Another ceiling fan wiring question

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  #1  
Old 12-15-07, 01:26 PM
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Another ceiling fan wiring question

Hi, I have another ceiling fan that I'd like to get rid of the remote for. It's a Hampton Bay fan and remote. Anyway, I want to abandon the remote receiver and have the two existing switches control the fan. Right now, there is one wall switch for the light and one for the fan. They need to be in the "up" position for the light and fan to work. I want to replace these regular single pole switches with a dimmer for the light and four-position slider for the fan.

Anyway, here is the existing wiring. There are two cables coming into the switch box on the wall--one for light and one for fan. Each switch has a white and black wire (from the same cable) attached to brass screws.

In the ceiling, there is a receiver that's located behind the electrical box, so all I see are the three wires coming from the receiver into the box. There are also two supply cables coming into the box (each has white, black, and bare). Supply #1 has white connected to the black wire coming out of the fan. Supply #1 has black connected to black from the receiver. Supply #2 has white connected to blue from the fan. Supply #2 has black connected to blue for the remote. Finally, the white from the receiver is connected to the white from the fan.

Now, can anyone tell me how to rewire this to abandon the receiver? Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 12-15-07, 02:09 PM
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The wiring you have described, although not to code, does not need to be changed. What you are calling supply are actually the switch loops for the fan and light.

You need to find the power feeding the remote and connect it to the two black wires going to the switches and to the white wire for the fan and light.
 
  #3  
Old 12-15-07, 03:18 PM
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The receiver up at the ceiling has two inputs and three outputs. Not all receivers are removable, but from your description it sounds like this one is. You may, however, need to go into the attic to find it. It's not supposed to be up there, but the installer may have had trouble getting it to fit inside the fan's bell housing (I know that I always do). But that's no excuse for doing it wrong. Eventually, you'll need to go up into the attic, remove the receiver, and feed the wires down into the box. But don't do this without very, very carefully recording and marking how everything was connected.

You said, "They need to be in the "up" position for the light and fan to work." Please clarify. Do both swithes need to be up for anything to work? Or does it only depend on one of the two swithes? Or does it depend on either of the two switches?

This project will be pretty simple, as long as you don't just start disconnecting things and come back to us later and tell us you forgot how they were connected before.

Please answer the above quesitons about the switches. Then we'll need you to go up into the attic and find the receiver. Then we should be able to provide the final details.
 
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Old 12-15-07, 03:33 PM
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The switches are independent of each other. One has to be up for the light to work, the other has to be up for the fan to work. They work just like you'd want them to--independently.

The setup I have works fine right now. I'd just prefer to be able to control dimming and fan speed from wall switches rather than using the remote. My three-year-old likes to swipe the remote!

Unfortunately, this is a vaulted ceiling with no attic access. I would need to take the fan down and remove the electrical box to get at the receiver.

I'm a little confused as to why I can't just disconnect things and bypass the receiver. I don't think there's any harm in leaving it up there, is there? You're not saying that there are other connections above the box, are you? It's impossible for me to see what's happening above the box right now.
 
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Old 12-15-07, 03:50 PM
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How would you bypass the receiver when you can't even get to it?

The operation you describe is quite strange. My guess now is that this fan has a built-in non-removeable receiver. In that case, you'd need to replace the fan. However, I've never heard of one that works as you describe (two separate power feeds, but remote controlled as well).

You could get what you want by gluing the transmitters to the wall. They actually make wall-mounted holsters just for this purpose (without the glue).

It is also theoretically possible that somebody used two different receivers, both set to the same code, and stuffed up into the ceiling above the ceiling box. But that sounds so goofy as to be unlikely.

If you could provide us the model of the fan, we could do a bit of research as to how it works. So far, what you've told us is pretty mysterious. You might want to double-check the information you've posted.

These are just ordinary simple light switches on the wall, right? Not some fancy switch?
 
  #6  
Old 12-15-07, 05:39 PM
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There's definitely a receiver in the ceiling above the electrical box. There are three wires coming from it into the box where the connections are made (twisted blue, black, and white wires). I forgot to mention they are labeled. White="To Motor N," black="To motor L," and blue="for light." The weird thing is that there are only these three wires coming from the receiver. I would think these are the outputs. Maybe there is a third cable up there providing the inputs to the receiver??? I don't know why these connections wouldn't have been made in the box, though. Maybe not enough room. If that's the case, I've got to fix this because there are connections outside of the box. That kind of thing worries me.

The fan is a 52" Hampton Bay Huntington III. The remote is Hampton Bay model # Uc7078T. I have the manual, but it contains no information at all about the remote or receiver. This is not an old fan--look to be five years old or less to me.
 
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Old 12-15-07, 05:46 PM
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Those are the standard three wires that come from all remote receivers. And yes, there must be a cable up there providing inputs to the receiver. As I said before, the connections were likely not made below because the installer was either ignorant or had trouble fitting the receiver in the cramped space where it is supposed to go.

There's a good chance this was installed with a fan brace kit. Are there a couple of nuts in the back of the box that appear to be holding it up? If so, take them off and the box will probably drop down. That will give you access to the receiver.

Even if it's not easy, you'll need to find a way to remove the electrical box. If there's no brace kit there now, you probably want one anyway. Try not to damage the ceiling drywall and it will likely be an easy job.
 
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Old 12-15-07, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
There's a good chance this was installed with a fan brace kit. Are there a couple of nuts in the back of the box that appear to be holding it up? If so, take them off and the box will probably drop down. That will give you access to the receiver.

Even if it's not easy, you'll need to find a way to remove the electrical box. If there's no brace kit there now, you probably want one anyway. Try not to damage the ceiling drywall and it will likely be an easy job.
I'm not sure about the answer to your question how the box is attached, since I put it all back together earlier today. This is my young daughter's room, so I can't leave things torn apart for very long. Wifey doesn't like that.

Maybe a silly question, but I have to take down the fan first, right?

How do I rewire all of this once the receiver is removed? I'm at a loss for how to do that.

Thanks again for all your help.
 
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Old 12-15-07, 10:47 PM
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Yes, you have to remove the fan. Be sure to shut off the circuit breaker (not just the wall switches) and carefully record how everything is connected first.

I cannot give you final instructions yet, because your previous information seems impossible to me. You asserted that one switch powers the fan and the other the light, but the remote receiver only has one input, so what you said is theoretically impossible (unless their are really two receivers up there, or unless the switches are electrically between the receiver and the fan). Maybe the receiver is located somewhere else besides above the fan. All of these wiring practices are very strange, so it's hard to predict them.

So I'd like to hear what you find when you remove the box before advising you further.
 
  #10  
Old 12-16-07, 06:27 AM
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jumpyg,

I told you how to wire it in my post. If you don't understand that please ask.
 
  #11  
Old 12-16-07, 12:31 PM
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Thanks for the advice fellas. This is going to have to wait a few days until I have several hours to deal with taking the fan down. I'll post back when I know more. Thanks again.
 
  #12  
Old 01-19-08, 11:35 AM
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I'm back! I really need some help with this, folks.

I wrote down all the connections and then took down the fan and removed the electrical box in the ceiling. The good news is the box is a fan box with metal support arms. There is a 3rd cable that had its connections done above the box. This is scary to me. They didn't even do a good job with the wire nuts--I can see the actual wire sticking out of the ends of the nuts, just inches from the paper side of the insulation above. The ground was attached to the top of the box. The white goes to the white input on the receiver, and the black goes to the receiver's black input.

I'll recap the other connections. There are two other cables that went into the electrical box.
Cable 1
--------
white -> black wire from fan
black -> black output from receiver


Cable 2
--------
white -> blue from fan
black ->blue output from receiver

Lastly, the white output from the receiver connected to the white from the fan.

I'm really confused as to how to proceed. I want the receiver out of there and all connections made in the box. I just want the two wall switches to control the fan and light. I don't know what to do with three cables!!!

I think the reason this is so weird is that this room was connected to the master bedroom. Before we moved in, the previous owner's had their builder convert this to a 4th bedroom by walling off the master and putting a door in the hallway. I think there was a switch in the master that controlled the light. Now there is just a blank cover over that box in the master. Does any of this make sense? Please help, as I need to get this fixed and back up ASAP. This is my daughter's bedroom. Thanks!
 
  #13  
Old 01-19-08, 12:23 PM
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Those other cables are the switch loops for the fan and light. They are backwards from what they should be, but that's not an issue electrically.

The white and black feeding the inputs to the receiver provide power.

Investigate the wiring at the switches and report back. If it;s what I think it is, the wiring in the ceiling is trivial, and you can probably figure it out.
 
  #14  
Old 01-19-08, 12:32 PM
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Thanks a lot for the help!

I opened the switch box. Looks like an "old work" box. There are two cables entering. Cable 1 has black and white attached to the light switch's two brass screws (plus bare to green screw). Cable 2 is the same configuration, attached to the fan switch. Both switches are single pole (not three-way).

What do you think?
 

Last edited by jumpyg; 01-19-08 at 12:57 PM.
  #15  
Old 01-19-08, 12:53 PM
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By the way, I want to change out the single pole switches for a dimmer for the light and a four-position slider for the fan. Please let me know if anything in this wiring configuration will affect that.
 
  #16  
Old 01-19-08, 02:33 PM
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Okay, so you have two switch loops, just as I figured. The wiring is trivial. The books you read on home wiring should have told you how to wire this. Did you not buy any books, or did you not read them? Doing electrical work without knowing the basics will kill you.

Connect the power black wire to the two white switch loop wires. Use a marker or tape to color those wires black, blue, red or some other dark color (NOT green) indicating they are hot.

Connect one of the black switch loop wires to the black fan/light wire.

Connect the other black switch loop wire to the blue wire for the light/fan.

Connect the power white wire to the white wire(s) for the fan/light.

Properly connect all grounds and make sure that the metal box is properly grounded.

Once you figure out which switch is which, and you verify that everything works properly, replace the light switch with a dimmer if you want.
 
  #17  
Old 01-19-08, 04:55 PM
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Thanks much, Bob! That did the trick. The wiring makes sense to me now. I'm glad I asked for advice. Everything works great and now ALL connections are made in the box like they should be.
 
 

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