Help with Ceiling fan light wiring

Thread Starter

JayMB

Joined Jan 23, 2021
3
Hi there,
New to the forum and I hope that someone can help me. I have two outdoor ceiling fans with both fans controlled by one switch and both lights controlled by another switch. Both lights used to work but the light closer to the switch stopped working while the light further away still does (both fans still work). I eliminated the pull chain on both lights hoping that the pull switch on the near light was just bad and I have a switch anyway but this did not help. In the non functioning light, there is a white wire coming down from the fan and into the box for the light and a blue wire coming down and into the box. With power on, the white/blue Voltage is 120V but as soon as I hook it up to a bulb, it drops to roughly 20V and the bulb does not light. I have tried this with multiple bulbs. Would very much appreciate any guidance. Thanks, Jay
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
5,934
With power on, the white/blue Voltage is 120V but as soon as I hook it up to a bulb, it drops to roughly 20V and the bulb does not light. I have tried this with multiple bulbs. Would very much appreciate any guidance. Thanks, Jay
With that symptom I would be looking for a loose or faulty connection where the line runs to the malfunctioning light. This depends on how it was wired originally. The white is normally neutral and in your case the blue would be hot and switched. Measuring with a meter you see the 120 VAC come and go when switched but when a load is applied (a meter is not a load) you see the voltage drop. That normally would point to a faulty connection between the source (switch) and load (lamp). If done in the US to NEC code standards any and all junction points need to be in an accessible work box. Look for any loose connections possibly using wire nuts.

Ron
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,405
It may even be in the ceiling box the fan is hung from. Those and the switch box on the wall. Kill the circuit, check to make sure the power is off, open the boxes, remove any wire nuts and check the connections, replace them tightly and tape if needed. Also, on the light switch body, a lot of switches and receptacles use "stabs" where the wire is stripped and "stabbed" into the side or back of the body instead of being under a screw. I don't like stabs and always use the screw terminals with the wire ringed around the screw. Make sure the screws on the body are tight. The fans and their lights SHOULD be on the same circuit so if one works the fault should be past the switch. Did you check the voltage inside the bulb socket? Could be a failed socket also. They do get very hot and can fail.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
5,934
Also, on the light switch body, a lot of switches and receptacles use "stabs" where the wire is stripped and "stabbed" into the side or back of the body instead of being under a screw.
I absolutely hated those things! Good cause for problems like the symptomsdescribed.

Ron
 

sghioto

Joined Dec 31, 2017
2,363
All newer ceiling fans with light fixtures have a circuit that prevents installing bulbs that are too high in wattage. From your description it's either the bulbs or that circuit module is defective.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,405
Last ceiling fans when I went looking for them didn't even have the standard bulb socket. They had a tiny socket like the old screw in Christmas tree bulbs. For which they want both arms and a leg for bulbs to put in em...
 

Thread Starter

JayMB

Joined Jan 23, 2021
3
Thanks so much guys. I will follow your guidance this week (not today as it is raining) and will report back here. I really appreciate your insights and welcome any additional thoughts. I assume that the lights should be wired in parallel coming from the main switch?
Jay
 

Thread Starter

JayMB

Joined Jan 23, 2021
3
Hi All,
Finally got around to doing additional work. The issue was in the wattage limiter. Once I took it out of the circuit, all was good.
Thanks so much for your input.
Jay
 
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