Installed ceiling fan light - can't get it to work off 2nd switch

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  #1  
Old 04-27-04, 07:27 AM
NewHomeOwner44
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Installed ceiling fan light - can't get it to work off 2nd switch

I was adding a light kit to an existing fan - when I took off the cover there were two wires marked as "to light" which matched up with the instructions for the light kit. I can get the light to work on the same switch as the fan with a pull chain but I want it too work off a second switch. I tested all the outlets in the room and none of them are running off the switch - so I assume that it's running to the light. How can I be certain?
 
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Old 04-27-04, 12:45 PM
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You need to tell us all the cables and wires in the fan/light box, the switch box and how they are connected.
The switch could be operating only 1/2 of a receptacle. Did you test both 1/2s when you did your check.
 
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Old 04-27-04, 02:14 PM
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Hello: NewHomeOwner44

If there was a light fixture where the ceiling fan is currently installed, there will be a hot wire from the wall switch. That hot wire is most likely wired into the fan motor.

Since the fan motor only works when the wall switch is turned on, you want to connect that hot wire to the light wires. That will allow the light to come on when the wall switch is turned on.

In this fashion, current will aso be going to the fan motor. Which means you will have to turn on the wall switch, which turns on the light, than turn off the lights by the pull chain. Than pull the chain to the fan to turn it on.

All of which is a lot of trouble. And there is a better or different way. lets see if I can explain it here. Had this same condition years ago and solved it.

The hot wire from the wall switch goes to the light wire. The hot wire to the wall switch should be coming from the electrical box in the ceiling.

The return from the wall switch connects to the return in the electrical box. That solves the light problem. Light now should turn on and off via the wall switch.

(There will be or should be, a ground wire (3 wires altogether) with the two wires in the electrical box. They should also go to the wall switch box.)

In the electrical box in the ceiling should be the main hot wire. That wire connects directly to the fan motor. Fan motors return connects to the return in the electrical box in the ceiling. In this fashion and connection method, current is always supplied to the fan motor. (Wall switch need not be on to run fan only)

Thus there is no need to turn on a wall switch to run the fan and no need to turn off the lights, just to run the fan only...

Each (lights & fan) has it's own seperate power supply.

Fan direct connection to power and lights throught the wall switch...

"My Two Cents"

Good Luck
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  #4  
Old 04-27-04, 10:27 PM
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NewHomeOwner44,

It is extra work, often a lot of extra work, to provide the extra wiring that allows a separate switch to control a ceiling fan light. Since it was originally installed without a light, it is quite understandable that the installer did not waste a lot of time providing for a light that wasn't there.

For about $40, however, you can replace the wall switch with a fan control that can provide separate switching at the wall for the fan and the fan's light, without adding more wire to the wall. If you are interested in this solution, read this thread about the Hunter 27186 control unit.

The solution that Sharp suggested only works if you have a switch loop, which is probably true less than half the time. This is why Joe asked the questions he did. If you want to pursue Sharp's solution, shut the breaker off and check to see if there is a white wire connected to the wall switch. If so, you can use that solution. But if there are white wires in the box that are not connected to the switch, then you cannot use that solution.
 
  #5  
Old 05-04-04, 06:41 AM
NewHomeOwner44
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Originally Posted by joed
You need to tell us all the cables and wires in the fan/light box, the switch box and how they are connected.
The switch could be operating only 1/2 of a receptacle. Did you test both 1/2s when you did your check.
From the ceiling there are 2 wires - one is connected to a black wire that feeds into the fan and the other is connected to a white and black/white wire. Where the light assembly is attached there is a white and white/black wire that I have connected to the light kit. At the wall switch, both switches are wired (one black,one white) The two blacks are connected in a wire nut and then go out up through the wall. Hope this is enough info - let me know if you need anything else. Thanks for all your help guys!
 
  #6  
Old 05-04-04, 07:50 AM
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If two wires in the ceiling box is a complete inventory of all the wires in the box (and not just the ones connected to the fan), then Sharp's solution is not available to you. Check carefully to make sure you reported all the wires in the ceiling box, and not just the ones connected to the fan. Are there more wires tucked into the back of the box that are not connected to the fan?

By the way, it sounded like you said that one wire from the ceiling was connected to both the white and the black/white wires from the fan. Since you say the light works, I feel fairly certain that this is not the case. If I heard correctly, please double-check that statement. I would, however, expect one wire from the ceiling to be connected to both the black and the black/white wires from the fan.

You also said that the switches have one black and one white, but then you said that the two blacks are connected with a wire nut. This seems inconsistent. Are there two blacks in the switch box or just one? Please describe all the wires and connections in the switch box more precisely.
 
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