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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 6995
Experience:  Proven Professional 46 years Experience
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I have low-intermediate skills, have put in switches,

Customer Question

Hi! I have low-intermediate skills, have put in switches, outlets, lights, etc. I'm having trouble in a friend's house with a new item, ceiling fans with light kits, in two different bedrooms. First and easy room has single switch, with white, black, and red wires (and bare ground, of course). I expected to see (and would like to have) a hot wire, a switched wire, and neutral at the ceiling, but not so. All three wires appear ganged together in the switch box. Do I need to rewire the switch to get an always hot wire? It's in a three bedroom house, not sure if the bedrooms are linked.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 months ago.

Hi, I'm Mike G and I'll be assisting you. Please give me the exacting count and colors of the house wires in both the switch box and the ceiling box.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Sure! (Not counting the bare ground), coming in to the bottom of the switchbox we have one hot black and one neutral white. The white is joined directly to another white going out of the top. The hot black is attached at the switch. There is a red wire also attached at the switch and goes out of the top. There is also an unattached black wire that goes out of the top of the switchbox. At the ceiling, we have a red, a black, and a neutral white. The red becomes hot with the switch on. I'd like to have a switched wire (red) for the fan lights, and a hot wire always on for the fan. Guessing I need to hook up the black wire in the box.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have a more difficult installation in the next room that uses two three-way switches.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 months ago.

The first fan should have a speed/dimmer control. With a hot connected to the double switch you can then connect the red and black, providing seperate function control.

Give me the info on the second fan.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** boxes, be there in a min.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 months ago.

Standing by.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Coming into the bottom of the main switchbox, besides ground and neutral (also going out), we have black (hot) connected to the switch. We have two sets of wires at the top of the box. On the right, we have a dark red and an orange wire, both connected to the switch. There is also a black wire coming out of the top right which is ganged to a dark red wire coming out of the top left. The top left also has a neutral white (connected to the neutral from the bottom), and a black that is not connected to anything. Switchbox number two has a ground, a black, a dark red, and an orange, all connected to the switch - none seem to be hot.
At the ceiling, we have neutral and ground, dark red, and black. The dark red becomes hot when both switches are up.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Maybe if I connect the disconnected black wire in box one, it would give us the hot black at the ceiling we need for the ceiling fan always on, with the red for the lights (switched).
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks for your kind patience, Mike!
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 months ago.

If the feed wires are in one switch box and there is a 3 way switch it is wired as follows

1) feed hot to black screw, white connected to white.

2) the wires on the gold screws ate connected to only wires of the same colors in the ceiling and no other wires.

3) the wires on the gold acres on sw#1 need to be the same on sw#2.

4) the wire on the black screw will connect to the blue wire on the fan, for the light.

The white from sweet box#1 connects to the fan white.

5) if I understand your count there is another wire from sweet box #1. If so connect it to the fan black wire and you'll need to change sw#1 to a sweet over 3way switch. Connect the wires as directed to the 3 way and the additional wire to the gold screw on the single pole. The new device will give you seperate control of function.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks, Mike! I think we have it! Must run!
Expert:  Mike G. replied 3 months ago.

Very good, you're welcome