Replacing existing light switch with fan/light control.

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  #1  
Old 07-31-04, 01:26 PM
Mike G
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Replacing existing light switch with fan/light control.

I successfully replaced a ceiling light with a ceiling light/fan last year. Now I am trying to replace the existing light switch with a All-Fan Ceiling Fan & Light Control http://www.hunterfan.com/prodSum.php...e=acc&sType=10. All the wiring was already in place prior to the fan installation last year.

My situation seems to be different than others that I have read here, so instead of trying one of them out, I figured I should ask.

With the light switch, the light was controlled by the switch and the fan was controlled by its chain.

The lights dim with the new dimmer control, but the fan is always on (controlled by the chain). Even if I completely remove the control (and cap the exposed wires) the fan is still on (the light is off). Now that I think about it more, I guess that makes since, since the fan was controlled by the chain with the old switch. However, I am not sure what to change in the wiring.

Prior to the installing the light/fan control...(not including all the grounds)

2 wires (black/white) come into the switch box , 3 wires (black/white/red) go from the switch to the fan. The black wires are tied together with a pigtail going to the switch. The red wire goes to the other post of the switch. The whites are tied together.

In the ceiling... 2 cables come in to the fan..the 3 wires (black/white/red) come in from the switch and 2 wires (black /white). The light/fan has 3 wires (black/white/red).
The blacks are tied together, the whites are tied together and the reds are together.

The new fan/light control has 3 wires(black/red/blue). I tied the black to the existing black pigtail. The red to the red and the blue to the white bundle. The control instructions say black(hot), blue (fan), red (light)

I am guessing that one of the black or white bundles shouldnt be tied together, but I am not sure which one or what to do with it after I untie them.

Thanks for your help

Mike G
 
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  #2  
Old 07-31-04, 01:44 PM
J
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The fact there there is both a 14/3 and a 14/2 at the switch, and also both a 14/3 and 14/2 at the fan suggests one of the following three cases. We need to figure out which.
  1. Power comes in at the fan, and is fed onward from the switch, or
  2. Power comes in at the switch, and is fed onward from the fan, or
  3. The switch controls something else other than the fan.
The wiring at the switch and fan are consistent with both. Does the switch control anything else besides the fan? Maybe a receptacle in the room, or half of a receptacle in the room, or another light fixture in the room?

The new fan/light control has 3 wires(black/red/blue).
The switch instructions should tell you which one of these three wires in the power input. I would guess that black wire, but you should check. In fact, you should check the manual to identify the purpose of all three wires.

We are really close here. We just need a couple of small pieces of information to complete this job.
 
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Old 07-31-04, 02:31 PM
J
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I've thought about this a bit more. The third possibility I mention isn't possible, so it's just one of the first to. The problem that this presents is that those three wires between the fan and the switch are not just for the fan. So this doesn't really qualify as a three-wire installation that the switch calls for.

So here's some experiments:
  • Shut off the breaker.
  • Pull all the stuff out of the switch box and disconnect and separate all the wires.
  • Turn the breaker back on.
  • Go around the house and figure out what lost power with the wires disconnected. Something besides the fan is now without power, and you need to know what.
  • Test the black/white cable at the switch box for power with a voltmeter or neon circuit tester.
  • Shut the breaker back off.
If the black/white cable at the switch shows power with everything disconnected, then the power comes into the switch. If not, repeat the same experiment at the ceiling to confirm that the black/white cable there is the power feed.

When all is said and done, you may need to go buy a 27186 instead of this 27182. It costs about twice as much, but it works with only two wires. The third wire you have cannot be used exclusively for the fan control without disrupting power to whatever you found without power in your experiement above.

Report back the results of your experiement.
 
  #4  
Old 07-31-04, 02:58 PM
Mike G
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Test Results

Thanks for getting back to me so soon.

Since I went off to answer your first reply and came back to find your second reply, I will confim your thoughts. There are 4 dual outlets in the bedroom and all 8 plugs were "live" whether the switch was on or not. So the switch does not effect any of the outlets.

I shut the breaker off and seperated all the wires.. (I didnt do the grounds, I didnt think they mattered for this, hopefully they dont)

I disconnected and seperated all the wires and capped each of them. Then turned the breaker back on.

1 of the 4 outlets was dead. (the one closest to and on the same wall as the switch). The other 3 were fully live. Before testing the cable, I pulled the fan chain, and it turned on! I hadnt thought of it that way, but that means the power comes in from the ceiling to the fan to the switch, right?
 
  #5  
Old 07-31-04, 03:11 PM
Mike G
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switch control options

If it ends up being that I cant use my Model 27182 control, would it also mean that I couldnt use 2 seperate controls. I originally was also thinking of installing another box with a fan 3 speed switch and keeping the existing light switch for the lights (instead of the 27182 control). I went with the 27182 mostly because of the what I thought would be the ease of it.

Incase you still need the wiring diagram for the 27182 control, I am not sure what else you may need. The diagram shows from the control , black (hot), blue (fan), red (light), with the blue and red leading to neutral.

Thanks
Mike G
 
  #6  
Old 07-31-04, 08:58 PM
J
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The black wire is just passing through both the ceiling box and the switch box. It is always hot. You can use it any place you need a continuously hot wire, but it cannot be used to control anything. So the 27182 is the wrong control for the existing cables. So you could use a 27186 instead, or anything is possible if you can change the cables in the wall. If you could get power to that receptacle that went dead from some place else, you could even use the 27182 and the existing fan-to-switch cable.

When you checked for things without power and found that one dead receptacle, did you check in other rooms too? Circuits are not just confined to one room.

Lots of options. It's up to you.
 
  #7  
Old 08-01-04, 05:01 AM
Mike G
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Thanks

Thanks for your help John.

After my last post I check around some more. There was also a hall outlet that went dead. I will survey the access points for the outlets and go from there.

If nothing else, I learned a little more about electricity.

What was throwing me the most was the 14/3 wire. I was told that the room was all set for a fan. What I didnt realise was that it was all set as long as I wanted to use the chain or some sort of remote switch to control the fan.
 
  #8  
Old 08-01-04, 07:41 AM
J
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Yes, nine people out of ten would assume that since you had 14/3 cable between the switch and fan, that you were all set for this fan control. However, the 14/2 in both boxes changes the situation. The wiring you have is a little bit unusual, so it's not what people would assume.
 
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