**DIMMER SWITCH trouble ** please help!!!


Old 06-09-07, 05:21 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2
Exclamation **DIMMER SWITCH trouble ** please help!!!

Alright, Im not very savvy in the electrical field and I've ran into a problem. I have a rack mount cooling fan used for cooling server cases, plugs into standard 120v 3 prong plug in every house. Im trying to use a dimmer switch to control fan speed becasue it does not have a control on the unit. I purchased a dimmer switch and there are 2 black wires and a ground wire.

I read the instructions and they are not helpful becasue I'm not wiring it to my wallpate or anything. So my question is how would i wire this up to the power cord on the fan? Like i said before, i have just a basic knowledge of electrical systems. any help would be appreciated!!
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Old 06-09-07, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You are NOT allowed to use a dimmer switch for receptacles.

If you did use this dimmer switch for a fan, you would burn out the fan.

Find some other way to slow down the fan.
Old 06-09-07, 05:30 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2
Wow thank you for the fast response! I did not know it would burn up the fan so good thing you told me that, thanks.

Do you have any suggestions for calming the beast of a fan?
Old 06-09-07, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 1,338
The Big Box will have a selection of fan speed controls. Some are infinite, some have three settings, and so on. Carefully read the directions; for example some controls may tell you that you must not operate the control if there is no load connected, as that may burn out the control.

You should check with the fan mfgr. to make sure it will accept this type of control. I realize you're probably doing this on the cheap, but a thermostatically-controlled array or ganged arrangement would probably be your best option.

You can direct-wire the fan to the control. Although this would probably void your fan warranty, it is the best way to ensure that no one plugs anything such as a server into the controlled outlet.

You can also do whatever you are crazy enough to consider if the wiring is not permanent, if you don't care about getting sued, or having your insurance company drop you. That is, you don't make any changes to the house wiring. You make a gizmo that only plugs in to the house wiring.

So, if you feel lucky, you could buy a good heavy (12-14 AWG) extension cord, and cut it where you want to place the fan controller. Get a suitably large junction or handybox with space for your fan controller and all of your wiring terminations. Get the proper grommeted fittings to run cable into your box. Get some wire nuts.

Ground everything metal: Both greens in the extension cord need to be bonded to the box (if metal) and the green wire on the fan control.

Wire nut together the white wires from both halves of the extension cord.

Connect the black wire from the plug side of the cord to the IN wire or terminal on the fan controller. To the OUT wire on the fan control, connect the black wire from the outlet side of the extension cord. Now it's all over but the fireworks. Enjoy.

Last edited by ArgMeMatey; 06-09-07 at 08:54 PM. Reason: spelling error

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