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  • 2 quick wiring questions

    My ceiling fan flickers when there is a bang on the floor in the upstairs right above it. I'm thinking possibly a loose connection? Right?

    Secondly the 1 switch that controls it pops a little if not used for awhile when you go to switch it on. All the wiring is good behind it and the other switch that controls it and all good connections. Time for a new switch I say correct?
    Jtfoxman

  • #2
    I would say YES in both cases. When they manufacturer a switch they're supposed to add a little bit of lubricant to the mechanism. Sometimes this lube doesn't quite "make" it.

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    • #3
      1 more question.

      I have 4 wires total going into the box. 2 red, 2 black, 2 white and 2 grounds that I can't hook up because whoever did this before cut them. Will that matter if there is no ground?

      This is how the old one was hooked up. Reds together, black from one switch to white from the other switch. The remaining black to the black on the fan and white to the white on the fan and the blue from the fan also to the remaining black. This just doesn't sound right. Is it?

      This has worked fine and there has been no problems with it. The fan is just old and needs replacing.
      Jtfoxman

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      • #4
        from the sound of it you got two three wire cables going into the box. is the box metal or plastic? the cut grounds means there's no continuity of grounds from one cable to the next [not good] now the confusing part - two reds together ? so you must have two single pole switches or a combo, duplex switch on one common yoke. the fan load is black for the motor, white common to both light and motor and blue is for the light. one three wire white goes to the fan/light white. black of a three wire to the blue for light, I don't understand the black to the other three wire white. maybe you could use microsoft "paint" and make a diagram of it.

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        • #5
          Here is a crude drawing and a short explanation.

          The incoming black power feeds one of the switches in the 3 switch box, not sure which one. I believe it is the porch switch. All 4 whites are tied together in the 3 switch box, none go to a switch. 1 black from each switch is tied together and a black goes from each switch to its corresponding light. The fan switch has the red that is tied together with the red from the other switch.

          The single switch box all wires are connected to the switch.

          Everything works fine the way it is. All lights work off the switches and there are no issues.

          I heard that light fixtures don't need a ground but that is just what I have read and heard.

          I hope you can read and understand the drawing.
          Jtfoxman

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          • #6
            ok, I got your drawing and redrew it so I can understand it. From what I've gathered the way it shows is that you are switching the neutral to the fan/light. by rights all the neutrals should go together - PERIOD! No switching of neutrals, just the hots. I'll draw what I think you have and what it should be. your feeder is at the bottom of the three gang box - correct?

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            • #7
              The feeder is at the bottom of the 3 gang box. Is it dangerous the way it is now because whoever wired this house should be shot then. I keep on finding more and more problems with the wiring.

              Is it also possible that a ground from another circuit could run through this circuit? I have 1 outlet that no longer has a ground but it is on a different circuit than this and only this outlet. All other outlets have a ground.
              Jtfoxman

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              • #8
                wiring problems

                while it seems like a rats nest, all grounds go to a common neutral terminal. theoretically all bare, yellow/green striped, and green wires are earth ground. there is zero potential on an earth ground wire.
                When I wired switches in any box, I always routed the feed to the top of any switch, the load I always took off the bottom. Same went for three way switches - the odd colored screw always goes up top - the travelers, naturally had to come off the bottom. Neutrals are never switched. They are connected to their respective loads, wirenutted period. the hots are the only wires switched. The only way a white wire is switched is when it is taped black to indicated it is NOT a neutral. [switch loop]

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                • #9
                  Thanks Hayzee. I appreciate the time you took to make the diagram.

                  This is almost the same as the way it is but I should connect the 2 blacks coming from each switch at the fan together. The white coming from the first switch to the black and the blue off the fan and then the other white to the remaining white from the 3 gang box and tape each end. I think that is right.
                  Last edited by jtfoxman; 12-07-2009, 08:49 PM.
                  Jtfoxman

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                  • #10
                    in the first [left switch] red wire at ceiling box, splice to other red at ceiling box. splice black at ceiling box to other black at ceiling box. white wire from first box, tape it black. white wire from first box at ceiling box, tape black. connect this to the black & blue of the fan. all the other white wires together with the white on the fan.

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                    • #11
                      Seems really simple. I just have to find out which wire comes from which box in the fan. Probably just kill the power, disconnect all and turn power back on and see what has power. The one with the power should be the one coming from the 3 gang box.
                      Jtfoxman

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                      • #12
                        from the way you drew the diagram and described the circuit, the black/white feed is in the three gang box [two single pole switches and one three way.] at the other box is just one three way. the line [hot wire] is feeding three switches. the load for the fan is being taken off the single box. [just remember to tape both ends of the white wire with black. ]
                        they ought to make a three wire just for three way lighting circuits red, black, blue

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                        • #13
                          Sorry about so many questions but I like to understand everything and learn something from these moments. If I'm getting on your nerves just ignore me.

                          What is the easiest way to tell what white wire at the ceiling fan is the white wire from the single box? They both enter the box on the same side. Also do I have to do anything with the switches in either box or are they all hooked up fine?

                          Thanks for all your knowledge!
                          Jtfoxman

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                          • #14
                            do you own a volt ohm meter? that'll be the easiest way. another way is by using a small light bulb, a battery and some hook up wire. you are just looking for continuity between two places.

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                            • #15
                              Yes I have a meter to test with.

                              I can't do this till the weekend is it dangerous to keep it like this till then?
                              Jtfoxman

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