have done fans in the past and have always just matched up the colors . The new fan won't work if I put black to black white to white and ground to ground. I don't get what's wrong.

    The guy who put the fans up did two bedrooms at once so I'm thinking the other one is wired the same. I took the light switches out and I don't see anything wrong.

    Please help. I really want to get this fan up and working but don't know where to start. I'm short on money and don't want to hire some one if I don't have to .

    Thank you!!
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
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    #2

    Apr 19, 2007, 01:58 PM
    I think we need to start by confirming what you have in your ceiling. By the way, where are you located? Your black should be hot 120vac, your white should be the neutral and the copper is your ground. Do you have a tester and know how to confirm? Since you said you tried black to black, white to white and ground to ground and the fan didn't work. I think your wiring in the ceiling is mixed up.
    blue_diamond2077's Avatar
    blue_diamond2077 Posts: 10, Reputation: 2
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    #3

    Apr 19, 2007, 02:07 PM
    Hi, I live in Arizona. I don't have a tester but will go out and buy one . I'm heading to home depot now. From what I'm thinking is the white is the hot because when I took down the old fan the guy who put it up wrapped the white wire in black tape.
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #4

    Apr 19, 2007, 02:49 PM
    It sounds to me like both the black and white are hot. To do simple checks like this you do need some tools. A test light, a meter, or a voltage detector might be the best place to start with. I came across the niftiest gadget for trouble shooting, a voltage detector. They work through the insulation of wires. There are several brands. I have a GB Instruments GVD-505A, less than $15 at Home Depot. Touch it to a hot wire, and the end glows red. Find the doodad that lights it on one side, and not the other, and you have the culprit. You do not have to open up housings and expose electrical contacts. You are looking at where your hand is, not where the meter is. Most people are capable of doing repairs and will get it going and not get hurt if they use a little sense. The voltage detector makes it even easier.

    Using whatever tools you have, see if the black and white are both hot. If so, something is mixed up. I would next go to the other fan and see if whoever installed the fans messed up something there. Sometimes fans are wired up for 2 speeds or fan and lights to be controlled from different wall switches. That requires a 3 wire plus ground cable. I wonder if somebody rigged up a 2 wire one by using the white in place of the red, and the ground in place of the white? If so, you need to trace back to where it was done and fix it. No matter how bad an idea is, if it will work, likely it has been done.
    ceilingfanrepair's Avatar
    ceilingfanrepair Posts: 5,733, Reputation: 109
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    #5

    Apr 19, 2007, 03:23 PM
    What make is the old fan?

    I concur with LabMan, the old fan was wired with a separate hot for the light and fan, and used ground as neutral. This is not safe. Right now the fan and light are controlled by separate switches, you will either have to rewire them to be controlled by one switch, or run new wiring.
    blue_diamond2077's Avatar
    blue_diamond2077 Posts: 10, Reputation: 2
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    #6

    Apr 19, 2007, 03:25 PM
    I only have one light switch in my bedroom

    I went with the commercial electric hsp10

    When I touch the + from the hsp to the white wire and the - from the hsp to the copper(ground wire) I get a reading the makes the meter jump far. Keeping the meter on ACV 250 I get a reading of +17 or about 120 dc.

    When I touch the + from the meter to the white and the - from the meter to the black I get almost no movement at all. It only goes up to 100 ohm.

    Then I do a + from the meter to the black and the - from the meter to the ground and nothing at all happens only 500 ohm.

    I'm new to this meter thing and am unsure of the acv settings so the whole time I have had it on 250. The guys at home depot didn't help that much. So I'm hoping you guys can.

    Thanks !
    ceilingfanrepair's Avatar
    ceilingfanrepair Posts: 5,733, Reputation: 109
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    #7

    Apr 19, 2007, 03:27 PM
    I was asking about the make of the OLD fan, not the new one.

    You will leave the meter set on 250vAC, not ohms. If my suspicions are correct you will get a large jump between black and ground, and white and ground, but nothing between black and white.
    blue_diamond2077's Avatar
    blue_diamond2077 Posts: 10, Reputation: 2
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    #8

    Apr 19, 2007, 04:16 PM
    Nope I did the 250ACV With the black and ground and nothing. It went up maybe one 10th of an inch.

    I don't know the name of the fan it was here when I moved in.

    ImageShack® - Public page for blue_daimond2077

    I posted some pictures here I don't know if it's a help. This was the pictures I took of the old fan and how it was wired.
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
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    #9

    Apr 19, 2007, 04:27 PM
    "With the black and ground and nothing" and there is black tape on the white wire. I suspect that your hot and neutral are reversed. The black should be hot but it isn't. They probably used it as neutral. Your white wire should be neutral with no power but I think you're finding 120 vac (not dc). To test this try white to ground, guessing its 120. Then try white to black and again 120. Now try black to ground and it' s nothing at all. If this is the case you may want to start testing other outlets and electrical connects the previous person may have altered.
    blue_diamond2077's Avatar
    blue_diamond2077 Posts: 10, Reputation: 2
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    #10

    Apr 19, 2007, 05:11 PM
    Yes white to ground works OK. I get 120. White to black NOTHING at all.. black to ground nothing at all. Can it be that the black wire is cut some place and it's stopping it from being used ? All the colors on the switch seem right and match.
    blue_diamond2077's Avatar
    blue_diamond2077 Posts: 10, Reputation: 2
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    #11

    Apr 19, 2007, 05:21 PM
    I just tested the switch and put the meter up to the black and white there and everything works great. 120..

    Maybe just running a new wire from the switch to the new fan will work ?
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #12

    Apr 19, 2007, 05:23 PM
    I am afraid you may be right. Maybe rather than mess around much more, you should do some legal checking. You maybe able to force whoever sold you the house to pay to have a qualified electrician come and fix the code violations. Perhaps post to the real estate law forum.

    No sense cleaning up a mess if you can have it done professionally at no cost.
    blue_diamond2077's Avatar
    blue_diamond2077 Posts: 10, Reputation: 2
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    #13

    Apr 19, 2007, 06:40 PM
    I FOUND IT!! I was up there and ran into a large wire from the light switch that was cut in half I'm unsure were the other end goes to. This wire had the fan wire going from it at the place the larger wire was cut. The wires were all mixed up badly. The way it was was white on the big wire to ground on the wire going to the fan.

    Now I have a big wire up there that's cut in half . I capped the ends.

    The colors of the large wire is red, white, black and a bare copper wire. Can I use that cut in the larger wire and run a wire to the fan this time doing it right with ground to ground white to white and black to black? What's the red wire for? I take it that it's live.

    Test with the meter show the switch is hooked up right with black being hot.

    Ps -the house was left to me from a family member. There is no one to go after. I have to fix this myself if I can.
    hdguy's Avatar
    hdguy Posts: 23, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Apr 19, 2007, 07:24 PM
    My guess is that the black is currently floating --- not attached to any where. I agree that it sounds like both black and white were originally wired to be hot with ground used as neutral. Not a good/safe idea! If you only have 1 switch in the bedroom, most likely both white and black were wired to the switch ouput (fan and light on same switch).

    You need to be careful as you trace down the switch connections. If hot, neutral, and ground were compromised like they were in the fan, no telling what games were/might-a-been played at the switches. (like white and black both wired as hot output on wall switch)

    I understand that it sounds to me that you're using the meter correctly (I have one) and that you are reading the results to us on the ohms and dB scales. It would be easier if you just used the numbers off the black 250 series just above the V AC.

    Jimmy
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #15

    Apr 19, 2007, 07:42 PM
    When I worked for a wire company, they called several wires bundled together a cable. The wires were singles, and the outer part the jacket.

    You can run a new cable from the cut cable to the fan. Set a box, and make the splices in it. Start at the cut end of the cable with the power off. Turn the knob on the meter to the ohm scale. Check white to ground. You should get a full scale deflection, 0 ohms. Check white to black and red. The needle shouldn't move. Check red to black. They may or may not show 0 Likely the old black ran to the black on the fan, and the red to the blue. Turn the power on and turn the meter to the 250 VAC scale. You match which scale to read by which one you select with the knob. Black to white, should read 120 VAC. Black to ground, should read 120 VAC. Red to white, may or may not read 120 VAC. Cap it if it does. White to ground should read 0 or at most a volt or 2. If you get those readings, you are good to go with a new 2 conductor with ground connecting black, white, and ground with black, white and ground at both ends.
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
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    #16

    Apr 20, 2007, 05:42 AM
    This is weird. Could you do that same set of tests at the switch and get back to us?
    ceilingfanrepair's Avatar
    ceilingfanrepair Posts: 5,733, Reputation: 109
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    #17

    Apr 20, 2007, 08:13 AM
    I agree with everything labman said, with one addition: the new wire you run, you might want black, red, and white (and ground) so that you can have separate control of the fan and light. How many switches control it currently? If you have two, each hot lead (read and black) is switched. If one, chances are the hot lead for the light (usually red) is switched and the fan (black) is not.

    Ceiling fan wiring - Ceiling Fans N More
    blue_diamond2077's Avatar
    blue_diamond2077 Posts: 10, Reputation: 2
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    #18

    Apr 20, 2007, 01:55 PM
    I wanted to thank you all for the time you took to help me out. I fixed the problem with your help. The old fan would stay on and the light was on a switch so as some of you had said there were two hots and ground on the wire going to the cables white was being used as a neutral. I'm thinking the reasons my tests didn't show that was because I failed to use the light switch on the wall.


    Anyway I now have a wire to the fan and the fan is up and working. I put the red wire to the black and the white to the white and ground to the ground. The switch on the wall turns the whole fan on and off and that's good for me because I use the remote to control everything. Labman is correct the new fan doesn't have a blue wire just a black a white and a ground.

    When I was up in the adduct I put the meter on black to white and got a jump and red to white got a jump. White to ground did nothing :)

    It looks as if the builder of the house put the main cable(thanks for the word labmanin) and some one after just taped into to and did it wrong. All the wires on the switch were correct so I'm sure I located the problem and corrected it.


    Thanks for the help!
    ceilingfanrepair's Avatar
    ceilingfanrepair Posts: 5,733, Reputation: 109
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    #19

    Apr 20, 2007, 01:58 PM
    Sounds good! Make sure you keep the two hots separate, and the neutral and ground separate.

    Labman, you're right, I forgot he had a remote fan.

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