problem replacing ceiling fan/light with light fixture

I'm trying to replace a ceiling fan/light fixture with just a light fixture. There are separate wall switches for the light and fan (both are also three-way). I didn't notice how the old fixture was wired when I took it down. The box has three black wires twisted together, a red wire, a single white wire, two white wires twisted together, and a bare ground wire. With my voltmeter, I couldn't find any combination of the wires that went from 0 to 120 volts when switched.
Rounding the voltages off, I got: Black-red - 0 or 15V, depending on the position of one switch black-white1 - 0 or 30 depending on the position of the other switch black-white2 - 120V always red-white1 - 0, 15, or 30V, depending on the position of the two switches red-white2 - 105 or 120V depending on the position of one switch white1-white2 - 90 or 120V depending on the position of the other switch
The new light fixture has black, red, and a bare ground. How should this be wired?
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You're only going to use 1 set of switches now, so choose the red/2white. The red being hot and the two white being neutral. Insulate all the other connections and stick them into the box. On the fixture you need to determine which wire should be the hot. Using a continuity tester, see which of the fixture wires goes to the center tongue of the socket. This should be hot. The other neutral, and I'll assume that the ground is obvious
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But I get about 105V across those two, even when it is switched off. Shouldn't it be zero?
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I did a test, and that works. Why doesn't the bulb light when there is 105V across those two when the switch is off?

The black one, as expected.
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wrote:

RBM's choice is correct, I reading & typing as you posted.
My guess it that you're using a digital meter & picking up a 'phantom' voltage ....... the bulb not lighting (an inadvertent bulb test) proves that.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

I did a test with bulbs first, and it works. Now I have it installed, working.
Yes, I am using a digital meter. I'm used to getting fluctuating things in the millivolts (for instance those I said were zero), but these were steady readings of around 105V. What causes the phantom voltage?
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wrote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stray_voltage
The entire article is bit much for an intro, scroll down to:
"Origins of stray voltages" "Coupled and induced voltages"
for the quick answer.
Additional searching on stray & phantom voltages tell you how to deal with it. Give it a try in the old posts for AHR)
The scary thing is, sometimes what appears to be a stray voltage could be a "real" voltage.
Be careful & treat all wires showing any voltage as "hot" until verified as "stray / phantom".
btw even an analog meter (one with a needle like a SImpson 230 or 240) can fool you, you can get enough current to move the meter needle but not have enough current to light a bulb.
This can be caused by a marginal connection somewhere in the circuit. YEARS ago I was fooled for a while by a corroded wire nut connection. My Simpson 230 read 120v beyond the switch but the outside lights wouldn't light. I traced the problem to a corroded wire connection inside a wire nut.
cheers Bob
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wrote:

Thanks. My wife says that there are testers you clip on and it just indicates "hot" or not. Are those prone to incorrectly indicate "hot" in those cases?
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Jan Philips wrote:

There is something called a Wiggy or solenoid meter also. I don't think they will react to false voltage. The solenoid is supposed to put a load on the circuit to eliminate the false readings. I've can't speak from personal experience though.
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Correct...
"Wiggies"... The real line voltage tester that actual electricians use...
Like a Knopp K-60 which in addition to lighting up and vibrating (when testing AC circuits) when voltage is present will even indicate what the voltage is on a rough scale... Just watch where the little bar goes to, you will be able to tell the difference between 120v, 240v, 277v, 480v and 600v circuits...
Unless you are attempting to diagnose some sort of under/over voltage issue leave the digital multi-meters in the tool box and use the same tool that a professional electrician would use... You should always test your voltage tester on a known live outlet each day you use it before trusting your life to it, once you know it activates in the presence of live voltage when the tester does not light up and vibrate then you know the circuit as it is currently configured is off...
Once you alter any connections or change the state of a switch you should retest...
The cute pen type non-contact voltage detectors are nice for quickly determining if you have shut off the correct circuit, however you should always confirm such a testers results with a contact type voltage tester before assuming that you have actually powered off a circuit before working on it...
~~ Evan
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On Sat, 25 Dec 2010 08:59:20 -0800 (PST), Evan

Thanks, I looked up solenoid voltmeter. Sometimes old technology has its advantages.
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On Fri, 24 Dec 2010 20:27:14 -0600, Dean Hoffman

"wiigies" don't lie. Not terribly accurate, but they tell you if it's 120, 250, 380, or 550 pretty accurately.
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