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#357046 - 10/19/11 11:48 AM Re: Electrical wiring question. Woo! [Re: BobKay]
MarkSJohnson Offline
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Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11445
Loc: Central NH
Originally Posted By: BobKay
I'd still have Solarrdad over for lunch and a couple of beers.


Do the electrical work first.
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#357049 - 10/19/11 01:15 PM Re: Electrical wiring question. Woo! [Re: MarkSJohnson]
BobKay Offline
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Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 3596
Loc: Massachusetts Badlands
Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson
Originally Posted By: BobKay
I'd still have Solarrdad over for lunch and a couple of beers.


Do the electrical work first.


Killjoy.


Oops! Gotta clarify. It's an epithet, Mark, not a suggestion nor a directive. Now if Buddy starts staring at you and saying "Killjoy," you've got a HUGE problem.
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#357050 - 10/19/11 01:40 PM Re: Electrical wiring question. Woo! [Re: BobKay]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11445
Loc: Central NH
Naaaah.

That's the cats schtick.
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#357063 - 10/19/11 05:11 PM Re: Electrical wiring question. Woo! [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
Here are the pics (he says, relentlessly keeping the thread on track...)



Another angle:



The switch has a single yellow romex going into it, with the black wire hot when the switch is off.
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#357074 - 10/19/11 08:56 PM Re: Electrical wiring question. Woo! [Re: Ken.C]
solarrdadd Offline
devotee

Registered: 05/04/10
Posts: 310
Loc: Alexandria, VA
Originally Posted By: Ken.C
Here are the pics (he says, relentlessly keeping the thread on track...)



Another angle:



The switch has a single yellow romex going into it, with the black wire hot when the switch is off.


ken, the yellow romex is 12/2 (that's why it's yellow and it's been run recently in the last couple of years that's when they changed the color coding of romex jackets; #10 would be orange)what we can't see is the color jacket of the other cable. based on what i see the black and white cable that you cannot see the sheath is the feed with 120v (black) and the white (looks more bage with the single red wire nut on it) should be the neutral. notice the back is connected to the white of the romex with the yellow sheath, that should send power down to the single pole switch and when the switch is turned on it should come back up to the light fixture with the black conductor (shown alone with a single red wire nut) the light fixture hot should connect to the black and the netural of the fixture should connect to the single white (beige looking) conductor. if this is wired correctly you should be able to turn on and off the fixture attached to this box with no problem.

questions for you:

is there a single pole switch in the switch box? a single pole switch will say "on/off" depending on it's position. it should also have two insulated wires connected to it and in some instances a bare copper ground to the ground screw.

is it a three way switch in the switch box? a three way switch will not say anything on it as it's depending on the position/condition of the other three way switch in the circuit. it should also have three insulated wires connected to it and in some instances a bare copper ground to the ground screw.

which of the above is what you have?

if you seperate the two wires that are connected with the wire nut (black & white) is either one of them hot? once seperated did you lose power in the switch?

another thing is that if you have a compelte circuit for a light fixture, i.e. a single pole switch, a light fixture with an incandescent bulb in it and properly wired conductors between them when you can test the switch to make sure it hasen't failed by putting a tester accross the two terminals of the single pole switch (on/off) and when in the on position you should read no voltage (this is a properly working switch) in the off position you should read line voltage (120v) (this is a properly working switch) if the switch is off and you go accross it with a tester and read no voltage and you notice the light won't turn off then the switch is bad, failed closed (even when you have it turned to the off position) if you have the switch turned on and you read accross the terminals with a tester and you read line voltage and you have a good working fixture and bulb then the switch is bad and you are reading an open switch (the switch has failed open)

get back to me when you can on this. i'm here to help ya buddy!

Oh yeah, pull out the switch, leave it attached to the wires and take a picture of that too!
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#357078 - 10/19/11 10:00 PM Re: Electrical wiring question. Woo! [Re: solarrdadd]
Ken.C Offline
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Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
The other Romex in the pan is a grey cable.

It is a 2 way switch with a ground screw.

I have not separated the wires on the wire nut yet, but I will try that.

I'm not sure I follow the last paragraph. I have measured the voltage on the bottom screw of the switch to the ground wire in the switchbox, and got ~120V, switch off or on. With the top screw and ground wire, I got 120V when the switch is on, but 0 when off.

Here's where I believe I made a mistake: I tried to measure the voltage between the top and bottom screws, which immediately made a rather large spark and blew the circuit breaker. I did not have anything connected to the fixture.

OTOH, I know which breaker that switch and fixture is on, now... which is unfortunately the same breaker the living room light+fan, exterior lights, utility room light, and outlet the AV equipment is plugged into. So I'll need to wait to find the right time to kill the power.

I'll get you the pic of the switch as soon as I do that, as well as the voltage test on the two connected conductors in the pan.

Thank you very much!
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#357084 - 10/19/11 10:51 PM Re: Electrical wiring question. Woo! [Re: Ken.C]
jakewash Offline
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Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10415
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
After having just finished wiring my basement, sounds ike you and SD are on the right track.
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#357087 - 10/19/11 11:06 PM Re: Electrical wiring question. Woo! [Re: Ken.C]
solarrdadd Offline
devotee

Registered: 05/04/10
Posts: 310
Loc: Alexandria, VA
Originally Posted By: Ken.C
The other Romex in the pan is a grey cable.

It is a 2 way switch with a ground screw.

I have not separated the wires on the wire nut yet, but I will try that.

I'm not sure I follow the last paragraph. I have measured the voltage on the bottom screw of the switch to the ground wire in the switchbox, and got ~120V, switch off or on. With the top screw and ground wire, I got 120V when the switch is on, but 0 when off.

Here's where I believe I made a mistake: I tried to measure the voltage between the top and bottom screws, which immediately made a rather large spark and blew the circuit breaker. I did not have anything connected to the fixture.

OTOH, I know which breaker that switch and fixture is on, now... which is unfortunately the same breaker the living room light+fan, exterior lights, utility room light, and outlet the AV equipment is plugged into. So I'll need to wait to find the right time to kill the power.

I'll get you the pic of the switch as soon as I do that, as well as the voltage test on the two connected conductors in the pan.

Thank you very much!


that means the switch works as it should and it's a single pole (not a 2 way!) with circuit wires on a switch that has 2 screws (not counting the system ground screw)

what happened when you went accross the switch it sounds like you accidentally grounded one of the meter terminals to the grounded switch causing a short circuit to ground, which trips the breaker. check the switch and the leads on your meter. the switch should show arc marks and carbon spatter from the energy released; the meter lead(s) will have a piece missing from it as it was welded onto the switch or off!

so far everything looks like it's wired ok. you simply need to put it back as you took it apart once you connect it up to your fan.

once you replace the box with a fan rated box and mount it properly to the wall here is what you should do:

based on one of your post

"Here's what I know, though. With the breakers (light switch?) off, I didn't get voltage on either loose black or white wire, either to each other or to the ground. I did get ~120V on the black/white mix; I think just to ground, but possibly to the other two wires as well. I guess I'll have to check it again. "

this means that the black wire that's connected to the white switch leg is the constant hot, this is correct and good.

after your box is mounted connect the constant hot black back to the switch leg (the yellow romex) white conductor the other black conductor from the switch will bring power to your fan light fixture and the wire from most fan kits for the light switch is blue (verify this with your fan installation instructions)
next, both your fan motor and light fixture neutrals (both should be white) get connected to that white wire that looks beige with the red wire nut on it. the fan motor should be a black conductor and connect it to the black/white wire under that wire nut. the reason for this is that the switch will turn on and off your fan light only (pull the pull chain on the fan for the light and leave the pull chain alone from then on only controlling the light with the wall switch. the fan motor is controlled by the fan speed pull chain. now you can turn the light on and off independent of the fan so on hot nights you can turn the light switch off and the fan will continue to turn. if you have a fan with a standard incandescent lamp you can use a dimmer switch to dim the lights. you cannot use a dimmer if your fan light kit has compact flourescent type lights again, read your fan kit instructions carefully.

hope this makes some sense; please keep me posted. wink
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Marantz AV7702MKII pre-amp
Emotiva XPA-5,UPA-2amps,
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Oppo 105D&93

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#357099 - 10/20/11 07:22 AM Re: Electrical wiring question. Woo! [Re: solarrdadd]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
Cool, yeah! I'll need to look at it to make total sense of what you're saying, but I think I follow. That would definitely be better than how the other fans are wired (everything to the switch), not that I'm going to fix them...

I did take chunks out of the probes, definitely.

So that makes a little more sense on why I tripped the breaker. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out why connecting two leads at the same potential would do that--it just didn't make sense! But why was I OK, intentionally touching the ground wire and one of the hot wires?
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