Wiring a new fan..

Hi..
I was helping a friend install a new ceiling fan & light recently and the old bx wire was all broken and cracked, so we decided to replace it with new wire.
In the attic, we installed a box with the 3 wires (wire from power, wire to switch, new wire to fan). We followed the same wiring that was already there, but I just realized it might be wrong. I think I connected the white from the power to the switch wire, then the return (from the switch) to the white of the fan. The black goes directly from the power to the fan.
My friend says the fan works great and the switch works, but I really believe I installed the switch on the neutral and not the hot.
What kind of problem is this? Should I hurry back over and fix this?
Thanks.
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It's potentially hazardous, especially if anybody working on that house is prone to assuming that killing the switch will kill power at the fan.
No need to _hurry_, but you do need to fix it properly and not let it be forgotten.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com said...

There is nothing wrong with setting a fixture so that the switch does not kill the power at the box. It is done all of the time. The problem is that people that don't understand wiring might zap themselves, but that's how you learn. I remember the first time I came across a box wired that way. 45 seconds and one phone call later I knew exactly what was going on.
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No, it's not done all the time. If it is, it's a hack job.

You had to call someone!? Who did you call, Tom Pendergast? That would explain the hack answer.
The NEC has never permitted switching the "neutral" or grounded conductor by itself.
Quote from NEC Section 404.2(B): Grounded conductors. "Switches or circuit breakers _shall not_ disconnect the grounded conductor of a circuit."
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thank a lot for your replies...
Ryan

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@tampabay.rr.com said...

Guess I misread what he wrote. I was assuming he was talking about sending the hot from the box to the switch and back within the same jacket. Sending the neutral to the switch is obviously not a good idea.
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You're right to a certain extent - ie: if the unswitched feed goes to the fixture first, and the switch is on a switch leg, there's still power in the fixture box when the switch is off. Note, however, properly done, there is no power on the fixture leads themselves.
_However_, the codes are quite clear that you MUST switch the hot, not the neutral.

You were lucky and/or more careful than many.
Best not to tempt fate. It's not a big effort to do it right, so, spend the time to do it right. Especially when it's someone else's house.
The fact that the home owner doesn't think it's a big deal is the warning sign that it _is_.
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Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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