COMMUNITY FORUM

rcpawsmail

11:44PM | 12/25/03
Member Since: 12/23/03
17 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I have a ceiling fan that also has 3 lights on it. There are two switches on my wall, one for the fan and one for the lights. When I have both on and turn off the fan, the lights go off too. Why is this? Is this a safety issue or something not to be too worried about? Been installed and used for 5 years now. Doesn't always happen either.

Lawrence

05:32PM | 12/27/03
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
You might have the neutral wire connected to the fan switch instead of the hot wire going to the fan. The switch for the fan disconnects thus the neutral for both the fan and lights instead of just cutting off the hot wire to the fan, alone. (Generally, the fan and the lights share the same neutral wire returning to the circuit breaker box, but have their own designated hot wires carrying current that ultimately comes from the circuit breaker box. Even if that current for both fan and lights at one point comes from the same hot wire, it needs to be spliced at some point to provide seperate hot wires for the fan and lights.)


This is a very dangerous wiring scheme, which should be corrected no matter what. It means that the hot wire to the fan is not switched and current is constantly running through the fan even when it is turned "off." The switch should always shut off the hot wire, not the neutral wire. If current is constantly going through the fan unit, it can seriously shock someone if they work on the fan with the switch turned off, wrongly thinking that no current is going to the fan because the switch is off.

The current should also be stopped at the switch BEFORE it runs through the fan, not after it returns from the switch, for the same reasons: you don't want someone to work on the fan with the switch "off," thinking that there is no current going to the fan because the switch is off. Even if the switch is after the appliance on the circuit, the hot wire should not be connected to the appliance directly in the appliance box. It should continue its run to the switch, be cut off there, and then connected to the hot wire of the fan AFTER it returns from the switch.

Another possibility is that they connected the hot wire for the fan to one pole/screw on the swicth, and the neutral to the other, completing the circuit in the switch instead of through the appliance. This also is a very dangerous wiring scheme for much the same reasons. Only the hot wires should be connected to the switch, and the neutral wires connected directly to the appliances/outlets. The switch then interrupts only the hot wire and truly does turn the appliance/outlet off (no voltage going through the unit) when it is switched "off."

[This message has been edited by Lawrence (edited December 27, 2003).]

joed

08:29AM | 12/29/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
527 lifetime posts
Since you said it dosn't always happen you must have a bad connection somewhere. The wires for the fan are shorting to the wires for the lights. It could be in the switch box or the fan box.
Click_to_reply_button Inspiration_banner

INSPIRATION GALLERY



Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply_choose_button

captcha
type the code from the image

Anonymous

Post_new_button or Login_button
Register

Oversize windows let the outside in, even in a cozy cottage bathroom like this one. A roller screen and wraparound shower ... Built on a rocky island in the Drina River, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia, this wooden house was cobbled together ... Large steel-framed windows flood the interior of this remodeled Michigan barn with daylight. The owners hired Northworks A... Edging formed with upside-down wine bottles is a refreshing change. Cleverly and artistically involving recycled materials... A Washington State couple called on BC&J Architects to transform their 400-square-foot boathouse into a hub for family bea... Similar to the elevated utensil concept, hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack keeps them nearby and easy... Few projects are more fun than upcycling a vintage piece in a surprising way. Outfitted with a sink and a delicately tiled... The thyme growing between these stepping stones adds a heady fragrance to strolls along this lush, low-maintenance garden ... Decoupage is an easy way to add any paper design to your switch plate, whether it is wallpaper, scrapbook paper, book page... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Reluctant to throw away any of those unidentified keys in your junk drawer? Hang them from a few chains attached to a simp... A stripped-down model, sans screened porch, starts out at $79,000. Add the porch, a heated floor for the bath, and all the... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... This garden shed has been decked out to the nines. Designer Orla Kiely created the intimate home for a flower trade show, ...
Follow_banner_a
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon
 
webapp2