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AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3125
Experience:  Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
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I tried to install new lighting in my ceiling fan like this

Resolved Question:

I tried to install new lighting in my ceiling fan like this guy was inquiring about... http://www.justanswer.com/electrical/4sd1h-installed-hampton-bay-edgemont-ceiling-fan-son-s.html It's the exact same ceiling fan. It had 120 going to the "led light kit" which really was of very poor quality and about as bright as a few birthday candles. It had a 24v transformer, then the circuitboard with leds. So I figured I could replace it with a 12v transformer and some of the new superbright led strip lights. But the ceiling fan got pissed at my poor electrical knowledge and stopped working. (Just hummed like it was trying to work). And the 12v transformer burnt out and blew my breaker. I realized that I am not an electrician and this fun little project isn't worth burning my house down over. So I took out the transformer, the leds, and just isolated and capped off the live and neutral wires. For a brief few hours, the ceiling fan worked! Then as it was running I heard some crackling and popping and I quickly shut it off at the switch and now it won't turn on anymore. Just hums like it's trying but can't. Is it toast? Should I just go get a new ceiling fan with a light that doesn't suck? Or try a light kit? I recently read that ceiling fans/lights use a common return neutral. Is this why my fan won't spin anymore- because the neutral is just sitting there capped off by a wire nut and electrical tape? If that's the case is there any way to connect the neutral or both neutral and live to a 'placeholder' of sorts that will return the thing to being electrically sound? I don't even care about the lights anymore. Its hot and I just want my ceiling fan back! Thanks. I know I sound like an idiot but I swear I'm just a little over-ambitious. At least I can measure voltage with a multimeter :)

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

AssuredElectrical :

Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

AssuredElectrical :

Any wires been cut or disconnected? Is the plastic connector still intact that connects the light kit?

Customer:

No. I desoldered the live and neutral wire that connected to the 24v transformer. I've since thrown away that transformer and the led light kit.

AssuredElectrical :

So, the bottom end is still intact and just the plastic connector hanging that connects to the light kit?

Customer:

But the main harness is intact. (feeds to the pull chain, switch, etc)

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, the connector on the bottom that goes to a light kit, is it only 2 wire connector?

AssuredElectrical :

Manual doesnt have a real good picture is the reason for asking.

Customer:

Well, I could take a picture of it if that would help...basically the light kit was at the end of a run of wires that stopped off at the two pull chains, and the reverse fan switch. It just had the two wires leading into transformer....hold on i'll get a pic.

AssuredElectrical :

the connector is intact you stated, so is it 2 wires?

AssuredElectrical :

blue and white?

AssuredElectrical :

Just found a picture, it is a red and black wire connector

Customer:

The main connector is intact yes..2 wires black neutral and white live

AssuredElectrical :

I just found the light kit plug, it is a red and black 2 wire connector,

AssuredElectrical :

so if it is ok and not cut, you have removed the light kit entirely?

Customer:

give me a sec and I'll send you a pic so we're on the same page

AssuredElectrical :

ok

Customer:

Full Size Image

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, that is the switch housing

Customer:

the white and black with the wire nuts led to the 24v transformer that powered the orig. light kit

AssuredElectrical :

Should be able to remount that switch housing and the fan should work

AssuredElectrical :

The light kit is separate and then plugs into the switch housing

Customer:

I did. The fan tries, but there's something wrong.

Customer:

The fan showed no signs of going out before I cut the wires to the transformer

AssuredElectrical :

Something else must have happened, the 2 wires for the light kit are not even connected for fan operation.

AssuredElectrical :

You can remove light kits and operate the fan, that is standard, so something was shorted or something during the transition it sounds.

Customer:

So It's not possible that it has something to do with this idea of a common return neutral?

Customer:

I was thinking that meant it had to be connected to something or it wouldn't be properly grounded?

AssuredElectrical :

If you look at the neutral, it is spliced at the crimp for the light, so it is still intact for the fan and operation.

AssuredElectrical :

The black wire goes to the pull switch for the light

AssuredElectrical :

Commom neutral point is back at the white crimp with the 3 wires, so it is fine and intact

AssuredElectrical :

The large wire and 2 smaller wires

AssuredElectrical :

Make sure a wire did not get loose where they all connect to the fan switch, the capacitor or the reverse switch. One wire may be loose at a connection point

Customer:

I'm pretty sure the white was live and the black was neutral. Not possible?

AssuredElectrical :

Nope, the white is neutral and black is power 120 volts

AssuredElectrical :

Put your meter on the black and white wires that are loose. See if it isnt 120 volts when you pull the chain for the light

Customer:

So that blue wire that goes into the fan switch and comes out black has to be the live one? yeah, I guess that would make sense. well I feel stupid.

AssuredElectrical :

The blue is power into the switch, the black is power out of the switch for the light to turn on

Customer:

So is there a way I can measure what voltage the fan is getting to see if that's the problem? I do have alligator clips, for safety of course

Customer:

All the youtube videos I watched "how to find the live wire" were not very helpful...

AssuredElectrical :

Yes, the loose white wire is common neutral, so one lead to it, then one lead to the BLACK wire on the ceiling fan pull chain switch should be 120 volts

AssuredElectrical :

Be careful on the switch, dont break anything, they are very fragile on wire connections

AssuredElectrical :

they get loose all the time with their push in style connections

AssuredElectrical :

wiggle it a little, the push slots have angled plates that grab the copper on the wire.

AssuredElectrical :

they are notorious for getting loose

Customer:

Ok I see what you're talking about. I'll try that later as I'm not setup for it right now. To clarify, the main harness coming out of the fan body itself has to be connected to this in order for voltage to flow, right? For example, I couldn't go flip the switch on now and test voltage in the connector on the fan itself? Or am I mistaken

AssuredElectrical :

You would only be testing voltage from the ceiling to the bottom of the fan housing.

AssuredElectrical :

Best to plug in the bottom switch housing and then test

AssuredElectrical :

the connector on the bottom of the fan that mates with the one on the switch housing can be measured. One lead to the white wire and then test the blue and black. Both blue and black should should show 120 volts.

Customer:

Ok, so if it tests 120 but the fan still doesn't work is the likely answer that I blew out something inside the fan housing? (Barring a loose wire like you mentioned I check for)

AssuredElectrical :

If you get power to the black wire on the fan switch, then the items remaining are the switch itself or that little black rectangle box which is the capacitor that controls all the fan speeds.

Customer:

Ok, I wish I'd consulted with you before I did this! ha ha.

Customer:

Hm, yeah...could be the capacitor fried...Any way to test that?

AssuredElectrical :

Fan switches are tricky, never remove any wires without documenting the wire color to the correct terminal # XXXXX the switch. They make many different types and are a pain when having to guess at wires.

Customer:

The wires going into the capacitor are kind of 'sealed in'

AssuredElectrical :

You can test a capacitor if your meter has a setting for MFD or caps on it, we have them on ours but not a standard setting on all meters

AssuredElectrical :

Yea, they are sealed inside

Customer:

Yeah, If I open up the switch I'll be careful and take pics. My meter is pretty basic, so probably not but I'll check

AssuredElectrical :

only way is to disconnect fromt the switch. AND then careful documentation must be made

AssuredElectrical :

the fan switch has L,1,2,3 for terminals and then they are made in a variety of contact closures as well. Very tough in insuring the proper one, so lots of caution

AssuredElectrical :

They can fall apart easily, we get calls all the time on them

Customer:

Are the capacitors replaceable?

AssuredElectrical :

Oh yes, those are easy. They are marked on the side with their ratings and then count the wires

AssuredElectrical :

again, note which terminal on the switch each wire is connected to

Customer:

How do you install them and get them to seal up like that?

AssuredElectrical :

The switch just puts power to the different wires on the cap, that is how you get the speeds.

AssuredElectrical :

I usually cut them and leave slack from the swicth and wire nut the new one in place.

AssuredElectrical :

Prefer to stay away from the switches as much as possible because of the different configurations

Customer:

Ok, that's something to try...hopefully its that and not something fried inside the fan. Yeah, I don't think it's the switch.

AssuredElectrical :

may just be a loose connection with all the work done, it happens and not readily seen

Customer:

So the wiring in my house is only a few years old and was done by a licensed pro...The fact that it blew the breaker once (as it blew up the 12v transformer) probably means I just had the live and neutral reversed?

Customer:

Is there any lasting damage I could have done...? Other than I might need a new ceiling fan

AssuredElectrical :

.New fan is worst case. Sounds like maybe wires got crossed and back fed to trip the breaker

Customer:

Hopefully it just took out the cap too and stopped there.

AssuredElectrical :

Humming is a sign of loose connection or bad capacitor

Customer:

The fact that there is a hum from the fan motor when I try to turn it on. Ah ok cool you answered that...

AssuredElectrical :

When you try to start it next time when you get power on, spin the blades by hand and see if it runs. Spinning th eblades is helping like a capacitor

AssuredElectrical :

be careful, dont let the blades hit you

Customer:

Ok well I hope i can save this and i'll try your suggestions carefully tonight, you've been a great help. Ok, I'll try pushing the blades too.

AssuredElectrical :

CLICK HERE, the site has anything needed for fans. They can match yours if sent to them and get the correct part easily

AssuredElectrical :

HD and other stores are not to savvy with fan caps

Customer:

Cool, thanks for that link. Yeah I was gonna go to home depot but then I came across this site. The electricians forums are not too keen on helping diy people. understandable, don't wanna be responsible for an electrical catastrophe!! I understand this better now, thanks.

AssuredElectrical :

you are welcome, glad to assist.

Customer:

Well I guess thats all i have for now? If i wanted to contact you again is there a way to directly through this site? I understand its a pay by the incident deal, that's cool. well worth the money

Customer:

And once I rate can I save the text?

AssuredElectrical :

Yes, when you log into the site, you are able to request certain experts if you wish, that is an option. We are off and on during each day, so hard to know when each of us is online.

AssuredElectrical :

Yes, this question and all our posting stays and is here for you to come back to anytime

Customer:

ok, understandable

AssuredElectrical :

should be a link on your page with "My Questions" or just bookmark this page, either way

Customer:

Great! All right well thanks again I gotta get back to work. I fix computers but not so smart with the real electrical stuff haha

Customer:

Have a great evening!

AssuredElectrical :

ok, glad to help, anytime

AssuredElectrical :

you too

AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3125
Experience: Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
AssuredElectrical and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you

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