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Power at Ceiling Fan reading as 30 volts instead of 120 volts
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Power at Ceiling Fan reading as 30 volts instead of 120 volts

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Power at Ceiling Fan reading as 30 volts instead of 120 volts
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Thread: Power at Ceiling Fan reading as 30 volts instead of 120 volts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    6

    Default Power at Ceiling Fan reading as 30 volts instead of 120 volts

    Hello,
    My ceiling fan and light have been installed for a couple years and the fan and light both stopped working recently. It uses a wireless remote so the original wall switch was removed and wired together. When I pull down the fan and measured the voltage coming out of the ceiling its showing only 30 volts. I pulled the cover plate off the wall where the old switch used to be and checked the voltage here and its showing 120 volts. I have checked Hot to Neutral and Hot to Ground. Same 30 volts at both. Any ideas?
    I read on another forum that someone had similar issues and it was a loose wire on one of the other outlets in the room. I pulled all the outlets out and verified the wires were tight.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Welland Ontario
    Posts
    398

    Default

    I would expect the switch box cable to go direct the fan box, so the switch box would be where I am looking.
    Are you measuring the input to the remote? Could be a remote issue.
    Operation Overlord.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
    I would expect the switch box cable to go direct the fan box, so the switch box would be where I am looking.
    Are you measuring the input to the remote? Could be a remote issue.
    I am measuring at the ceiling before the remote receiver. Actually disconnected the fan. The switch box has no switch since this is a wireless remote and the black wires are connected together and the white wires are connected together.

    At the switch box, I connected the white and ground together and checked for continuity at the fan. My meter generates a tone as expected.
    I disconnected those and connected the white and the ground at the switch box. When I check for continuity at the fan, I do not get a tone this time. I disconnected and reconnected at the switch box but could not get it to show continuity.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Welland Ontario
    Posts
    398

    Default

    Your test does not make sense. You connect the white and ground at the switch and it test connected at the fan. Then you did the same thing again it tests not connected?

    What if you connect the white and black at the switch box. Do you get continuity at the fan?
    Operation Overlord.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisb View Post
    Your test does not make sense. You connect the white and ground at the switch and it test connected at the fan. Then you did the same thing again it tests not connected?

    What if you connect the white and black at the switch box. Do you get continuity at the fan?

    Apologies. The first test was connecting the white and the ground. The second test was the black and the ground.
    The white and ground showed continuity.
    The black and the ground showed no continuity.
    Later I connected the black and white (again at the switch box) and checked for continuity at the fan. No continuity.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Welland Ontario
    Posts
    398

    Default

    Open black as suspected. If you can't find a junction box in between then you have critters chewing the wires.
    Operation Overlord.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    6

    Default

    It became more complicated this morning. I pulled all the wires out of the switch box all the way to find that the cable going to the fan is a 3 wire with the red capped off. I then pulled the box out of the ceiling and its only a 2 wire. I have pictures of when the house was being built, but all I can see in the pictures is the two cables in the switch box (1 two wire, 1 three wire) both go down into the basement (no idea why). I traced the 3 wire across the basement ceiling where it then goes back up one of the outside walls.
    Net is at some point it goes from 3 wire to 2 wire and there are no exposed junction boxes. I am stumped.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    6

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    Ok folks, stupid me figured it out. On the other side of the room there is another switch and that's there the 3 wire cable was running. Someone turned this switch off. To be honest I don't recall it controlling this fixture.

    While checking this switch box I found two more potential issues:
    1) This one is definitely a problem. There are three switches in the box. When I pulled them out to check the wires, I see a spark back in the back of the box. Turned off the power and found the white wire was cut through 90% of the way and as soon as I grabbed it, the wire broke into two pieces. So if nothing else, this whole adventure may have saved me a fire in the future.
    2) In this switch box, there are three different circuits running. One to the fan, One to a light in the room next to it and one to a light at the top of the stairs in front of the switch box. I noticed that the electrician tied all the ground wires together. Can you have the ground wires for different circuits connected together?

    Thanks for all your support on the first issue and sorry to waste your time.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Welland Ontario
    Posts
    398

    Default

    Not a waste of time.

    Grounds from different circuits are required to be tied together when they come together in junction box.
    Operation Overlord.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
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    Default

    Thanks Chris and everyone else.

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