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Thread: Fan and Switch problem

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Steven77's Avatar
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    Default Fan and Switch problem

    Hi, needing some help with fan installation. I installed the fan but after installing went to turn on dimmer and now it doesn't stay on. The light will come on when I press in but goes back off. Don't know if incorrect wiring of fan might have shorted it out but no charred wires and what not in that box.

    First pics are of ceiling box. 3 white wires tied together with one white tied to end of those. Two blacks tied together and one red by itself. I tested for voltage and the blacks tied together is hot and the white neutral. Not sure what the red is for. Not going to include the ground for any of the following descriptions, they are all there. You can see the two blacks tied together in the lower right hand side on following pic.

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    The next pic is of the switch that connected the dimmer. A red and white tied together and a black wire by itself on the left side connected to dimmer in pic.

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    Here are pics of the switch on opposite side of wall from dimmer. I do know that the right switch controls power on dimmer. May also control fan. Haven't had this house long at all. The first two pics are of the right switch. It has two reds connected on top of each side and white connected to the left side at bottom. The other pic is of the left switch. It has two blacks connected on each side of top.

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    The new dimmer has black and red on left side and red and green on the right.. I would love to know where to connect this dimmer on that outlet it was on. The old one just had two black wires connected. The fan has a black, blue and white. I tied blue from fan to the two black wires that are tied together in ceiling and the black to the red in ceiling and white to whites. Didn't do a thing. my help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited by Steven77; 10-26-2012 at 11:12 AM.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member kreemoweet's Avatar
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    Call an electrician. Fuzzy photos of wires will only get you fuzzy guesses. No one can tell what a wire is or where it goes
    or where it should be connected from images like yours. If you can't figure out the proper wiring for devices by looking at
    the wiring diagrams they came with, and by determining the purpose and routing of your existing house wiring using simple
    test instruments, then you are in over your head.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Steven77's Avatar
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    If you don't have a clue it's better to step aside and let someone that knows something answer rather than hijack. Go back to eating your grits.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Steven77's Avatar
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    I have the light working by connecting the blue and black from fan to 3 hots (3 tied black wires in ceiling box) but dimmer isn't working. Guessing the red controls the dimmer?

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member Steven77's Avatar
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    By the way, the wires in switch that dimmer was connected to are all hots.

  6. #6
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    You need to have a multi-meter and the knowledge to use it in order to determine where every wire is coming from and/or going to. Until you know that, it will be almost impossible to do this properly.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; The new dimmer has black and red on left side and red and green on the right..

    Is that the way you connected the wires to it, or are those prewired to the dimmer? Don't jump on him, because your description does NOT tell us what the purpose of each wire is, and "color" is no help either. The color of the wire is what the installer had or wanted to use, but tells NOTHING about its function. About the only "constant" and even that can be installed incorrectly, is that the green "should" be a ground wire.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member Steven77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; The new dimmer has black and red on left side and red and green on the right..

    Is that the way you connected the wires to it, or are those prewired to the dimmer? Don't jump on him, because your description does NOT tell us what the purpose of each wire is, and "color" is no help either. The color of the wire is what the installer had or wanted to use, but tells NOTHING about its function. About the only "constant" and even that can be installed incorrectly, is that the green "should" be a ground wire.
    My apologies. I will do a better of job of describing when I go back through it. Gonna try to figure out what's what, diagram it and will scan and upload soon. Thanks for the replies.

  9. #9
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Can't use a dimmer on the motor. From what you say this is what is happening

  10. #10
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Honestly, I don't know what is going on, but based on these two quotes from the OP something is off.
    First pics are of ceiling box. 3 white wires tied together with one white tied to end of those. Two blacks tied together and one red by itself. I tested for voltage and the blacks tied together is hot and the white neutral. Not sure what the red is for. Not going to include the ground for any of the following descriptions, they are all there. You can see the two blacks tied together in the lower right hand side on following pic.
    The next pic is of the switch that connected the dimmer. A red and white tied together and a black wire by itself on the left side connected to dimmer in pic.
    One thing for sure, the colour of the insulation means nothing. The only thing that matters is how the conductor is being used. And to find that out you need a multi-meter and some knowledge.
    Last edited by ActionDave; 10-27-2012 at 10:30 AM. Reason: Hey! Who gave me a new avatar?!!

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member Steven77's Avatar
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    Okay, here is what I'm up against in this living room.

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    I have a multimeter and all of these wires have been tested. All of these wires are hot in both switch boxes. The only thing that isn't hot in the diagram is the neutrals running to the 3 way from the ceiling box. The light in fan works with black and blue tied to the three blacks and white tied to the three neutrals that make one in the ceiling box. It also works with the black tied to independent red wire, white to neutral and blue tied to the 3 blacks tied together.

    I am not concerned with where I turn on the fan just as long as the dimmer works and the fan works. If there is any more information needed if you can tell specifically what info I can give you I'll do my best to get it. Thanks

    Edit: At the top left hand side of diagram where I stated that, "Dimmer is not actual dimmer switch, just means outlet", I meant to say that the box labeled dimmer in diagram just means switchbox. Also, wiring travels from dimmer to 3 way to ceiling except for neutral that is shown in diagram from ceiling that travels to 3 way.
    Last edited by Steven77; 10-27-2012 at 11:20 AM.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member Steven77's Avatar
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    Edit from last post. The blue from fan only has to be tied to 3 blacks tied together (hot) for light to work. The red is not hot in ceiling. I have tested this with multi meter and it's not hot. It is hot coming from box labeled dimmer to 3 way however. So I guess red from switch to ceiling controls right switchbox in diagram? but what in the heck controls the dimmer? Confused!
    Last edited by Steven77; 10-27-2012 at 11:36 AM.

  13. #13
    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    The black in the fan is the motor, the blue is the light. If you tie them together under the same hot you cannot use the dimmer.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member Steven77's Avatar
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    I have it all working now! Will report back what I did soon. Kinda of get it but would like to see if someone can inform me how this is working exactly. @ Actiondave, I did tie the blue to the black hot in ceiling and black to red originally but didn't work. Maybe wasn't connected well, I'm not sure.

  15. #15
    DIY Junior Member Steven77's Avatar
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    Okay, I have it working but I am admittedly ignorant on the subject. I would love to increase my knowledge on the subject so if anyone can chime in it would be greatly appreciated.

    I had the black and blue from fan tied to the 3 blacks (hot) in ceiling. I switched the blue from there to the red that was by itself in ceiling box. The red runs to the box labeled 3 way on diagram. It runs to the switch on the bottom of the box. By turning off that switch it powers off the light but fan still works by pulling the chain. The box labeled dimmer does not power at all with that switch off. With that switch on I can use the dimmer.

    My confusion is with the switch located in the box labeled 3 way in diagram. This does not appear to do anything. I can turn it off but can still use dimmer and fan. What is it's purpose? I think it controls the outside proch light but am not positive because I think that bulb may be blown. I will need to test that.

    So I think one of the hots (the red wire) in the box labeled dimmer is not traveling to the box labeled 3 way. It is going directly to ceiling box unlike what I drew in daigram and this controls the dimmer? Am I correct? If so, why would they wire it this way?
    Last edited by Steven77; 10-27-2012 at 12:53 PM.

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