kitchen lights nightmare

Sorry for the length, but I don't know how else to explain it. If you can help, I would be very grateful.
Background:
The light bulbs on my kitchen fan kept blowing, one by one, and eventually none worked, not even those that I KNOW didn't blow. (I had tested them elsewhere, and they worked fine.) At one point I remember pulling on that thin rope that operates the light fixture, and it came right out. It appeared to me that I couldn't "reattach" the rope and so I decided to replace the switch. But before doing that I tested the power at the dimmer switch, and it appeared that the dimmer switch went out, which may have explained the "good" bulbs not working.
So, I replace the light fixture switch. It's a small black switch with two leads. I am pretty sure that I reassambled the fan/lights everything EXACTLY in the reverse order in which I disassembled it. It was pretty straight forward because all the white leads were congregated in one wire connector and all the black leads in the other wire connector. (Question: does it matter if I had reversed the connection of the two leads on the switch that I replaced?)
Then I replaced the dimmer switch (single pole) and connect the three leads coming out of the wall in the EXACT same way in which they were connected to the old dimmer switch. The lights in my kitchen worked, but the lights that lead to the basement and the garage lights DIDN'T work. They are obviously operated by different switches, but they are in the same circuit, apparently. There was no power at these other locations. I checked all the breakers, and they are fine; however, kitchen, basement and garage all use the same circuit breaker.
The leads coming out of the wall in the kitchen are all the same color, so I didn't know what's what (though I could have determined that with a volt-meter, but I wouldn't know how to interpret the results, other than there is juice or there isn't). So I tried all six combinations (i.e. three leads going to three different terminals in the switch).
PROBLEM: Depending on the combination in which I make my connections, I get (1) no lights anywhere, (2) lights only in the kitchen; or (3) lights only in the basement/garage but kitchen switch must be on.
When I remove the switch altogether, I get the same thing if I connect these three leads to each other, leaving one not connected.
I am not sure if I explained my self correctly. Thanks for any help you may be able to provide.
Regards,
Elena Sofia Ricci
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First, if you control the lights on the fan by a dimmer, you could have removed the pull chain switch altogether and just spliced those wires together. reversing the two wires on the pull chain switch would not matter. Second, you replaced the dimmer switch,(single pole) and connected the three leads the same- single pole devices have only two wires so I'm assuming the third wire is green and you attached to a ground connection. Is there a separate switch that controls the "fan" or does it just work off a pull chain switch? I've got to many questions to give you any clear answers, however, in your dimmer box you should have several wires connected together which bring the "hot" to these other places. One side of your dimmer should attach to this group of wires. Then you should have a single wire which goes to the light and should attach that to your other dimmer lead. hth, Roy

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| > Sorry for the length, but I don't know how else to explain it. If you can | > help, I would be very grateful. | > | > Background: | > | > The light bulbs on my kitchen fan kept blowing, one by one, and eventually | > none worked, not even those that I KNOW didn't blow. (I had tested them | > elsewhere, and they worked fine.) At one point I remember pulling on that | > thin rope that operates the light fixture, and it came right out. It | > appeared to me that I couldn't "reattach" the rope and so I decided to | > replace the switch. But before doing that I tested the power at the | > dimmer | > switch, and it appeared that the dimmer switch went out, which may have | > explained the "good" bulbs not working. | > | > So, I replace the light fixture switch. It's a small black switch with | > two | > leads. I am pretty sure that I reassambled the fan/lights everything | > EXACTLY in the reverse order in which I disassembled it. It was pretty | > straight forward because all the white leads were congregated in one wire | > connector and all the black leads in the other wire connector. (Question: | > does it matter if I had reversed the connection of the two leads on the | > switch that I replaced?) | > | > Then I replaced the dimmer switch (single pole) and connect the three | > leads | > coming out of the wall in the EXACT same way in which they were connected | > to | > the old dimmer switch. The lights in my kitchen worked, but the lights | > that | > lead to the basement and the garage lights DIDN'T work. They are | > obviously | > operated by different switches, but they are in the same circuit, | > apparently. There was no power at these other locations. I checked all | > the | > breakers, and they are fine; however, kitchen, basement and garage all use | > the same circuit breaker. | > | > The leads coming out of the wall in the kitchen are all the same color, so | > I | > didn't know what's what (though I could have determined that with a | > volt-meter, but I wouldn't know how to interpret the results, other than | > there is juice or there isn't). So I tried all six combinations (i.e. | > three | > leads going to three different terminals in the switch). | > | > PROBLEM: | > Depending on the combination in which I make my connections, I get (1) no | > lights anywhere, (2) lights only in the kitchen; or (3) lights only in the | > basement/garage but kitchen switch must be on. | > | > When I remove the switch altogether, I get the same thing if I connect | > these | > three leads to each other, leaving one not connected. | > | > I am not sure if I explained my self correctly. Thanks for any help you | > may | > be able to provide. | > | > Regards, | > | > Elena Sofia Ricci | > | > | > | |
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I don't think the problem is on the fan end. Where is this switch for the fan? What happens if you connect all these wires in the switchbox together?

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| > | > Sorry for the length, but I don't know how else to explain it. If you | > can | > | > help, I would be very grateful. | > | > | > | > Background: | > | > | > | > The light bulbs on my kitchen fan kept blowing, one by one, and | > eventually | > | > none worked, not even those that I KNOW didn't blow. (I had tested | > them | > | > elsewhere, and they worked fine.) At one point I remember pulling on | > that | > | > thin rope that operates the light fixture, and it came right out. It | > | > appeared to me that I couldn't "reattach" the rope and so I decided to | > | > replace the switch. But before doing that I tested the power at the | > | > dimmer | > | > switch, and it appeared that the dimmer switch went out, which may | > have | > | > explained the "good" bulbs not working. | > | > | > | > So, I replace the light fixture switch. It's a small black switch | > with | > | > two | > | > leads. I am pretty sure that I reassambled the fan/lights everything | > | > EXACTLY in the reverse order in which I disassembled it. It was | > pretty | > | > straight forward because all the white leads were congregated in one | > wire | > | > connector and all the black leads in the other wire connector. | > (Question: | > | > does it matter if I had reversed the connection of the two leads on | > the | > | > switch that I replaced?) | > | > | > | > Then I replaced the dimmer switch (single pole) and connect the three | > | > leads | > | > coming out of the wall in the EXACT same way in which they were | > connected | > | > to | > | > the old dimmer switch. The lights in my kitchen worked, but the | > lights | > | > that | > | > lead to the basement and the garage lights DIDN'T work. They are | > | > obviously | > | > operated by different switches, but they are in the same circuit, | > | > apparently. There was no power at these other locations. I checked | > all | > | > the | > | > breakers, and they are fine; however, kitchen, basement and garage all | > use | > | > the same circuit breaker. | > | > | > | > The leads coming out of the wall in the kitchen are all the same | > color, | > so | > | > I | > | > didn't know what's what (though I could have determined that with a | > | > volt-meter, but I wouldn't know how to interpret the results, other | > than | > | > there is juice or there isn't). So I tried all six combinations (i.e. | > | > three | > | > leads going to three different terminals in the switch). | > | > | > | > PROBLEM: | > | > Depending on the combination in which I make my connections, I get (1) | > no | > | > lights anywhere, (2) lights only in the kitchen; or (3) lights only in | > the | > | > basement/garage but kitchen switch must be on. | > | > | > | > When I remove the switch altogether, I get the same thing if I connect | > | > these | > | > three leads to each other, leaving one not connected. | > | > | > | > I am not sure if I explained my self correctly. Thanks for any help | > you | > | > may | > | > be able to provide. | > | > | > | > Regards, | > | > | > | > Elena Sofia Ricci | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | | > | | > | > | |
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The more you understand, the easier it gets. One of those three wires is power coming in. Another is going out to someplace else. those two must be connected together. The third wire is going to your fan lights. once you've figured out which is which you connect one wire from your dimmer to the wire going to the fan lights, and the other wire from your dimmer to the two wires that are spliced together.

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All right, I tried it and there is one wire in particular that connected to either other wire will make everything work.
However, there is nothing going to the ground terminal. Is this okay?
| > | > | > Sorry for the length, but I don't know how else to explain it. If | > you | > | > can | > | > | > help, I would be very grateful. | > | > | > | > | > | > Background: | > | > | > | > | > | > The light bulbs on my kitchen fan kept blowing, one by one, and | > | > eventually | > | > | > none worked, not even those that I KNOW didn't blow. (I had | > tested | > | > them | > | > | > elsewhere, and they worked fine.) At one point I remember pulling | > on | > | > that | > | > | > thin rope that operates the light fixture, and it came right out. | > It | > | > | > appeared to me that I couldn't "reattach" the rope and so I | > decided | > to | > | > | > replace the switch. But before doing that I tested the power at | > the | > | > | > dimmer | > | > | > switch, and it appeared that the dimmer switch went out, which may | > | > have | > | > | > explained the "good" bulbs not working. | > | > | > | > | > | > So, I replace the light fixture switch. It's a small black switch | > | > with | > | > | > two | > | > | > leads. I am pretty sure that I reassambled the fan/lights | > everything | > | > | > EXACTLY in the reverse order in which I disassembled it. It was | > | > pretty | > | > | > straight forward because all the white leads were congregated in | > one | > | > wire | > | > | > connector and all the black leads in the other wire connector. | > | > (Question: | > | > | > does it matter if I had reversed the connection of the two leads | > on | > | > the | > | > | > switch that I replaced?) | > | > | > | > | > | > Then I replaced the dimmer switch (single pole) and connect the | > three | > | > | > leads | > | > | > coming out of the wall in the EXACT same way in which they were | > | > connected | > | > | > to | > | > | > the old dimmer switch. The lights in my kitchen worked, but the | > | > lights | > | > | > that | > | > | > lead to the basement and the garage lights DIDN'T work. They are | > | > | > obviously | > | > | > operated by different switches, but they are in the same circuit, | > | > | > apparently. There was no power at these other locations. I | > checked | > | > all | > | > | > the | > | > | > breakers, and they are fine; however, kitchen, basement and garage | > all | > | > use | > | > | > the same circuit breaker. | > | > | > | > | > | > The leads coming out of the wall in the kitchen are all the same | > | > color, | > | > so | > | > | > I | > | > | > didn't know what's what (though I could have determined that with | > a | > | > | > volt-meter, but I wouldn't know how to interpret the results, | > other | > | > than | > | > | > there is juice or there isn't). So I tried all six combinations | > (i.e. | > | > | > three | > | > | > leads going to three different terminals in the switch). | > | > | > | > | > | > PROBLEM: | > | > | > Depending on the combination in which I make my connections, I get | > (1) | > | > no | > | > | > lights anywhere, (2) lights only in the kitchen; or (3) lights | > only | > in | > | > the | > | > | > basement/garage but kitchen switch must be on. | > | > | > | > | > | > When I remove the switch altogether, I get the same thing if I | > connect | > | > | > these | > | > | > three leads to each other, leaving one not connected. | > | > | > | > | > | > I am not sure if I explained my self correctly. Thanks for any | > help | > | > you | > | > | > may | > | > | > be able to provide. | > | > | > | > | > | > Regards, | > | > | > | > | > | > Elena Sofia Ricci | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | | > | > | | > | > | > | > | > | | > | | > | > | |
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If it is a metal box, the screws will ground the dimmer. Try this: connect the three wires together, then by removing one from the group, find the one that makes the fan-light go out, and only the fan-light. Then splice the other two together. Then connect the dimmer like I previously described

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Finally! It works now. The old dimmer must have been wired differently.
Thanks for your patience and your nearly-in-real-time help.
ESR
| > | > | > | > Sorry for the length, but I don't know how else to explain it. | > If | > | > you | > | > | > can | > | > | > | > help, I would be very grateful. | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > Background: | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > The light bulbs on my kitchen fan kept blowing, one by one, | > and | > | > | > eventually | > | > | > | > none worked, not even those that I KNOW didn't blow. (I had | > | > tested | > | > | > them | > | > | > | > elsewhere, and they worked fine.) At one point I remember | > pulling | > | > on | > | > | > that | > | > | > | > thin rope that operates the light fixture, and it came right | > out. | > | > It | > | > | > | > appeared to me that I couldn't "reattach" the rope and so I | > | > decided | > | > to | > | > | > | > replace the switch. But before doing that I tested the power | > at | > | > the | > | > | > | > dimmer | > | > | > | > switch, and it appeared that the dimmer switch went out, which | > may | > | > | > have | > | > | > | > explained the "good" bulbs not working. | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > So, I replace the light fixture switch. It's a small black | > switch | > | > | > with | > | > | > | > two | > | > | > | > leads. I am pretty sure that I reassambled the fan/lights | > | > everything | > | > | > | > EXACTLY in the reverse order in which I disassembled it. It | > was | > | > | > pretty | > | > | > | > straight forward because all the white leads were congregated | > in | > | > one | > | > | > wire | > | > | > | > connector and all the black leads in the other wire connector. | > | > | > (Question: | > | > | > | > does it matter if I had reversed the connection of the two | > leads | > | > on | > | > | > the | > | > | > | > switch that I replaced?) | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > Then I replaced the dimmer switch (single pole) and connect | > the | > | > three | > | > | > | > leads | > | > | > | > coming out of the wall in the EXACT same way in which they | > were | > | > | > connected | > | > | > | > to | > | > | > | > the old dimmer switch. The lights in my kitchen worked, but | > the | > | > | > lights | > | > | > | > that | > | > | > | > lead to the basement and the garage lights DIDN'T work. They | > are | > | > | > | > obviously | > | > | > | > operated by different switches, but they are in the same | > circuit, | > | > | > | > apparently. There was no power at these other locations. I | > | > checked | > | > | > all | > | > | > | > the | > | > | > | > breakers, and they are fine; however, kitchen, basement and | > garage | > | > all | > | > | > use | > | > | > | > the same circuit breaker. | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > The leads coming out of the wall in the kitchen are all the | > same | > | > | > color, | > | > | > so | > | > | > | > I | > | > | > | > didn't know what's what (though I could have determined that | > with | > | > a | > | > | > | > volt-meter, but I wouldn't know how to interpret the results, | > | > other | > | > | > than | > | > | > | > there is juice or there isn't). So I tried all six | > combinations | > | > (i.e. | > | > | > | > three | > | > | > | > leads going to three different terminals in the switch). | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > PROBLEM: | > | > | > | > Depending on the combination in which I make my connections, I | > get | > | > (1) | > | > | > no | > | > | > | > lights anywhere, (2) lights only in the kitchen; or (3) lights | > | > only | > | > in | > | > | > the | > | > | > | > basement/garage but kitchen switch must be on. | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > When I remove the switch altogether, I get the same thing if I | > | > connect | > | > | > | > these | > | > | > | > three leads to each other, leaving one not connected. | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > I am not sure if I explained my self correctly. Thanks for | > any | > | > help | > | > | > you | > | > | > | > may | > | > | > | > be able to provide. | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > Regards, | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > Elena Sofia Ricci | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | | > | > | > | | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | > | | > | > | | > | > | > | > | > | | > | | > | > | |
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My pleasure-you're hired

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