Electrical Questions? Ask an Electrician Online.
hi, i will be glad to assist you but first i have some questions:
do you have a voltage meter w/ a voltage reading output?
also, how do you want to control your fan and light?different switches?
ok....with the way you described what these switches control....you should have all your whites together....right? And all your grounds together....right? These are the only switches in my understanding of your information that control what you said they control....right?
***sorry for the delay in my response...my laptop battery died...
ok....what happens when you turn the other switch on? does it do anything to the black at the fan?(it shouldn't, but let's see)
what is above this room? Attic I hope....
Yes - attic
heres what you need to do at this point....(and you can get back to me in the morning after you do this if you would like- just by replying back to this post)
-you need to go in the attic above, locate the wire that goes from the fan box to down the wall...and let me know if there is a junction box in between, and/or if the wire(think of your house structurally) does not go down near where that switch would be....
and let me know what you find out....
Ok - I just checked the attic and there are no junction boxes between the wire leading from the switch to the fan. I am getting ready to head off to church - but will check back later in the day for further advice.
Here's the problem with what I see in regards XXXXX XXXXX black wire not having power:
A)Your not testing it with a good "black conductor to probe on meter" connection at the fan
B)The black is loose in the switchbox...but you confirmed it wasn't
C)(Very unlikely, but possible) The black is damaged somewhere in the attic or down the wall or in one of the boxes
D)The fan 14/3 goes to another box before it gets to the switchbox we were referring to.
***We need to get that black figured out before we can go further(Why is it hooked into power at the switch, but not having power at the fan)...No choice.
-Let me know what you come up with...If you are out of ideas, let me know that too and I will try to think of some more....but that's really it.
***By the way, when you checked for a junction box did you "think of your house structurally" to see where the wire goes down the wall in relation to the switchbox we were talking about?
***What kind of wires go into the fan box? Just the one 14/3? Or are there more?
yeah?...hmm....then that black conductor has managed to make its way elswhere(another box or something--or possibly what i suggested in my last reply after you were at church-see if you can investigate those things.) AND
try this....Make sure when you check the black and white in the fan box...you get a good connection to your meter...let me know what you see/ find out
Hi - I have re-checked everything you mentioned. The only wire that I get a reading on is the red wire in the fan box. I disconnected it from the fan entirely too. I likewise disconnected the switch which turned on fan/light and then re-checked th fan box and none of the wires have power (as I expected).
We know that the wire from the switch (14/3) goes directly to the fan box and has no other junctions boxes in between. I am wondering what the other three wires in the switch box are connected to. I know that the second switch used to power-on an outlet on the wall (which is now blocked from testing by a shelving unit) - but I assumed it was there with the 14/3 wire in order to run the fan or the light.
The way you described earlier in this post, that black conductor we are talking about now should very well have power on it.
"No not exactly. All of the blacks from the 14/2's as well as the 14/3's are together with blacks coming out of that tie to each of the switches."
And if that is the case, that tells me there is a problem here with the black we are talking about....
What you said tells me that yes one black goes to your "always on" recepticles, one black is your "always on" power in, one black is "power out", and this black we are talking about, goes to the fan along with the rest of the conductors on the 14/3...
I'm stumpmed if you checked all adjacent boxes and the attic for that wire to be spliced or switched at another location, etc....
Only thing I can say is if you can re-confirm what you said is in fact EXACT one more time....And then I will try to take it from there depending on your response
Yes, just as I stated in my last post...that black at the fan should have full 120v all the time...makes no sense if you checked for mystery switches, adjacent boxes, junction in the attic, everything we checked for pretty much.....I don't want to say you might have a damaged wire just yet cause that is VERY rare in the walls.
Let me ask you this:
1-What is on the wall behind this switchbox? light fixture, recepticle, another switchbox perhaps?
2-Does the fan 14/3 go down or up out of the switchbox?
The powered line is apparent here...but you can do that...
Turn power off at circuit breaker first-then safely remove wire nut and separate the blacks...cap each one...turn power back on... and test each one
NOTE: I bolded and underlined WIRE NUT so you know NOT to remove any others for confusion purposes.....
Turn power back on and investigate.
Again, I don't see this as necessary unless you have a loose connection there...
By the way, did you double check for sure at the fan box if there was power on the black?
How old is your house?
Are you the original owner?
Do you know if this line was added or was part of the NEW contruction of this home?
Are these switches single pole(2 screw terminals w/ground) or 3-way (3 screw terminals w/ground)?
Also can you answer my last post please?
No problem, or need to apologize....we are trying to communicate on the internet, I understand it is difficult...
So anyway, one other confirmation question if you would---When you were in the attic, you saw(keeping structure of your home in mind) that fan 14/3 going directly from fan box and down the wall in the same general area as the switch would be....correct?
And with NO junction boxes....correct?
Well....lets try this....
Do you have ohm's on your meter? and when you touch the two probes it beeps?
I have ohm's and when I set it to that it buzzes and the needles seems to go backwards when I test the black line that used to be attached to the switch.
ok...here's what you need to to in these EXACT steps:
1- ****TURN POWER OFF AT CIRCUIT BREAKER AND CONFIRM IT IS OFF WITH YOUR METER IN THE SWITCH BOX***
2-Disconnect black and red at fan and twist them together
3-Put meter on ohm's and touch two meter probes together to make sure it buzzes
4-Put switch box wiring back together how it originally was, leaving out the black that goes to the fan on the 14/3
5-Disconnect Red from fan switch
6-Place one meter probe on red and one meter probe on black(both obviously the ones that are from 14/3 for the fan)
7-Tell me if it buzzes
Need clarification -
First I misunderstood the ohms instruction previously - I thought I was supposed to test the wires wiht ohms...not just touch both probes to each other. When I did that just now, it doesn't make a noise, but the meter needle does register significantly going from left to right.
Second, on step 4 - the 14/3 that connects to the fan has the black wire pigtailed into a nut in the switchbox; one of the blacks coming out of the pigtail goes to the switch - do you want me to just not connect the black from the pigtail to the switch?
I am not sure what could have happened to your meter when you did that, but as long as when you touch probes together you see a significant movement in your meter reading you can tell me that instead of if it buzzes.
As far as step 4 goes, simply disconnect the black from the wirenut that came from the 14/3 and use that only
Basically i need you to have the red and black from the fan's 14/3 in the switch box completely isolated from every thing else in the switchbox when you do step 6
Don't hesitate to ask if you are still confused...I am here with you. NO PROBLEM
Ok....Based on the information you provided to me and what we have troubleshooted here in this post, I have come up with an answer for you on your fan problem:
Put everything back together the way you had it originally(fan and switchbox)
1) You have either have a faulty black wire leading to the fan(unless it goes somewhere else and you said you couldn't find it-which it probably dosen't go anywhere else anyway)
2) You will need to eliminate that 14/3 fan wire( fish a new 14/3 wire down the wall into the switchbox and also over to the fan)-basically run a new 14/3
3)If you are not capable of doing this task it may be best to hire an electrician to do it as they do this kind of work daily and quickly
4)With my experience, I highly recommend you address this problem with an electrician and DO NOT attempt to ignore it and find another way to operate this fan (nothing personal-I have just seen too much of that and it could lead to a major safety hazard for you and your family)
5)After you correct this problem you will need to puchase a fan/light combo switch in replacement of your fan switch you currently have
**With hiring the electrician to do this he may be able to use a tracer to trace that wire and find it if it is in fact going somewhere else**
Best of luck to you, and it has been a pleasure working with you on this and please do not hesitate to request me in the future as I will be glad to help you out in your future electrical questions**
GOOD LUCK TO YOU and please follow my recommendations.....Take Care