another ceiling fan light question


Old 04-10-04, 07:38 PM
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Unhappy another ceiling fan light question

I just hook up a ceiling fan light combo (hunter) to an electrical box that contained just a light fixture that was controled from a wall switch. Here's what I want. I want to have the fan operated by the pull chains (I guess this meand power running all to it all of the time) and the light operated by the wall switch. What I have at the switch is a standard single pole switch with black wires hooked to both the bottom and top wires and the whites and grounds are wire nutted together. This leaves me with both controlled by the switch and or pull chains.

I have 1 black 1 white and 1 ground in the box. I hooked the fan up with the black and blue (light) wires tied to the black from the box and the white to white and ground to ground.

Can I get what I want with what I have or do I need a second wire? I access from the attic above, so the only problem is I don't like working in cramped dark and dusty places.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 04-11-04, 01:12 AM
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You can't do what you want with what you have. Here are several options to consider:[list=1][*]You could buy an add-on remote control. I would suggest you just mount the transmitter on the wall near the entrance to the room so that you can always turn the light on when you enter.[*]Some fans come with "smart" wall switches that can send separate control signals for the fan and light on only one hot wire via a smart wall switch and a smart receiver in the fan.[*]You could replace the 14/2 between the switch and the ceiling with 14/3.[/list=1]
Old 04-12-04, 07:31 AM
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Thanks John, that's what I thought. I'd like to run a new cable.

I can do that but I'm still unsure how to wire with the fan having power all the time and being operated by the pull chains and having the light operated by the switch.

Can you point to the right connections?


Old 04-12-04, 07:41 AM
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Instead of running a new wire, consider buying the smart switch from Home Depot or Lowes. I'm not sure exactly what they are called, but basically it's just a box that mounts in the bell at the top of the fan that controls the lights and fan separately, using a common power supply. Take a look at them at the Depot, it will make more sense.

If you want to just run a new wire, I would recommend going ahead and putting in dual switches - at least that way you have the option of controlling both the fan and the lights from switches. There's not much more work involved.

What you want to do is really fairly simple, in theory - of course, running the wire is the tough part. All you need to do is run one more conductor (finding 14/1 could be difficult - so use 14/2) and connect the new conductor to one side of the switch. The other side gets your hot which should also be tied to your old black wire for the fan (since it's always hot.)

To do the same thing with 2 switches, all you would do is connect the hot to one side of both switches, the other side goes to your fan and lights. While you're at the Depot, look for a dual-control, single-gang switch (made specifically for fans.) Most of them only require one hot connection and split the power for you automatically.

However, I think your best option is the smart switch as John mentioned.

Good luck!
Old 04-12-04, 07:44 AM
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You need to replace the wire between the switch box and the ceiling box.

The current wire is a 14-2 w/ground. It has a black and a white insulated conductor and a bar ground conductor.

You need a 14-3 w/ground conductor. It will have a black, a white and ared conductor as well as a bar ground conductor.

After you remove the existing wire and run your new wire, connect it as follows:

At the switch box the incoming black wire is to be connected to the switch and to the new 14-3 black wire. Use a pigtail and a wire nut to do this.

At the switch box the 14-3 red wire is to be connected to the other terminal on the switch.

At the switch box the white wires are to be connected together with a wire nut, as are the grounds. The grounds need to also connect to the switch and to the metal box.

At the ceiling connect the white wire to the fan/light white wire. Connect the black wire to the fan hot wire. Connect the red wire to the light hot wire. Connect the ground wire to the ground wire for the light/fan and to the metal ceiling box.
Old 04-19-04, 07:53 AM
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Thanks fr the wiring info I can get this done if.

I was running a 14/3 cable this weekend and got to the point where I was going to use the existing 14/2 cable to pull the 14/3 thru the ceiling box and down thru the switch box, I removed all calbe fastners in the attic but I can't pull the cable thru the switch box. I'm sure it must be fastened to the box. Is there any tricks here or do I need to open up the wall?

Old 04-19-04, 08:22 AM
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Ignore the existing cable. It is securely stapled to the stud all along the way. Using it to pull new cable is hopeless.

So use standard fishing techniques. Which technique is right for you depends on the specifics of your site. Many books show a variety of tricks.

If that proves too difficult, fall back onto the smart switch idea.

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