Solid state fan speed control warning

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  #1  
Old 07-16-12, 02:40 PM
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Solid state fan speed control warning

Yesterday I replaced a cheap ceiling fan in the bedroom with a nicer one. The new fan's instructions state, "To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do not use this fan with any solid-state speed control device."

The problem is that two years ago when I replaced the old K&T in the room, I ran a circuit straight to the fan with no wall switches, figuring I would rely on the existing solid-state remote to control the fan/light.

Is there really a danger from the solid-state remote? If so, what is it, and what are my options, other than to re-route the circuit to the wall switch and then run 14/3 to the fan, or to just rely on the pull chains on the fan, neither of which I want to do?

Another factor is that the new fan's ceiling canopy is much smaller than the old one's, so I don't have much room up there for bulky devices... the solid-state control from the old fan fits up there but just barely.

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-16-12, 07:04 PM
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I think you are confusing a solid state speed control with a fan remote control. A solid state speed control is most cases found on the wall in place of a standard switch. You would leave the fan on high speed and then control it using the speed control on the wall, usually high, med, low.
With the newer fan remotes operate in a similar way, but electronically, rather then the use of resisters. IMO you have nothing to worry about as many new fans come with remotes, but perhaps, a call to the manufacture might be helpful.
 
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Old 07-17-12, 03:20 PM
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Tolyn, thanks. The solid state speed control I'm referring to is installed in the fan canopy and didn't come with the fan. But the principle is the same as a solid state wall switch, correct? I'll call the manufacturer as suggested, but I don't know whether they'd give me a straight answer or just legalese. Any ideas why they say not to use a solid state control? Is there actually a danger of overheating etc?

Thanks
 
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Old 07-17-12, 06:18 PM
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While I am an electrician, I am not the best with electronics, which is why I suggested contacting the manufacture.

There are quite a few ways to change speeds on a motor. Dropping the voltage, pulsing the voltage, and changing the frequency, to name a few. Just dropping the voltage to a motor is hard on them and can cause them to overheat. It is my understanding that a remote control just pulses the voltage to a motor, which is much "better" for the motor, and does not cause them to overheat.
 
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Old 07-18-12, 10:28 AM
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Ok, thanks again, that's very helpful. From what you're saying, it sounds like a multimeter may help me figure out what the speed control is actually doing and whether I should worry about it.
 
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