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installing a ceiling fan w/dimmer switch for independant light operation

installing a ceiling fan w/dimmer switch for independant light operation


Old 03-10-00, 04:10 PM
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Ok listen up all you electrical wiz-kids, We have a 200 yr. old house w/BX cable, what color are the wires?, Your guess is as good as mine. I haven't disconnected any wires yet, but what exists in the ceiling at this time is a 2 light-bulb fixture, lovely I suppose way back when, but it's time to retire the old bugger and install a nice new ceiling fan w/four lights poking out of it, kinda like an octopus. Hey I got it at wal-mart on sale for $29.99. So I'm cheep, sue me. Any way here's the rest of the puzzle, I also want to install a dimmer switch at the location of the present switch plate, it controls the overhead light. Ok get the wood burning and be specific in your replies, I don't want to treat any psychiatric problems with the good old shocker treatment therapy. Thanks guys & gals Toni
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Old 03-10-00, 05:15 PM
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hello toni,
ok so u dont want any shock treatment then turn off the breaker or remove the fuse its that simple, i usually only turn off the switch whin working on a light but then again im a licensed electrician. now as 2 your wire color problem hopfully the wires of the light will be colored the whie is the nutural and black is the hot, if they r not colored then u will have to test them to determin which is the hot and this requires the circuit to be on. an induction tester would be a good start it will light up or make a sound on the hot wire and u only touch 1 wire at a time with them. the induction tester may tell u that both wires r hot this somne times hapens with bx. if this hapens then u will have to use a meter. if u r worried abought getting zaped then use an alagator clip with circuit off. connect 1 lead of meter to 1 wire in light box, then connect other lead to a ground, u might have to add some wire to this lead, i use the large side of a recep but i first test it with induction tester to be sure some 1 didnt connect the hot to the nutural side of the recrp. now as to you putting in a dimmer if this is going to be on the fan and light circuit which i assume it is since u made no mention of 2 switches or full time hot in light box DONT DO IT, celling fans shuld not be run on a dimmer circuit. if u want to usre a dimer then the fan on the celling fan must be eather on a full time hot or a seperat switch.
Old 03-12-00, 04:51 PM
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Aloha Toni,

Sprky is quite correct in saying that you should not use the existing light dimmer in your new combination light and light fixture. The BX wiring most likely has only two conductors and not the three conductors you need to independently operate the fan and lights. If you're still very anxious to use you're Walmart special you'll have to run a plastic sheathed cable called 12/3. This will allow a single return conductor (white) for both the fan and lights, a single conductor (black)for the black wire on the lights, and a single conductor (red) for the fan motor. This can go back to a single-gang combination switch (a nice replacement for your existing single-gang light switch). The combination switch has a light dimmer for the lights and a motor speed control for the fan motor. Bu twhew boy we're talking quite a bit of effort to accommodate you're spectacular savings from Walmart You might want to consider returning your purchase and exchanging it for a radio remote controlled fan. You don't have to put new wires in and you can have separate lights and fan speed control too! It would be a piece of cake to install...

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