Ceiling fan/light with dimmer switch

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Old 09-22-16, 08:16 PM
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Ceiling fan/light with dimmer switch

Hi,

Recently my neighbors bought a bran new Ceiling Fan/Light fixture which someone helped with the installation.

They had a wall dimmer switch with their previous light fixture and the individual (not being an electrician) that did the installation told them the wall dimmer switch would not work with the new Ceiling Fan/Light so he told my neighbors to buy a single pole switch (for the light part) of the Ceiling Fan/Light.

Since he did not put back the original wall dimmer he did not put any switches for replacement and just hooked the LIVE wires together, this way the new Ceiling Fan/Light still works (without a wall switch) and by using the 2 chains locally (at the fan/light), one for the light and one for the fan.

I'm questioning why the original wall dimmer switch was removed and not used to control the light on the new Ceiling Fan/Light, would there be a reason ?

After looking at my Wiring manuals, I had an example of a Ceiling Fan/Light ganged with 2 switches, one being a knob dimmer and the other a speed control switch for the fan. The Red wire was for the light going to the dimmer switch and the Black wire for the fan going to the speed control switch.

For my neighbours, there would only the dimmer switch for the light as they do not have a speed control switch. They would use the chain under the ceiling fan instead of a wall speed control switch.

Just reiterating my question:

Is there a reason for NOT using the knob dimmer switch for the light of a Ceiling Fan/Light fixture ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, many thanks....
 
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Old 09-22-16, 08:34 PM
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If you only have one switched line to the fan...... you can't have a dimmer control just the light. The dimmer would control everything on that line..... fan and light.

Sometimes the hot for the circuit originates at the fan..... in that case you could have a dimmer control the light and a pull chain control the fan.

Most ceiling fans are remote controlled and just require an always live feed.
 
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Old 09-22-16, 08:56 PM
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Thanks PJ for the clarification.

I'd like to add the following to make sure I fully understand:

Currently in the one gang box it seems like it's a 3-wire (Black,Red,White) coming in and I'm assuming it's the one from the Ceiling Fan/Light as the second cable (going into the box) is a 2-wire (Black, White).

I plan to get to my neighbors tomorrow, so is it fair to say that if I get to the wiring instructions and that the Red is coming from the Fan and the Black from the Light, then I can just put the Dimmer switch on black wire for it to work accordingly ? thanks...
 
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Old 09-22-16, 09:03 PM
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You're going to need to find out which cable has the power.

If the power comes in on the two wire cable then possibly you have a three wire to the fan.
You could ask the guy who installed it if there was a three wire cable at the fan.
 
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Old 09-22-16, 09:05 PM
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If the 3 wire cable goes to the fan you should be able to have two switches for the fan and light.
 
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Old 09-22-16, 09:09 PM
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I'm almost certain it is that but I will troubleshoot first to make sure.

Just to reiterate: If the 3-wire is going to the fan and that the black is from the light, I just have to put the dimmer on the black, correct ?
 
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Old 09-22-16, 09:15 PM
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If the 3-wire is going to the fan and that the black is from the light, I just have to put the dimmer on the black, correct ?
Yes.... that is correct.

That would mean that the red wire would be always live and go to the fan.

Usually..... black is always live and red is switched but it can be either way.
 
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Old 09-22-16, 09:23 PM
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Awesome, thanks PJ... I will try that tomorrow.

Thanks PCBoss. The setup you are mentioning about is the one I have in my Wiring manual and makes sense. I will offer it them as well.
 
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