Electrical Dunce need help

brianroberts2526October 11, 2010

Ok, so our former junk room that has never seen use is getting turned into a nursery. We bought a new fan, the one there did not work. So I took the old fan down and what I am looking at is this.

4 wires coming together, when I say wires I mean the 12 gauge wire with the black/white/ground.

3 of the white were connected with a pigtail which was connected to the fan.

3 of the black and one of the white were connected and not connected to the fan.

The grounds were connected and not connected to the fan.

And one lone black was connected to the fan.

I'm a moron when it comes to electrical, but this seems wrong. And I am stumped as to what the correct way to install the fan is.

I have a multimeter. Of the 4 12 gauge wires, only one is giving me a reading. And, it gives the reading regardless of whether the lightswitch is on or not.

Thanks for any help.

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ontariojer

It's not wrong. Hopefully you marked all the wires before you took them apart, otherwise if you are an electrical dunce, you may need an electrician.

If you look you should see that the white that is maretted to the blacks is the same cable as the lone black, yes? You took a lone black and a group of white off the old fan. put them back on the way they came off.

The white with the blacks is feeding down to a switch and the power is coming back on the black. This is called a switch loop. Very common.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 8:27PM
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pharkus

Better yet, attach the BLACK wire from the fan to the GROUP-O-BLACKS in the wirenut, and the BLUE wire from the fan to the single black wire. Now the switch controls the light part of the fan, but not the fan itself. If you've got the fan on for circulation, you can turn the light off when you leave the room and the fan still stays on.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 10:28PM
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ontariojer

Of course, he didn't say fan WITH light, and he is a dunce(electrically) so let's not get crazy here! Simple answers for simple questions I say.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2010 at 11:01PM
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pharkus

I tried to explain that one as simply as I could.

I concede, however, that I am making a non-guaranteed assumption: that his fan includes a light. I am guilty of making this assumption since it's been approximately three metric eons since I've encountered one that didn't.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 12:54AM
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brianroberts2526

Yes light and fan together.
I did separate them, all a little corroded, wanted to see what everything was.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 6:38AM
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ontariojer

It is as hard to find fans sans lights as it is to find tasteful fan/light combos! I however have several light free fans in my home. Let the fans free I say! Ugly lights must go!

Has anyone else noticed that it is rarely build quality that improves(much) with expensive fixtures, but design! I know I am always disappointed when someone says "I paid $500 for a top QUALITY sconce, what do you think?"

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 8:30AM
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pharkus

I've been having that quality-vs-decoration issue with everything, not just fixtures. It applies to computers and (especially) audio/video equipment as well. Some of the most expensive stuff out there looks fancy but is really crap.

brianroberts2526, you've got the type of fan I was expecting. What about the wires in the ceiling? Can you manage to put them back together exactly the way they were? It was already correct, it needs to be put back - and it matters which one is which. If you get them wrong it definitely won't work and may damage something.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 3:29PM
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brianroberts2526

Ya they are all separated now, cleaned them up to see what was what. Just assumed it was wrong, since the fan I took off wasn't grounded and the prior owner has done shoddy electric work in other places.

I don't know if this helps. But, of the 4 one is giving me a reading and of the 3 outlets in the room only one now is doing the same (don't know if they all worked prior).

So ma I right in assuming, the one giving me the reading is coming from that outlet? And that the other 3 coming into the fan box are from the other 2 outlets and the 1 wall switch?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 4:28PM
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brianroberts2526

Hmm. A little confusing, the one outlet that works still works with the breaker turned off.

Anyways. I do know which single black wire was connected to the fan, but I'm not entirely sure which white one was connected with the other black ones, not connected to the fan.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 5:09PM
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hendricus

If you are sure of the black one to the fan, then, the white wire in the same cable goes with the other blacks.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 5:14PM
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brianroberts2526

It worked. And this time it's grounded, lol.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 7:18PM
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