Ceiling Fan w/ Lights and Power Question

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  #1  
Old 02-28-04, 02:57 PM
crossedeyes
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Ceiling Fan w/ Lights and Power Question

I have two questions. One is power related. One is wiring related. I have two bedrooms where Im installing ceiling fan with lights. They each have a light switch controlling an outlet. Id like to make the outlets unswitched and run the fan/lights from the switch. To change the fan speed Ill use the pull chain.

Question #1 Power
Both rooms are running off the same 15 AMP circuit. One room has 5 outlets and the other has 4. Do I need to run another circuit or will I be fine adding the fans/lights?

Question #2 Wiring
Each room seems to be wired the samewhat do I need to change to achieve unswitched outlets and move the switch to the fan?

A. SWITCH Box
14-2 from the bottom, 14-3 going up through the attic and down to the outlet
WHITE wires connected with WIRENUT
BLACK wires connected with WIRENUT pigtail coming off to the top of the switch
RED wire connected to the bottom of the switch
Grounds to each other

B. OUTLET (Top=unswitched Bottom = switched)
14-3 from the top and 14-2 out the other side
WHITE wires connected to the outlet left side
BLACK wires connected with WIRENUT pigtail coming off to the top right of outlet
RED wire connected to the bottom right of outlet
Grounds to each other

Thanks in advance!
Chad
 
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  #2  
Old 02-28-04, 03:20 PM
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If the two bedrooms are all that is on the circuit you will probably be fine using this circuit for the ceiling fans.

Do the ceiling fans have separate input wires for the fan and for the light? If so, I recommend switching the light but leaving the fan always powered. This way you can turn the light off at the switch and leave the fan running. However, if there are pull chains for both the light and the fan then you can use the pull chains for that purpose.

In the attic you will need to tap into the 14-3 line. I suggest that you cut the wire so that there is enough wire from the switch end to reach the junction box you will add for the ceiling fan. Make sure that you use a ceiling box made for a ceiling fan.

Add a second junction box where the other end of the 14-3 wire reaches. You will need a short piece of 14-2 to go from the ceiling fan box to this new junction box. You may want to use 14-3 for this short connection to keep your options open. This second junction box cannot be buried under insulation, it must be visible and accessible.

At the ceiling fan connect the ground wires together and also to the metal junction box. Connect all the white wires together with a wire nut. Connect the red wire from the switch to the hot wire for the light. Possibly also to the hot wire for the fan if you want the fan switched. If you want the fan always powered then connect the fan to the black wire from the switch. Also connect the new black wire which goes to the new junction box to the black wire from the switch. If you use 14-3 for the short piece of wire to the new box then connect the red wire to the red wire from the switch.

At the new junction box connect the wires as ground to ground (and to the box if it is metal), white to white and then either black to both black and red or black to black and red to red, depending if 14-2 or 14-3.

If you follow my directions then you will have what you want. The outlet will be switched if you used 14-3, or will be always on if you used 14-2. To make the outlet always on then you can make changes at the junction box in the attic or at the outlet.

Let me know if this makes sense to you, or if you have questions.
 
  #3  
Old 02-28-04, 07:52 PM
crossedeyes
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Thanks! That sounds a lot easier than I was expecting. I'll be trying it this next week and will let you know how it goes.
 
  #4  
Old 02-29-04, 05:23 AM
crossedeyes
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One question:

Why does the second junction box need to be "visible and accessible" if you can make necessary modifications at the outlet? Is that to meet code or something?
 
  #5  
Old 02-29-04, 06:12 AM
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Code requires that all splices in wires be in junction boxes. This means you cannot simply connect the wires together and leave them in a wall or in the attic, etc.

Code requires that all junction boxes be permanently accessible. This means they cannot be hidden by drywall, or buried under insulation.

Boxes in walls need simply a blank cover on them. Boxes in attics just need to be above the insulation. If necessary, attach a small piece of 2 x 4 to one of the joists and attach the junction box to that piece of 2 x 4. Somone should be able to see the junction box, not have to hunt for it.

And in case you are wondering, the junction boxes for the ceiling fans can be under insulation, they are accessible from the room below.
 
  #6  
Old 02-29-04, 09:48 PM
crossedeyes
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OK, I've got the fans with lights up but my switch doesn't work. The outlet is now unswitched but so is the ceiling fan. I can turn the fan on/off with pull chain and I can turn the lights on/off with pull chain, but the light switch doesn't affect anything (outlet nor fan nor light).

I went with the 14-3 between the ceiling fan junction and the new junction box. At the new junction box, I connected grounds to each other, whites to each other, and the two reds and two blacks (all four) together so the outlet would be unswitched.

At the ceiling fan I connected the grounds, to each other, the two whites from the 14-3s along with the ceiling fan white to each other, the blacks from the 14-3s to each other, and the reds from the 14-3s along with the black(light hot) and blue(fan hot) (all four) together. I expected to be able to use the switch for the fan & light and use the pull chains to turn one or the other off.

Where did I go wrong?
 
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Old 02-29-04, 10:17 PM
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I can't quite get my arms around the whole picture, but here's my thought. At the junction box, the black wire is unswitched power and the red wire is switched power. However, you connected them together. Whenever you connect a switched wire to an unswitched wire, the result is always unswitched.

The red wire to the ceiling cannot be connected to the unswitched black wires.
 
  #8  
Old 02-29-04, 10:18 PM
jlbos83
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The reds are switched, the blacks unswitched. When you tied them together, you eliminated the switch, effectively. You want the black from the switch tied to whatever you want unswitched, the red to whatever you want switched.
 
  #9  
Old 03-01-04, 07:04 AM
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At the ceiling box separate the reds from the blacks.

If you want the light switched, connect it to the red wires. If you want it always on, connect it to the black wires.

If you want the fan switched, connect it to the red wires. If you want it always on, connect it to the black wires.
 
  #10  
Old 03-01-04, 09:32 PM
crossedeyes
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Thanks everyone! I'm done and the fans work great! The outlet is switched, but I'm actually liking that now anyway.

I appreciate all the help.
Chad
 
  #11  
Old 03-02-04, 07:31 AM
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Glad that it works.

If you want the outlet to be always on you can change it at the outlet, at the ceiling box, or at the new junction box.
 
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