Eelectrial Question

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by OWM, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

    3,220
    837
    113
    Replaced simple 2 way light switch in Hunter ceiling fan. No big deal just cut two wires from old switch making sure to join wires back to same on new switch. Screw on wire nuts and plug wiring harness back to main body of fan.Bear in mine that the wall switch that supplies power to the fan was in the off position. This was verified and re verified. As soon as I reconnected the harness the three 40watt LCD bulbs lit up for a just a millisecond. That to me should not have happen. Lights work fine now. New switch works fine. My theory is that since there appeared to be a capacitor in the area where the switch is it had just enough juice in it to light the bulbs for an instant. I do not think that would have happen with a old incandescent type bulb. I have a small wager going with my Wife that my Theory is correct. So what do you think am I somewhere near correct or am I as full of it as my wife believes?
     
    EJR914 likes this.
  2. Nemo

    Nemo Man of Myth and Legend

    12,798
    814
    113
    In my house, mine is much more often correct than I.

    Just so you don't feel too bad if you are also in error.

    Nemo
     

  3. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

    3,220
    837
    113
    I want to win one so bad though. Just one.
     
  4. Glockenator

    Glockenator Active Member

    847
    120
    43
    I believe you are probably correct, but I don't have any proof that might let you win your wager.

    I played hell once replacing a lighted 3-way switch (switch at either end of stairwell operates light in the middle), when the bulb was either a CFL or LED (I don't recall which type). The bulb would dimly flash. That drove me up the wall, so I switched one bulb for the other type. Problem solved. That was related to that type of circuit, which has some voltage always in an extra wire (for lighted switch), and also related to the capacitor type situation in one of the bulbs.
     
  5. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

    10,793
    316
    83
    Not likely a capacitor as there would be no cap in the light circuit. It was more likely a little static electricity. It wouldn't trigger an incandescent bulb, but LED or even CFL make give you a little flicker.
     
  6. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

    1,330
    162
    63
    Now to be fair to OldWoreOutMarine though, what does a capacitor do? It stores a charge to be discharged at some point. Much like a body does through static electricity. In static, the body acts as that capacitor. I'd give OWOM the win on that one.
     
  7. NTA

    NTA Well-Known Member

    7,270
    129
    63
    What would the cap do for you ? Reduce radio interference from the fan motor ?
    Not needed in the switch for anything I can think of.
     
  8. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

    3,220
    837
    113
    I agree. On Hunter fans the cap for the fan is on the same circuit in a round about way as the light switch which led to my theory.
     
  9. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

    3,220
    837
    113
    Unlike Hillary my Wife has as a result of your reply and others conceded defeat on this issue.
    However she did warn me that she would reenter the Race on other issues as need be. At least I won one.
    On a side note she indicated that Nemo seemed to be a well trained Man and she compliments his Wife.;)
     
  10. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

    10,793
    316
    83
    That cap would be in series with the fan motor to give it starting torque (a start capacitor). It definitely wouldn’t effect the light switch circuit, even with them sharing a neutral (which is what you might see on the schematic). Heck - everything in your house shares the neutral if you go all the way back to the panel.
     
  11. awanatech

    awanatech Well-Known Member

    1,330
    162
    63
    Congratulations! We take the victories, no matter how small and infrequently they come. I make no guarantees on future issues. While she applauds Nemo and especially Mrs. Nemo, my wife will likely never see this thread or many others. So I don't have to admit how often she wins or how far I have to stretch to obtain said small victories.
     
  12. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

    3,220
    837
    113
    Always good to learn something new. I had never heard of a Start Capacitor. My knowledge of electrical things is based on common sense if you don't feel comfortable messing with it don't.
     
  13. moe mensale

    moe mensale Well-Known Member

    12,595
    1,697
    113
    Savor the moment. They are few and far apart. :lol:
     
  14. Taurus92

    Taurus92 Well-Known Member

    9,458
    111
    63
    Yep, had to replace the start capacitor on my a/c compressor a couple summers ago.
     
  15. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

    10,793
    316
    83
    A long time ago I earned a degree in electronics. It doesn't get much use nowadays...
     
  16. NTA

    NTA Well-Known Member

    7,270
    129
    63
    I've installed a dozen ceiling fans in the past two decades and have yet to see any capacitor. A start or run cap would have to have a speed sensor / mechanical governor switch to connect/disconnect it before/after startup (like those big motors in an air conditioner blower motor or compressor).
    I do routinely disconnect the light bulb current limiters in the fan light kit.
     
  17. 45_Fan

    45_Fan Well-Known Member

    7,958
    42
    48
    What I've found converting from incandescent to LED is that some dimmers in the fan are current limiting devices and LEDs will be fully powered with 7.5% of the current needed for incandescents. 60W -> 4.5W is 0.55A -> 0.04A @ 110VAC. The LEDs go full brightness with very little effort.
     
  18. OWM

    OWM Well-Known Member

    3,220
    837
    113
    It looks like the one in the link below.
    https://www.amazon.com/Ketofa-Ceili...&sr=8-4&keywords=hunter+ceiling+fan+capacitor
     
  19. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

    10,793
    316
    83
    I haven't seen any centrifugal switches in ceiling fans either - I always just assumed that they were wired as permanent-split capacitor motors where the cap makes the necessary phase shift in the windings for starting torque. There are some inefficiencies with this, but negligible for small motors. However, the picture OP provided looks like a multi cap (start cap and run cap), so there would have to be some centrifugal switch to take the start cap out of the circuit once the motor was up to speed.
     
  20. NTA

    NTA Well-Known Member

    7,270
    129
    63
    Hey I learn something every day, thanks.