My switch controls my both top and bottom on my receptacle. I only have 1 cable coming into the box for the switch it is 14/2 or black(hot) white(nuetral) and a ground. I too want to install a fan and light combo. When I open the switch box the the ground was not connected. Now here's where it gets interesting. My father in law installed the fan combo with 4/2 and basically wired the fan in the same spot that the original wires for the receptacle are install also. When the fan is turned on the receptacle no longer is hot. When the fan is turned off the receptacle is hot but the fan is now not. Any help would be appreciated.enter image description here

  • The white is wrapped the wrong way around the screw, the black has some insulation under the screw, and the other black is backstabbed ugly. Trfecta! Also might be a white on the ground screw ... not good. Safest thing might be to turn off the breaker and call for reinforcements. – batsplatsterson Aug 16 '18 at 13:18
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    The white at your switch is not neutral, it's the switched hot running back to your receptacle! I'm guessing you have something plugged into the receptacle - unplug it and you'll find that your fan no longer works, because that device was providing neutral (not really, but sort-of) to the fan. Undo what you've done and call an electrician before you burn your house down. – brhans Aug 16 '18 at 13:26
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    There are two cables coming into the switch box. I assume there was originally only one and the second was added to power the fan. The original cable would have been to provide a switch loop for the receptacle and so there is no neutral in the switch box. – Jim Stewart Aug 16 '18 at 14:17
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    @JimStewart are you sure there are only 2 cables? This looks like a Wiremold sirface conduit starter box installed over an in-wall box. There may be a third cable and a splice lurking behind... – Harper - Reinstate Monica Aug 16 '18 at 19:58
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    Can you post a photo looking squarely into the back of the box? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 16 '18 at 22:33

I don't think you have a neutral in the switch box. The original cable for the receptacle had only a hot and a switched hot. The new cable went directly to the fan and had no neutral. Both cables had a ground and I can only assume that somehow the ground was being used as a neutral. The fan could work, but the gnd is not supposed to be carrying current.

Is the wiring Romex (NM) or is it in conduit? If in conduit you could pull another wire from the receptacle to have a neutral in the switch box, and then you would add another wire going to the fan.

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