Electrical Wiring in the Home/Dead switch


I had a ceiling fan that kept burning out bulbs.  The fan was old and the problem appeared to be the light fixture.  While the new fixture was on order, the fan light tripped a breaker and after this failed to work.  I removed the old fan and there was no outlet box.  I'll fix this.  Right now there is no power at the switch.  All the breakers are fine.  With no power to this switch, it's difficult to tell what other outlets and switches are on the circuit.  I've been doing a lot of remodeling over the years and have replace most of the outlets and switches.  In checking outlets I haven't replaced, I did find two outlets wired wrong.  One had the neutral/ hot wires reversed and another had an open hot wire.  These have been fixed.  The outlet in question has two switches and I can get a current in the neutral wire of the bad switch by connecting it to the hot wire in the other switch.  I've also checked all the gfci circuits and all appear to work fine.  Any ideas?

First, there is no neutral wire in a properly wired switch "circuit."
If there is no box at the fan/light location, it was installed by "handy Andy"
God alone knows what was done.
Draw out the several locations involved, indicating cables, and number of conductors in each cable
Make a drawing of the premises and the various outlets and switches in each room.
Includes a panel directory, showing breaker size.
Test each breaker to determine what each controls, as far as possible.
Indicate location of failed ceiling fan and related switches.
Indicate how long you have lived there and how old house is.
Indicate conductor type and style.
Give any information which may indicate age of fan installation.
Are there 2 switches controlling the fan and light, or are there two switches controlling the fan/light and something else?
Photos can be useful.

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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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