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Electrical Wiring in the Home/replacing outlets possible problem


QUESTION: I replaced an outlet in our hallway to one of the safety outlets.  I wired it exactly like the old one was wired.  After turning the power back on (I turned the whole house's power off), our ceiling fan/light doesn't work in the bedroom.  My husband (an architect) does not believe that they are on the same wiring, but the house was built in the 70s so who knows.  Everything else works fine.  Is it possible that turning the power off caused some type of short in the fan?

ANSWER: When you say "safety outlet" are you talking about a gfci, afci, or something else?

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QUESTION: It is a tamper resistant outlet.  I attached a link to the one I bought (I am pretty sure at least).

ANSWER: It is possible a wire came loose in the box where the outlet sits.

It is possible, but not probable, that turning the power off and on caused damage. But this usually only happens to a devise that is ready to quit working anyway.

And it is possible that some component of the fan circuit just happened to quit working at the same time you replaced the outlet.

Another possibility is that a gfci outlet tripped. Check your gfci outlets to see if they are tripped (press the reset button).

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: There is no gfci outlets in our house.  If the fan circuit quit working, wouldn't the light in the ceiling fan still work?

Should I just buy a new fan and try to replace it hoping that works?

I would not suggest that approach.

Most likely you have a loose wire in the box you replaced the outlet.

It is possible that the switch controlling the fan/light has quit working correctly.

To test that you can turn off the breaker, remove the two wires from the switch and put them together with a wire nut.  Turn on the breaker and if the fan turns on you know the switch needs to be replaced.

But I keep thinking your problem is in the box you replaced the outlet.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Greg Hughes


Troubleshooting electrical including appliances and HVAC.


34 years of experience.

Both college and tech schools in this field.

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