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AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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When I attempted to turn on my whole house fan, I heard a click

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When I attempted to turn on my whole house fan, I heard a click and then nothing. I reset all the breakers still nothing. Then I noticed that the bedroom ceiling fan and adjoining bathroom light was also not getting power. The electrical box for the 2 speed switch has three 13-2 wires coming in two of the 3 hot wires seems to control the fan the other 1 hot wire controls the ceiling fan. I know this because I energized each one separately with an extension cord which may have been stupid. desperate for answers.

AssuredElectrical :

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

AssuredElectrical :

Do you have a 2 lead voltage tester with readout?

Customer:

yes sir

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, great.

AssuredElectrical :

Now, you say you have 3- 14/2 cables in that switch box?

Customer:

yes on one the common is clipped its like that at the fan motor also

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, so, there are 3 -14/2 cables and 2 switches in the box, one for ceiling fan and one for whole house fan, is that correct?

AssuredElectrical :

We need to get the wiring confirmed, so we have to go one step at a time in this situation

Customer:

no sir itsXXXXXswitch on/off/on high and low speed

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, you also stated a ceiling fan out?

AssuredElectrical :

so what all is out and how many switches?

Customer:

but the other wire controls the light and ceiling fan,yes the ceiling fan is out

AssuredElectrical :

let me ask once again, how many items are out? and how many switches?

Customer:

ceiling fan/light, whole house fan, bathroom wall light switch

AssuredElectrical :

have you tested any receptacles to see if any are also out?

Customer:

one switch for whole house fan one sw for ceiling fan one for bathroomlight

Customer:

yes sir

AssuredElectrical :

So, all receptacles working?

Customer:

can;t find where power came from

Customer:

no receps are working

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, are any of the switches hanging out the boxes and still connected?

Customer:

yes

AssuredElectrical :

Do you have ground wires in the boxes?

Customer:

ceiling fan no, bathroom yes

Customer:

whole house yes

AssuredElectrical :

when was the house built?

Customer:

whole house fan yes

Customer:

20yrs ago

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, there should be ground wires in all boxes, maybe they are pushed in the back

Customer:

the ceiling fan has two switches one for light one for fan two blk one white no ground

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, take the meter and set for 200 ac volts, take one lead and touch the ground wire and keep it there, then one lead touch each screw on the switches. See if any screw shows power.

Customer:

ok

AssuredElectrical :

thanks

Customer:

when I checked the whole house fan switch wires I got 00.1

Customer:

nothing from the others

AssuredElectrical :

ok, thanks, XXXXX XXXXX the meter, go to a receptacle anywhere that is working and one lead in the left side and one in the right side, see what it reads

Customer:

125.2

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, thanks.

AssuredElectrical :

In the whole house fan switch box, how are the 3 blacks connected in the box? or the switch

Customer:

one blk to a red wire on switch, one to a yellow one to a blue.

AssuredElectrical :

Ok,thanks

AssuredElectrical :

how about the bedroom switches, see how all the blacks are connected in the box or to the switches? If there are reds also, those too

Customer:

there are 2 blks,1 white in the bedroom, 1 ground 1 blk, 1white for the bathroom

Customer:

no red

AssuredElectrical :

how are the blacks connected? to each other? to the switches?

Customer:

2 blk on one side of the switch

Customer:

white on other side

AssuredElectrical :

this switch is for what?

Customer:

1 white 1blk 1 ground for bathroom

Customer:

for ceiling fan and light

AssuredElectrical :

ok, if the bedroom switch has 3 wires on one switch, what is on the other one?

Customer:

sorry its a double switch

AssuredElectrical :

ok, got it now, thanks

AssuredElectrical :

Do you know which circuit breaker controls those items?

Customer:

I have a circuit breaker Identifier but still could not find the breaker

AssuredElectrical :

normal identifiers have to have power, you dont have power on those items

Customer:

I even checked power to every breaker

Customer:

that makes sense

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, all those switches receive power from another location, they only have power into the box to the items the switches operate. They do not feed any power out.

AssuredElectrical :

What that means, is they all have a point where they connect to other cables.

AssuredElectrical :

either in a receptacle or a light box

Customer:

ok

AssuredElectrical :

now, you can turn on the bathroom light switch and then take a table lamp or drill or something, then plug it into a receptacle close by, then jiggle it to see if the bath light comes on

AssuredElectrical :

that is one way a loose connection shows up if it is in a receptacle

AssuredElectrical :

receptacles have power in and then power out, so it can still work but not send power to the next location

AssuredElectrical :

Checking connections in light boxes is more difficult, as you have to remove the light to get to the wires for testing. Somewhere your black wire is loose to all those items, so there is a wire nut with several black wires in it, and one is not making connection at this time

AssuredElectrical :

Now, you may be able to find that cable going down to the whole house fan switch and follow it in the attic to see where it goes,

AssuredElectrical :

Is the bedroom and bath next to each other?

Customer:

yes

AssuredElectrical :

ok, hall light is working?

Customer:

yes and the bathroom heater and fan is also

AssuredElectrical :

first place I would check is the breakers, but you did that correct? All had 120 volts?

Customer:

yes all have 120 volts I followed the wires they go frm the housefan to the closet light to the ceiling fan to the bathroom its crazy

AssuredElectrical :

Ok, I would go to the closet light, it seems that is the common point. There will be several cables in the box probably and it will have 3 or 4 black wires connected together with a wire nut. Undo that connection and redo it and make sure there is good copper to copper before applying the wire nut back.

Customer:

I will check for a loose black wire in all those places I guess thats all I have left. Thank You for your patience and expert advice

AssuredElectrical :

power does that, goes from point to point, so the fan gets it power from the closet light box, then the bedroom does too and the bath is sounds from your description

Customer:

thanks

AssuredElectrical :

Check and it and if the problem is not there come back and we can try to find the next logical point

Customer:

ok

AssuredElectrical :

Look good at the black wires and be careful because if the closet light works, there is power, just no getting out to everything else

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