Dimmer Switch

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  #1  
Old 01-19-11, 08:50 PM
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Dimmer Switch

I'm sure this is simple but googling didn't fully answer my question...

I want to replace an old dimmer switch (clicks to 3 different positions) that controls a ceiling fan. I would also like to add a light kit to this fan in the near future.

When I buy the dimmer switch, does it need to be for both a light and fan or are they all the same? I was a bit confused as to which type to buy when I looked at the store earlier today. Thanks--
 
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  #2  
Old 01-19-11, 09:38 PM
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You would need a dimmer for the light and a speed control for the fan. If your fan is not wired for this you may have to install a wireless control unit.
 
  #3  
Old 01-20-11, 05:33 AM
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Ok, I removed the old switch.

4 neutrals were taped off and not being used; 2 hots of course went into the dimmer. One hot going into the dimmer was spliced with 2 others near the back of the box.

Does it sound like I can install both a control and switch (are they the same unit)?

Thanks.
 

Last edited by JFS321; 01-20-11 at 06:58 AM. Reason: Dumb one
  #4  
Old 01-20-11, 08:58 AM
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4 neutrals were taped off and not being used;
If they were taped together they were being used. That is the junction that provides the neutrals for the loads.

2 hots of course went into the dimmer. One hot going into the dimmer was spliced with 2 others near the back of the box.
If all switches are in use and there is not an individual wire, probably red, capped off then no. You would need to change the cable to the fan to 3-conductor and possibly install a larger switch box. Your simplest approach would be to just install a wireless control and remove the old dimmer.
 
  #5  
Old 01-20-11, 09:57 AM
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I knew I should have waited! I bought a fan/light switch and just installed it not 15 minutes ago.

I installed the black wire to the yellow dimmer wire, and the fan works perfectly. I am a bit confused as to what the heck the other two black wires are and where they should connect (I know the 3rd black is the feed). Are those the wires for the other two fan speeds and should they be connected to the black fan wire going to dimmer? (All three fan speeds worked without the two wires being connected...)

The red wire from the dimmer never got voltage so I see now that I was incorrect in assuming on of the black wires was for a light.

Thanks....
 
  #6  
Old 01-20-11, 10:27 AM
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Give us the make and model of the switch and maybe someone can find a wiring diagram. I really doubt this will work because the fan and light are on the same wire.
 
  #7  
Old 01-20-11, 10:34 AM
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New or old? I think I am going to accept defeat for the moment and just install another fan switch only -- at least it won't look 50 years old. At some point I would like to run 3-wire because I really need an overhead bedroom light when we move in.

I wish I understood what the other 2 black wires were for in the box, and also why the red wire would not get voltage when the light switch was in the on position (shouldn't at the least the red wire from the dimmer be getting voltage from the black feed wire internally?)

Thanks again for helping me keep sanity.
 
  #8  
Old 01-20-11, 10:55 AM
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I wish I understood what the other 2 black wires were for in the box,
Do you mean you have two unused black wires in the box or do you mean on the switch? MinkaAire wc223 Wall Mounted Remote Control System for MinkaAire Ceiling Fans
 
  #9  
Old 01-20-11, 01:04 PM
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Yes, the box has a total of 4 black wires.

1 line feed, 1 to fan, and 2 I don't know -- when I uninstalled the old switch the feed wire and the 2 I am unsure about were connected together. The fan *seemed* to work perfectly fine today using only the feed/fan wires and not the other 2.

Will the remote fan control allow me to add a light or does 3-wire have to be added no matter what? Somehow I feel like that is really dumb question.

And just in case...the new switch is a Lutron Skylark S2-LFSQ.

Thanks again Ray.
 
  #10  
Old 01-20-11, 05:57 PM
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Okay, so I think that probably the other two black wires are just pigtails maybe going to another outlet/switch in the room (haven't tested this little theory yet).

How difficult would it be to securely tape new 3 conductor cable to the old at the switch box and just pull the old out through the ceiling? And you are right about needing a new box...too tight.
 
  #11  
Old 01-20-11, 06:10 PM
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The cable is stapled it can't be pulled or is this conduit?

The more you describe the box the less I understand. Can you post a couple of picturers.
 
  #12  
Old 01-20-11, 06:25 PM
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Thumbs up

Absolutely. I'll get a picture up tomorrow morning. Thanks.

And I didn't think about the wire being stapled. It isn't conduit. But the more I think about trying to run wire down through the fire breaks again like I did in the kitchen the more I want to just pull the fan down and install a light only ...but I'm not giving up until you see the box.

Until tomorrow...
 
  #13  
Old 01-20-11, 06:39 PM
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I want to just pull the fan down and install a light only ...but I'm not giving up until you see the box.
I posted a solution that requires no new wires in post #8.
 
  #14  
Old 01-24-11, 10:45 AM
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Sorry this took so long. Here is a picture taken from my phone.

http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/1223/wiresi.jpg

I finally got around to testing what the "extra" two black wires were. One was a pigtail to a light switch in the bathroom off the master bedroom AND all of the outlets in the master bedroom. Is there any reason why it would be wired like this or does it matter since it was just pigtailed along?

The only option for the other black wire is the closet light, which isn't getting voltage to the black wire at any time. Still got to look up in the attic on that one.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll get around to adding 3 conductor soon. Will the red wire connect to the fan in the attic or down in the fan housing somewhere? I just don't know how obvious it will be. Thanks again.
 
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