Adding Box for Ceiling Fan Switch

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  #1  
Old 07-25-05, 06:23 AM
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Adding Box for Ceiling Fan Switch

Hello All

I'm planning installing a ceiling fan in my family room which currently does not have a fixture in the ceiling.

In location I want to install the switch (single pole - will use pull chains on fan) there is a single light switch & box. I want to cut a opening in the plaster next to the existing box and "piggy back" or attach another single switch box for the fan control.

What's the best method and products to use to accomplish? Is this an acceptable practice?

I'm planning on running 14-2 romex from a lightly used 15a gen lighting circuit in the basement up through the plate and into the new box.

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 07-25-05, 06:46 AM
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Before you start, check the wiring in the existing switch box. How many cables and wires come into the box and how are they connected? It may or may not be possible to draw power from here.
 
  #3  
Old 07-25-05, 10:49 AM
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John - I thought of that, but I'm concerned that particular circuit is near capacity. It's a 15a gen lighting circuit that has 6 duplex recpts and 6 light fixtures.
 
  #4  
Old 07-25-05, 11:12 AM
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A fan (without a light kit) uses a very small amount of electricity. If there's a light kit, that uses much more than the fan itself.

Whether or not the circuit can handle it depends a lot on what you use those six receptacles for, and how many watts the light fixtures are.

But you should still answer my earlier question.
 
  #5  
Old 07-25-05, 11:37 AM
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John:

There's a 14-2 cable coming to the box from the duplex recpt close by. The cable(s) in the light switch box have the neutrals (white) nutted together, and the common (black) connected across the switch. The box and switch are grounded.

How would you wire in the fan, and what type of box would you use for the ceiling fan? Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 07-25-05, 12:05 PM
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So the switch box, before you have done anything to it at all, has exactly two 14/2 cables coming into it? Is that correct?

What does this existing switch control now?

Is there an accessible attic above this room?
 
  #7  
Old 07-25-05, 06:58 PM
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More info for John

John:

The switch is controlling 2 light fixtures, wired in series, over a fireplace mantle.

There is one (1) 14-2 cable coming into the box (from a near by duplex recept), and one 14-2 cable leaving the box (to the fixtures).

The neutrals (white) are wire nutted together. The grounds are nutted also, and are connected to the box and switch. The common (black) is divided by the single pole switch.

There is plenty of atic space above (ranch house) and plently of space below in the basement.
Thanks.
 
  #8  
Old 07-25-05, 08:18 PM
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So it sounds like you're in good shape. There are probably dozens of ways to do this. You said that you wanted to use a lightly loaded circuit from the basement, so I assume that means that you won't be using the circuit that the existing switch box is on (which means I didn't really need to ask you all those questions). Is you wall really lath and plaster?

You can put the new switch box anywhere you want. I see no advantage, and several disadvantages, to putting it right next to the existing switch box.

Your question is pretty general. Do you have any more specific questions? If you just want general ideas, it's probably better to pick up a book or two on home wiring. They are full of ideas.
 
  #9  
Old 07-26-05, 05:03 AM
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The house is wet plaster over gypsum board (1962).

For astetic reasons I wanted to locate the switch next to the existing.

Is there a box out there that I can simply attach to the existing switch box?

Will a double switch plate still cover properly in this application? Am I stuck removing the original single switch box and replace with a double gang box?

Is there a old work double gang box out there that I can shim/clamp/fasten behind the plaster?

I hope I'm not making a mountain out of a mole hill!

What would you do?

Thanks.
 
  #10  
Old 07-26-05, 05:26 AM
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Several companies make 2 gang old work boxes. You can find them at your local home store. Replacing the single gang with a 2 gang isn't difficult... You just need to make sure you have enough clearance, enough slack in the existing cables to insert them into the box. And don't lose the existing cables in the wall cavity! I've done several similar replacements using the Carlon "clamp" type boxes with excellent results. Be aware - these boxes take a tricky cutout!!

I'm not aware of any "add on" options that would work in your situation, however, I am not in the profession. If there are any such options, someone here will know about them...
 
  #11  
Old 07-26-05, 06:12 AM
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Would you be against one of the single gang combo switches like shown on this link? This would let you keep the single gang box. Trick will be getting the new cable to the ceiling fan to the box if you dont remove it. See the below "smart box".

http://www.leviton.com/pdfs/d-503/d-503E.pdf

Also there is the smart box if you want to remove the existing and replace with double gang or....... single gang .....if you want to remove the existing and use the combo switch on the leviton site above.

http://www.electrical-contractor.net...e/SmartBox.htm

I would consider using the existing circuit if you determine that it can take the extral load. Remember its all about the demand on the circuit. 15 amp circuit will carry 1800 watts of lighting. If everything isnt going to be turned on at the same time and the receptacles dont have any big loads plugged into them that existing circuit may be fine.
 
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