Hello all and thank you in advance for your time!

Here’s the situation: new construction master bedroom. I have a ceiling fan that operates with remote, no light kit. Then i also have a set of 4 can LED lights. The wall has 2 switches. One switch is a dimmer on a three way that turns the lights on. The other provides power to the fan and is NOT on a 3 way.

I have attached white to white and black to black as per fan instructions. This leaves my red wire as an extra and is capped. The fan works correctly as well as all lights function correctly! Great!

The problem I’m having is that when the lights are switched on, the fans hanging bracket, as well as down rod are showing voltage on my voltage detector. All grounds are connected (bare wire from ceiling, ground from hanging bracket and ground from down rod)

Is this an issue? I just want to make sure I’m good here and not gonna burn the house down!

  • How much voltage and what kind of voltage detector?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 18:27
  • I’m unsure of the amount as i don’t know how to measure that. When i say detected, it’s with one of those sectors that beeps and lights up red.
    – HB011
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 18:46
  • I do have a multimeter, but I don’t know how to use it.
    – HB011
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 18:47

2 Answers 2


Non-contact voltage detectors can commonly give false-positive voltage indications from what is known as "phantom voltage". This alerts you that there may be voltage present in the circuit, but isn't a reliable way to tell which wire the voltage is on or if it's even "real" voltage.

Since the red wire is capped, you should be fine, but if you want to double check with a multi-meter, connect the black lead to a bare ground wire and then touch some non-panted areas of the mounting bracket and fan casing (screw holes are good non-painted areas to test) with the red lead. Try not to touch any bare metal with your hands while the breaker is on since you are concerned with stray voltage. You may also want to check the voltage on the red wire to make sure it is independent of the black. If you get readings of considerably less than 120v, this can also be phantom or induced voltage (like 50v or 60v, etc).

  • I can certainly try that. One question, what setting do i put the multimeter on?
    – HB011
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 19:02
  • Set the meter for A/C (alternating current) voltage detection. Some meters detect the range of voltage automatically, but if you have a 200v manual range, that is what you should select.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 19:04
  • Ok, all switches set to on. Multimeter set to AC at 200. Black on bare ground, red lead to multiple areas on fan (screws, downrod, etc)...all measuring 0.00
    – HB011
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 19:10
  • To test the red...i leave the black lead on the bare ground and place the red lead on the bare red wire?
    – HB011
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 19:11
  • You can test with the bare ground wire or the (white in the US) neutral. Using the neutral for tests might be more reliable, but I was trying to limit the amount of exposed wiring you have. Only turn the breaker on for as long as you need to test and don't touch anything.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 19:14

This also is found on the Casablanca fans in my house, at first I was worried because I detected it in the downrod and the ground wires. I think there is a discharging capacitor? in the control panel as one of the more sensitive non contacts picks it up-the other less sensitive volt detector does not, wire coming into fan is dead and breaker off-no other leads come to fan, both red to light lead and black to fan lead are off at switch and breaker. I think it is low voltage leak because found in ground wires which should trip breaker.

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