Help please. My wife and I are trying to installing a new ceiling fan. Were only replacing the one we have for better air flow. My question is I turned off all the breakers at the breaker box but when I test the wires I still have power coming through. It's a brand new tester so I don't think it's bad. What can I do to make sure all the wires are not live so we can put up our new ceiling fan. Thanks all.
Aug 11, 2012, 05:55 PM
Betting you are using a 'sniffer' type tester - the kind that when you hold it close to a live wire it beeps and lights up? If so, then know that while they are really handy they are also prone to false indicators.
If you really want to feel safe, then get a small multimeter (one that has two contacts that will read voltage by touching the test leads to the wires). You can get a basic one for under $20. If you touch the meter to the white wire and the black, or the white and the red/blue and get no voltage, then the circuit is truly off.
Of course, you could also turn off the main breaker to the house, killing all power.
I'm betting that your power is already off to the fan circuit and you are just reading a bleed over voltage from another live circuit.
Aug 11, 2012, 11:18 PM
Yeah, but if he tripped ALL of the breakers on the panel, there wouldn't be a live circuit anywhere in the house to bleed voltage from.
I was going to suggest unplugging the short cord from the fan motor and plugging in a radio instead.
IF (big if there) there's still power to that outlet inside the fan housing, you'll hear the radio playing down where your panel is, and you can check that each breaker is tripped off, and if you find that some aren't, you can trip those breakers off one by one until the radio goes silent.
If you flip ALL the breakers on the panel off, and the radio remains on, then what we have here is an inexplicable situation. Power seems to be getting into the fan housing without going through the panel, and I have no idea how that could happen. (Unless your house has a sub-panel for the bathroom?!?!?)
If you TRUELY did trip every breaker off, and yet the fan still works, you need to call an electrician because there's something strange going on with your wiring.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nestor,
Aug 12, 2012, 09:24 AM
Jaybee that's exactly the kind of tester were using. It's going straight back to the store and were getting an another one so we can put our fan up. Thank for the info.
Aug 12, 2012, 09:48 AM
"Chirpers" are prone to false readings [mainly from say parallel Romex runs] and that can to lead to an inaccurate reading. As others have mentioned meters trump all when checking voltage.