Wiring ceiling fan/light


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Old 07-27-09, 10:39 PM
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Wiring ceiling fan/light

I am installing (2) ceiling fans with lights on same circuit. I need to control both the fans and lights independently at (2) two locations within a room (3 way switches).

To make clearer (....I hope): Both lights on 1 circuit both fans on another circuit with (2) switches at (2) locations.

Have installed one 12-3 wire from switch location #1 to fan/light #1.
I have installed one 12-3 wire from switch location #2 to fan/light #2.
I have installed one 12-2 wire from switch #1 location to switch #2 location.


I have not installed any wiring between the (2) two light/fan locations. What other wiring do I have to install?

Thank you.
 
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Old 07-28-09, 07:24 AM
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Where does the power come in? One of the switch boxes? One of the light boxes?
 
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Old 07-28-09, 10:29 AM
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Power supply available at either switch location. I would also like to be able to control the light intensity and fan speed at one of the switch locations.

thanks for any advice.
 

Last edited by Wood3669; 07-28-09 at 10:35 AM. Reason: added comment
  #4  
Old 07-28-09, 11:54 AM
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Ok, what you have so far is absolutely convoluted. I don't know about the other guys on here, but if I came across this situation, I would start over completely. Here's what you need.

The runs...
Power into switch box 1. In switch box 1 is two 3-way switches, one for the light and one for the fan. Run two 12-3 cables from this box to the second switch box, where there are two more 3-way switches. Then run two 12-2 cables from the second switch box to the first light/fan, and two more 12-2 cables from the first light/fan to the second light/fan. Remove all other wiring.

The connections...
Switch box 1 - Splice the black from the feed cable to two pigtails and put these pigtails on the common terminals of the two 3-way switches. Put the black and red conductors from one 12-3 cable on the traveler terminals of one 3-way switch. Put the black and red conductors from the second 12-3 cable on the second 3-way switch. Splice the three white conductors together. Put ground pigtails on the switches and splice with the ground from the feed, making sure you ground the box as well, if it is metal.

Switch box 2 - Put the black and red conductors from the first 12-3 cable onto the traveler terminals of one 3-way switch. Put the black and red conductors from the second 12-3 cable on the traveler terminals of the second 3-way switch. Be sure not to mix up the conductors. Put the black conductor from the first 12-2 cable on the common terminal of the first 3-way switch. Put the black conductor from the second 12-2 cable on the common terminal of the second 3-way switch. Splice the four whites. Put ground pigtails on the switches and splice with the two grounds from the two 12-3 cables, making sure you ground the box, if it is metal.

Fan box 1 - You need to be consistent here. Pay attention to which cables you are wiring. Take the black from one of the incoming 12-2 cables (from one of the 3-way switches) and splice it with a black from one of the outgoing 12-2 cables (going to the second fan). Also include in this splice a black pigtail. Do the same for the other two 12-2 cables - the other one coming in from the second switch and the other one going to the second fan. Now you have two splices in this box with two black pigtails. These will be your switch legs. Splice one to the fan circuit and one to the light circuit in the fixture. Then splice all the whites together from the four 12-2 cables and from the fixture. Splice all the grounds, making sure you ground the box, if it is metal.

Fan Box 2 - One black will splice to the fan circuit in the fixture, and the other black will splice to the light circuit. Be sure that you are consistent from fixture to fixture. Splice the white from the 12-2 cables to the white/neutral from the fixture. Splice the grounds, making sure you ground the box, if it is metal.

If you want to dim the lights, you need a 3-way dimmer on only one end of the 3-way system. Two dimmers will not work. If you want to control the speed of the fan, you need a speed control, NOT a dimmer. But I've never put a speed control on a 3-way system, not even sure they make them.
 
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Old 07-28-09, 03:59 PM
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Thanks nickdel

Thank you Nick,
I appreciate your advice and don't mind having to start this task again from scratch . I just want the wiring correct before the inspector shows up. After reviewing a few 3 way switch wiring diagrams, I now believe that I better understand my error in (or lack of) thinking on the wire instaliation.

I should have asked for advice before I started the wire installation.

Thanks again Nick for your clear and knowledgable advice.
 
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Old 07-30-09, 11:14 AM
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take a look here on page 59

Lutron Technical Information Technical Guides >> Wallbox Lighting Controls Catalog

lutron makes a three way switch that controls both fan speed and light in a single unit- MA-LFQM. and then you put companion unit MA-ALFQ35 at other location. so you would need a MA-LFQM for each fan/light and a MA-ALFQ35 for each fan/light. and you could control fan speed and light brightness for both of them at both locations. I am in process of wiring up my fans and was thinking of using this. looks like you only need 14/2 (or 12/2 in your case) from the second switch to the fan/light unit. it has canopy that mounts in fan so I guess the switch is actually a transmitter. you can get a remote setup for this as well, but the MA-LFQM has to be replaced by a MIR-LFQMT page 63. anyone ever use this lutron unit? would love to hear input as I was debating on whether to run 14/2 or 14/3 from second switch to fan/light. I guess could run 14/3 and just not use the red for now but will have it if ever need it?
 
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Old 07-30-09, 03:05 PM
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Always wire it as if it was a regular 3-way (or 4-way) switch system, and just don't use the extra conductor. Because everything breaks down eventually. All switches go bad, all receptacles go bad, all fans go bad. All transmitters/receivers go bad. Eventually. And if you ever decide to change out the transmitter/receiver units for regular switches, and the wiring is not present, well now you have a problem. Better to put the wiring in now while doing the work so you don't have to open anything - walls, ceilings - later. An ounce of prevention, and all that. (Same reason that if you ever wire a house from scratch, you put a few extra circuits in the attic so when the walls and the ceilings are closed and painted or wallpapered and the customer says, "you know what I'd really like...," you're not screwed.) Plus, if you ever move, and you really like the units, you can take them with you and just put in regular switches for the new owners.
 
 

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