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Direct current (DC) ceiling fan wiring questions..


LogicGrenade's Avatar
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07-03-14, 07:12 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Direct current (DC) ceiling fan wiring questions..

Hello all, happy 4th of July .. I was wondering if anyone out there has had any experience/knowledge/luck installing the kichler Valkyrie 52in ceiling fan. It has DC motor which is where I'm stuck. I have installed regular (AC) ceiling fans before (with and without pull chain operation; wall switch operation separated for fan and light control; ceiling fans with expensive dimmer controls, etc), but never DC motor.
So here's the scenario: I'm replacing an overhead ceiling light with the above ceiling fan. The light is controlled by two three way switches one of which is a dimmer. The circuit works perfectly but I will have to confirm at which location is the power source (S31, light or S32).
According to the manual page 15 ".. Ceiling fans with remote control systems CANNOT be operated in conjunction with any other control system EXCEPT a basic on/off wall switch, if desired.." (their caps not mine
Well I would like to have this ceiling fan hard wired/ wall switch controlled AS WELL AS using the included remote control as it allows for 6 speed settings.
Does anyone have any experience /advice with this setup? Does "BASIC" on/off wall switch include three way switches? I welcome any answers as I have already bought this and another kichler DC (Ferron) ceiling fan for another location! At least for that one it will be new wiring entirely... Thanks

 
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07-03-14, 09:19 PM   #2 (permalink)  
Wait for the pro "sparky's" to check in. It does sound to me like they are saying that regular 3 way switches would be okay, but not one with a dimmer function.


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07-03-14, 09:32 PM   #3 (permalink)  
Goldstar is correct. You can operate your fan with 2) three way switches. The dimmer would have to go.

I'm not sure if having the three way switches control the fan is really a plus. I don't know exactly how that fan works but with some you need to turn the switch on and then hit the remote control. I'm not sure if your fan/light remembers its last setting so that when you turn the switch on.... that setting will be resumed.

 
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07-04-14, 08:17 PM   #4 (permalink)  
Hello happy Independence Day! Unless youre British of course ;p
Thanks for the quick responses guys I am looking to get this done this weekend.
I will take the systematic approach starting with swapping out the dimmer s3 for standard 3way.
As far as the three way setup for fan/light control, I have found it a useful setup as I like to group mutli-room fixtures at a central "control panel" whenever possible, usually located near bedrooms or stairs.
Ideally I would have the fan speed controlled by a "hard wired" dimmer located within the room, with fan on/off from control panel. The fan light would be controlled similarly, but without the dimmer on the room s3. I don't prefer using fan remotes but that might be my experience.
My main concern is whether or not a direct current fan will allow anything other than power at ceiling box and MAYBE an s1 on/off wall switch. I've never had an issue with regular AC ceiling fans. We'll see and I will update as I go..

 
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07-04-14, 08:29 PM   #5 (permalink)  
Ideally I would have the fan speed controlled by a "hard wired" dimmer located within the room
Then you may have bought the wrong fan for your application. As far as I know you cannot control the fan speed with a hard wired "dimmer." The speed control is in the fan and must be controlled remotely.

I may have misread your opening post. You said "the light is controlled by two three way switches one of which is a dimmer." Does that mean you have two sets of three way switches for a total of four devices ? If you only have two devices how do you plan on separating the fan and light control ?

Why did you spend the money for an expensive multi speed remote controlled fan if you didn't want to use the remote ?

 
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07-05-14, 04:27 AM   #6 (permalink)  
I don't see it addressed, but where are you deriving your DC power from? Three way switches will work independently as simple on/off switches, but as mentioned the dimmer has to go.

 
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07-05-14, 01:44 PM   #7 (permalink)  
I don't see it addressed, but where are you deriving your DC power from? Three way switches will work independently as simple on/off switches, but as mentioned the dimmer has to go.

I may have misread your opening post. You said "the light is controlled by two three way switches one of which is a dimmer." Does that mean you have two sets of three way switches for a total of four devices ? If you only have two devices how do you plan on separating the fan and light control ?

For clarity: the setup is this- power begins from first three way switch in hall, then to ceiling fixture (was ceiling light), then to second three way switch in room. This allows for either ceiling fan on/off OR ceiling fan light on/off not both of course. You are correct in thinking I'd need separate s3 controls at each location for total of 4 three ways, however I'm not looking to do that.

I got this fan for the style (craftsman/industrial chic), kichler brand, and from what I had read dc motors are quieter and more efficient than their ac counterparts, not for the remote as I usually disregard the remote in preference of hard wired wall switch(es) because light control is simple on/off, and fan speed control was simply pull chain or could be controlled with three way dimmer switch.

Can I use the s3 switches to turn on/off the light (no dimmer) and use the included remote for fan speed control only? Or disregard the current three way switch setup entirely (which seems a waste) and send b/w power to fan from hall switch box and just use the included remote for light and speed control? Remember the previous light fixture worked fine so the existing wiring is 14/3 throughout.

And my question about whether anyone has had experience installing DC remote fans. my other DC fan will be new wiring so this one is a learning curve.

I haven't yet switched out the dimmer s3 for a standard s3 (other electrical to do) but I appreciate all helpful comments.

 
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07-05-14, 02:16 PM   #8 (permalink)  
The DC is derived from the AC supply using a circuit inside the fan housing. Just like some garage door openers advertise "DC direct drive motor". Wiring it won't be any different from any other fan you've installed.

Have you thought of getting a Kichler wall remote to replace one of the 3-ways?

Btw, you are using a fan rated box aren't you?


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07-06-14, 12:14 PM   #9 (permalink)  
Hey gunguy45 yes to ceiling fan rated box, I'm using Westinghouse sat-t-brace, never had problems with wobbly fans with it, especially good for plaster ceilings if you get the 2-1/8 depth box.

The kichler comes w an adapter so that you can screw the remote housing onto the wall switch box if you choose not to surface mount it somewhere else. According to the instructions, the only detail they give, or maybe their preference is to have power at the ceiling box, cap off any existing s1 or s3 or whatever wall controls you have and control the fan and light via their remote. Which it may come down to. I would then have to figure out what to do with the other threeway switch in the hall.
But before I do that I'm going to try other configurations that allow use of existing wiring.

If the kichler remote CAN be used instead of one of the three ways then perhaps the other switch can be the hall on/off control (which is fine). So if I rewire the hall s3 with its 3 wires sending power to the ceiling box just using black and white that's a simple on/off.. Question is how to wire it so that the remote will also turn on/off AND perform speed control.. Oh important fact, the included remote has NO wires coming out of it, simply a handheld unit with wall "cradle". If remote had wires out of it (fan/ light/ return then it would make sense to hardwire it.

I'm working on other electrical this weekend as I get more feedback from you guys. Thanks

 
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07-06-14, 01:07 PM   #10 (permalink)  
The remote I meant was a separate item, that actually fits in a decora(?) style face plate. Looks like it's battery powered as well though a couple of sellers listed it as 120VAC.

This is what the module in the fan looks like Kichler 370036 6 Speed DC In Wall Control | Capitol Lighting 1-800lighting.com And that is the remote I was talking about, it's available separately for around $58 from what I saw.

I don't think there is going to be a way to use separate switches for light and fan or any sort of speed control other than the remote, if I understand you right? Since the fan functions are all controlled by the electronic receiver in the housing, I would have to believe that switching the source power would reset everything to off and you would then need to use the remote anyway. Otherwise it could be a hazard if it just came back on at high speed after a power outage or some sort of electrical work. And if you cut power via switch, of course the remote won't work. So now you walk to one switch to apply power, then walk to where the remote is to control the fan. Makes no sense to me, even if the remote is mounted right near the fan, it's one extra step. Now, if you remove the three ways, replace one with the decora style remote, change wiring so fan is always hot, then mount the remote holder you have at the other switch, you'll have 2 locations (1 portable) to control all functions.

I don't see any way that you could rewire it so that the lamp could be controlled by itself without serious jury rigging.


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07-06-14, 02:11 PM   #11 (permalink)  
I'm beginning to see that as well, just by the fact that a secondary kichler switch (which is no guarantee anyway when you think about frequency control) costs as much as many of the ac fans I've put up!
Ok I'll need time to open up all the points, carefully trace the lines, etc. it's looking more like its going to be install per manufacturer ie just get power to the ceiling box and follow the steps but I'll post as I go... Now I know what I'll be doing next weekend!

 
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