How many wires does a ceiling fan use?

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-01-06, 10:30 AM
wgc
wgc is offline
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 362
How many wires does a ceiling fan use?

I'm planning to install a ceiling light fixture with a three way switch loop, and it will be on a new circuit with completely new wiring. I'm pretty confident with what I am doing for that, but ...

Another thread got me thinking that this is an ideal place for someone to put a ceiling fan. Since I am doing everything new anyway, I might as well future-proof it a little and make it compatible with a ceiling fan. I can spend a little more on the appropriate box and make sure it's fastened securely, that's easy enough. However, do some ceiling fans need more wires? I've only used fans with pull chains or remotes for the switching, but is there a reason to pull an extra cable or something for other fans? If so, how many wires would I potentially need, how should they be run through the switch loop, and can I just wirenut both ends in the boxes?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-01-06, 10:37 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
The best way to wire a ceiling box for both a fan and light is to use an extra wire between the switch and the box, so that the fan and light can be controlled separately from the switch. For a single switch location, this would mean 12-3 or 14-3 between the box and the switch.

Your wiring could get pretty complicated by trying to do the same thing with three way switches.

Before planning for this, decide if it would be necessary to control the fan from both locations, or just to control the light from both locations and the fan from one.

Also decide if power will run first to the ceiling and then to the switches, or if the power will run to the switches first.
 
  #3  
Old 06-01-06, 10:57 AM
wgc
wgc is offline
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New England
Posts: 362
are there three way switches for fans?

Are there even three way switches for fans? I realize on/off would be a standard switch, but then you would be stuck with pull chains for the speed control. If I'm not getting rid of the pull chains, I'm not sure it's worth the effort.

So, if I have power to the ceiling fixture over 14-2, 14-3 from the fixture to the first switch with one wire capped off, then 14-4 between switches with one capped off, should that handle it? Would I need 2x14-3 between switches? Those boxes are getting mighty full, it sounds like significant more work and it seems like I'd still be stuck with a pull chain. If true, I'm liking you idea of controlling the fan from one location (or assuming the future someone can buy one with a remote).
 
  #4  
Old 06-01-06, 11:02 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You would need 14-5 between the switches. One wire to carry constant hot, and then four travelers, two for each circuit. This essentially means you would need 2 runs of 14-3 between the switches.
 
  #5  
Old 06-01-06, 01:30 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Bern, NC
Posts: 1,623
We could discuss X-10 controls or remotes but to keep it simple:

A three way for the fan is not as needed as a three way for the light. Most dimming three ways only dimm from one side the other is a standard three way switch.

So, feed the first light with a #-2 wire. run a #-4 to the second switch then run a #-3 to the fan light.

# = the size of the wire based on circuit size.

The first box would be a single gang and have only the 2 wire feed and the 4 wire to the second box. The standard 3-way switch would go here. From there take two travelers one always hot and one neutral to the second box. The second box would be 2 gang and have the 3 way dimmer and fan speed control.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes