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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3

    Question Not getting power to my ceiling fan...HELP!

    I just recently installed a ceiling fan in a spare bedroom. I returned power to the house and flipped the switch on... nothing.

    The previous switch was an old turnable dimmer from the 70s (I'm guessing). I am definitely confused because the back of the old switch had 2 black wires. In addition, there are 3 white wires and 3 black wires behind the wall. When the old switch was removed, one of the wires from the switch was joined to one black wire from the wall and the other wire from the switch was joined to the remaining 2 black wires. The 3 white wires were all joined together and tucked away in the back.

    There is only 1 black and 1 white wire coming out of the ceiling which is hooked up to the fan.

    I have replaced the switch with a new one (no dimmer). Why are there so many wires behind the switch and how do i get power to the ceiling fan?

    Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Not getting power to my ceiling fan...HELP!

    Follow closely along here and I think we can fix you up.
    Here’s what you have.

    A pair of wires enters the box that is the constant hot (Black) and white (Neutral)

    It would be a great help if you had some kind of voltage tester and separated all of the wires to find this pair.

    A pair of wires leaves the box as an unswitched hot and neutral. Originally the two blacks that were tied together and to one side of your dimmer contained the black in that pair.

    A pair of wires goes to the fan box. The black tied to the other side of your dimmer was part of that pair. If you do not a way to check for continuity you can do this;

    First identify the hot and neutral entering the box.

    Second tie that black and white to one other pair of black and white. If the fan comes on you know it’s the pair going to the light. If not, by the process of elimination you know it’s the pair going out that needs to tie through as hot and neutral and that the unconnected pair goes to the light.

    So, tie all the whites together and cap them. Tie the incoming black hot to the outgoing black hot and to one side of the switch. It may be helpful to tie these two wires to a short length of wire with a wire nut and then tie the other end of the short (6”) wire to the switch.

    That leaves just one black left and it connects to the other side of your switch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Not getting power to my ceiling fan...HELP!

    Thanks for the reply kentvw

    I tried the 2 blacks that were tied together to one side of the switch and the single black to the other side while having all the whites capped... but the fan still didn't work.

    However, and let me know what i am doing wrong. I got a voltage tester to see which wires are actually carrying a current. In order for me to get power to the fan, all 3 blacks have to be tied together and all three whites have to be tied together. Once i figured that out, i hooked all 3 blacks to the switch and all the other whites to the neutral part of the switch. When the switch is in the off position, the fan works fine. But when i turn the switch to the on position, it triggers the breaker and i get no more power.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Not getting power to my ceiling fan...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chum008 View Post

    i hooked all 3 blacks to the switch and all the other whites to the neutral part of the switch.
    Curious... what type of switch is this ?

    From your description there is a dead short between the hot ( black) and neutral ( white ) when the switch is turned on. Hopefully this isn't a regular light switch that has two screws for attaching the wires to. If it is the neutral wires do not get attached to the switch and would explain why the breaker trips when you turn on the switch.

    So before going any further it needs to be cleared as to what switch you are using that requires the neutral wires attached.

    Be careful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Not getting power to my ceiling fan...HELP!

    I figured out what you guys were talking about and the fan installation has been a success. I'm glad i'm not charging myself my the hour... anyways, thanks for all your help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Not getting power to my ceiling fan...HELP!

    Glad you got it figured.

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