I have some 14/3 Romex coming out of the wall. It used to power ceiling fans with a light on different switches (one turned on the light, another the fan). I did some work down circuit and was looking to hook it all back up and am having trouble.

Coming out of the wall I measure 120v AC between the Red and bare copper wire and the black and bare copper wire. I do not read any voltage between the Red and white; and the black and white.

Any ideas?

Update: I did check for voltage between ground and white. There was none.

The switch for the circuit in question shares location with two other switches. All share a common black (hot) and white. Both of the other two lights work perfect.

This switch was a combo dimmer/switch. I disconnected it and hooked it up, each in turn of the red and black to the hot black. I got no movement from my ceiling fans or lights that are further down the circuit. I am 98% sure they are hooked up correctly at the junction box where I tested earlier.

This is leading me to believe that the wire between the switch box and junction box is bad. While it may be possible that the white wire for this circuit worked its way out of the common tie in for all the whites, I just don't think that is feasible based upon a visual inspection.

Would you all tend to agree?

  • 1
    Did you test for voltage across white to ground(copper)? If that shows voltage you may have a short from one of the hot lines to the neutral(white)! May 7, 2016 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


Sounds like white (neutral) isn't connected somewhere. Find it and fix it!

  • 1
    If whoever wired that circuit followed convention, the black and red wires are opposite sides of the 220 volt from your breaker panel. Do not connect that until you fix that open neutral, or you may be putting 220 volts on whatever circuit you connect that to.
    – BillDOe
    May 7, 2016 at 18:17
  • TY it is currently all disconnected.
    – Pete B.
    May 7, 2016 at 19:55
  • This is the most legitimate answer I have seen today.
    – Aloha
    May 8, 2016 at 4:23

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