Changing an electrical switch to a ceiling fan/light

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  #1  
Old 09-16-05, 09:19 AM
Patrick46038
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Changing an electrical switch to a ceiling fan/light

I'm sure this is a simple procedure only not for me.
Presently the ceiling fan and light are controlled by only one on/off switch. It is wired with two black wires. There are also 2 white wires behind the switch twisted and capped together. One red wire is not stripped or connected. There is a green connector (cap) connecting two bare wires.
The switch I want to install has a fan speed control and dimmer control for the light. They slide up and down. The new switch has the following wires: 1 red, 2 yellows (instructions said to cap one of them) 1 black and 1 green. The instructions only contain a diagram that I can't follow.
Could anyone help me on this? Thank you in advance for your help.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-16-05, 09:25 AM
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It would help if you told us what the instructions say. I could guess, but it would only be a guess.

Also, check the wiring at the light and report back. You will have to make a connection there.

Finally, make sure that the switch is compatible with the fan.
 
  #3  
Old 09-16-05, 09:47 AM
Patrick46038
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Thanks for your response Racraft

The ceiling fan has been installed for 3 or 4 years and I think it is a Hunter brand.
The switch I hope to add is a Trade Master De-Hummer Fan & light control 1.6 Amp/300Watt.
The instructions say to turn the light to its brightest and the fan to its highest speed and disconnect power.Trim one yellow wire per chart below&cap it with small wire connector. Strip installed wires per chart below. connect the control's wires to installed wiring as shown using the 4 large connectors provided. then mount the control andand wall plat and restore power. My problem is I can not tell by the diagram which wire is connecting to what.
Thanks again, I hope this is enough information!
 
  #4  
Old 09-16-05, 09:56 AM
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Patrick,

Without the diagram I can't help you. I will see if I can find the diagram on-line. See if you can figure out how to scan it so that it can be viewed on-line.

Meanwhile, investigate the wiring at the fan/light. You will have to change it.
 
  #5  
Old 09-16-05, 10:52 AM
Patrick46038
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Bob Thanks again

I'm very sorry to have bothered you with this but I sure appreciate your time. I did not think I would have to check/change the wiring in the ceiling, it is perhaps 15 feet up. I thought I could just change the switch, ignorant of me!
So, that being the case I'm not going to change anything.
Thanks again,
Pat
 
  #6  
Old 09-16-05, 11:03 AM
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Patrick,

Here are my guesses.

It sounds like this room was prewired for a ceiling fan. The red wire was put in to control the light separate from the fan, but this was not used when the fan was installed. There is probably an unused red wire in the ceiling box too.

As you said, the switch has 1 red, 2 yellows, 1 black and 1 green.
  • The green wire is clearly the grounding wire, so it should be connected to the bare wires in the switch box.
  • The black wire is almost certainly the power feed. That would connect to whichever of the two black wires in the box is continuously live. Any kind of multimeter or circuit tester will allow you to figure out which one that is. Just turn the switch off and test each of the two switch screws to ground.
  • My guess is that the two yellow wires allow for this switch to be used as either a single switch, or one of a 3-way switch pair. When used as a single switch, one of the yellow wires is capped, but when used as a 3-way, both yellow wires are used. Does that seem to agree with the instructions? If so, then the yellow wire that you don't cap off probably needs to be connected to the unused red wire in the switch box. This will require that you go up to the ceiling and use the other end of that red wire there too, likely connecting it to the blue wire from the fan.
  • So that leaves the red wire from your switch which probably connects to the remaining black wire in the switch box.
Are there any kind of labels on the wires themselves, or on the diagram of the wires? For example, is one of them labeled "light"? Is one of them labeled "power"?

Does the switch have a make and model number? For example, something like Hunter 27xxx?
 
  #7  
Old 09-16-05, 11:25 AM
Patrick46038
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Thank you John

Yes, your comment about the single or 3 way switch does coincide with the instructions. The only writing is on the green wire:18AWG (uL) MTW or AWM Styles1015 or 1230 1050 600V.........it goes on. The brand is Pass & Seymour legrand or TradeMaster De-Hummer fan and light control DSDC16PLAV.
No other labels. I can't make heads or tails out of the diagram.
 
  #8  
Old 09-16-05, 11:36 AM
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Patrick,

You really should have provided the model number of the switch earlier. I did finally locate what I figured was the correct switch at the Pass&Seymour web site (and I was correct), but they do not have the wiring diagram on-line.

I agree with John's suppositions, and was going to make the same ones myself.

Regarding the red wire and the need to get at the connections in the ceiling: The fan and light are controlled separately with this new switch. With the old switch they were controlled together. Since the red wire is not connected at the switch end, it is not used in the existing setup. That means that it is either not connected at the ceiling box, or connected to the same place as the black wire. Either way, you will need to make separate connections at ceiling to the wires that provide power the fan and the light.


One caution: While John and I agree on the function of the switch wires, you really do need to make sure that we are correct. The wrong connection will either not work properly or could damage the switch. The diagram may well be hard to understand, but it is where you need to look.
 
  #9  
Old 09-16-05, 11:42 AM
Patrick46038
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Bob and John

Thank you both, you have been very helpful!
Pat
 
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