how to wire fan

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  #1  
Old 06-18-12, 05:31 PM
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how to wire fan

I want to install a fan in my living room using an existing circuit. I am finding this may be a little more difficult then I thought. Here is what I found I have.

In my living room I have 5 outlets. The lower outlet on all of them is powered via a switch. I looked at the switch, it appears to be different then I would have used. I have one wire coming into the switch box. It looks like I have two wires going to each outlet. The outlets all that the little copper jumper broken.

I was thinking of just replacing all the outlets with new ones and putting the wires back as is. At the switch I was going to drop a wire down from the ceiling for the fan and use the power coming in from the outlets.

I have a GFI outlet in my bathroom (the two rooms share a wall the fan will be on) According to the breaker box, that is all that is on the circuit.

Here is the wiring setup and why I am confused:
At the switch I have a black and white wire coming in.
Each outlet has the two white wires on it. But then on the top it has a black stuck into the back of the outet and a black attached at the top screw. The lower outlet has a red stuck into the back and a red attached to the screw. remember the bottom is switched.

So, my questions are:
1) Can I do this with no issues? I have a radio we use occasionally, two floor lamps which we may not use after the fan is installed.
2) If I do what I am thinking, will I end up making the entire set of outlets switched?
3) If I can't do what I want, can I pull power for the fan from the smoke detectors?
4) Can I tap into the bathroom GFI for the power?
 

Last edited by bclacquer; 06-18-12 at 06:01 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-18-12, 06:41 PM
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1) Can I do this with no issues?
Yes, however your outlets will no longer be switched.

2) If I do what I am thinking, will I end up making the entire set of outlets switched?
No. See above.

3) If I can't do what I want, can I pull power for the fan from the smoke detectors?
Yes, you could do that if you want to leave the outlets switched.

4) Can I tap into the bathroom GFI for the power?
No. You may not tap off a bathroom receptacle circuit.

Here is what you do:

Drop a NM-B cable down to the switch box, matching the gauge of the wire that is in the switch box. If you want to have a switched light on the fan, use a 3 wire cable (12/3 or 14/3)

In the closest outlet box to the switch you should find a white tied to a colored wire, most likely black. you will also find a black that is in the same cable as the white wire. Disconnect them both so they are alone.

In the switch box, connect the whites together and push them in the back of the box. The black coming from the outlet box will be your hot, the one or two colored wires going to the fan will be your switch leg(s).
IF you want two switches, one for the light and one for the fan, you have two options. 1) You can use a stacked switch. 2) Cut out the old box and enlarge it with a two gang remodel box.

In the outlet box, connect all the whites together. Connect all the blacks and reds together. Your outlets are no longer switched.
 
  #3  
Old 06-18-12, 06:55 PM
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I purchased what I believe you refer to as a "stacked switch" it has the light and fan controls on one. I want to use that. I assume I still connect the whites and push them to the back.

In the outlet box when to say to tie all the whites, blacks, and reds together (in their own nut of course) I assume I still need to have a white and black attached to the switch? I also assume that I only do this in the one box, not all of them.

You are correct in that I do not want the outlets switched.
 
  #4  
Old 06-18-12, 07:12 PM
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I purchased what I believe you refer to as a "stacked switch" it has the light and fan controls on one. I want to use that. I assume I still connect the whites and push them to the back.
Yes, unless the switch requires a neutral, which I doubt.

In the outlet box when to say to tie all the whites, blacks, and reds together (in their own nut of course) I assume I still need to have a white and black attached to the switch? I also assume that I only do this in the one box, not all of them.
The whites get tied together (one nut). Both the blacks and reds get tied together (one nut) By doing this you only have to do it in the one box.
 
  #5  
Old 06-18-12, 07:22 PM
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I still have one white and one black attached to the outlet, right?

I am having a difficult time envisioning this.

I pull all the red wires and black wires off the switch, tie them ALL together in one nut. same for the white.
 
  #6  
Old 06-18-12, 07:23 PM
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In the outlet box when to say to tie all the whites, blacks, and reds together (in their own nut of course) I assume I still need to have a white and black attached to the switch? I also assume that I only do this in the one box, not all of them.
In all of the receptacle boxes, splice all of the whites together and supply the receptacle with a white pigtail to one of the silver screws. Splice all of the black wire and all of the red wires together in one splice. Supply the receptacles with one or two pigtails as needed, from this splice to the brass screw(s) - one if the tab between the brass screws is unbroken, and two if it has been removed. Your receptacles are no longer switched.

In the switch box. add a 3-conductor cable (black/red/white) to feed the ceiling outlet (the fan-rated box) where the fan/light combo will be mounted. Remove the white wire from the old switch and splice it to the white wire in the 3-conductor cable. Push that splice to the back. splice the bare ground wires together and add a pigtail. Use that pigtail to bond the box, if it is metal, or the switch, if the box is plastic, to ground.

Terminate the black wire from the first receptacle box to the feed-in terminal of your new switch. Terminate the black wire in the new 3-conductor cable to the fan motor terminal of the new switch. Terminate the red wire in the new 3-conductor cable to the light control terminal of the new switch. In the ceiling, splice all grounds together and bond the box, if it is metal. Splice all of the (white) neutrals together. Splice the black supply wire to the fan motor lead, and the red supply wire to the fan light lead.
 
  #7  
Old 06-18-12, 07:26 PM
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I am having a difficult time envisioning this.

I pull all the red wires and black wires off the switch, tie them ALL together in one nut. same for the white.
No. See post #6. There aren't any red wires on the old switch, are there?
 
  #8  
Old 06-18-12, 07:29 PM
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The whites get tied together (one nut). Both the blacks and reds get tied together (one nut) By doing this you only have to do it in the one box.
TI is correct. Ignore what I said about working in all of the receptacle boxes. I hadn't thought it all the way through.
 
  #9  
Old 06-18-12, 07:30 PM
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ok. Did not see #6 before. makes sense now. Thanks.
No there are no red wires in the old switch.
 
  #10  
Old 06-23-12, 12:31 PM
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I have a problem.
I followed the instructions for the outlet. I have not done the old old switch yet as I have to fish wire in the attic. In the "OFF" position there is no problem, but if I flip the old switch to "ON" it trips the breaker. Will this be fixed with the installation of the fan switch? if not, where did I go wrong?

There are three wires groups? coming into the box. I tied all the whites together with one nut and ran a wire to one silver screw. I have ALL the blacks and reds tied together. I also have a black wire running to a screw and a red wire running to the other screw. I did this because the metal piece between the two screws is broken.
 
  #11  
Old 06-23-12, 09:59 PM
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There are three [cables] coming into the box. I tied all the whites together with one nut and ran a wire to one silver screw. I have ALL the blacks and reds tied together. I also have a black wire running to a screw and a red wire running to the other screw. I did this because the metal piece between the two screws is broken.
That sounds correct.

if I flip the old switch to "ON" it trips the breaker.
And that proves that what you did is correct. You've converted the cable between the first receptacle and the switch from being a switch loop to being a power feed, so you now have an ungrounded conductor (a hot wire) and a grounded conductor (a neutral) connected to your switch, instead of a hot wire in and a switched hot feed out. Flipping the switch to ON now connects ungrounded power to a grounded conductor, and the breaker trips. That breaker is doing exactly what it's designed to do.

For now, turn the breaker off, remove the black wire from the switch and cap it with a wire nut. Put everything back in the wall until you are ready to fish the wire in from the attic. Turn the breaker back on. All of your receptacles should now work and the switch should do nothing.

When you're ready to fish the new cable in, turn the breaker off. See post #6 for how to wire the switch after you have the new cable pulled in.
 
  #12  
Old 06-24-12, 05:17 AM
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thanks. that's what I thought, but I wanted to be sure before I fished my wire and did everything else.
 
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