Replacing 3-way light with remote control fan (Ugh!)

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Old 08-10-08, 09:13 PM
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Question Replacing 3-way light with remote control fan (Ugh!)

My husband and I are replacing the light in our foyer with a ceiling fan/light combo. The light was on a 3-way switch... switch downstairs with a dimmer, switch upstairs just turned it off/on. The new fan/light is a Hampton Bay with a remote control (supports dimming), which we intend to mount in place of the downstairs switch.

We are pretty sure we did all the wiring correctly, we were careful. After getting it all hooked up, nothing happens. Nothing happens when we press either the light or the fan buttons on the remote, and nothing happens when we flip the upstairs switch, or any combination of flipping and pushing buttons, lol!

Before we disassemble it to check wire connections (2-story foyer, NOT an easy task!), is there something about the fact that it's a 3-way light that may have caused our problem? That was our first thought, but we hooked the manual switch back up, and still nothing. Any tips or insight before we try to sort this out would be very helpful.

We also considered getting a second remote for the upstairs switch and setting the DIP the same. Would that work (assuming we can get this thing working at all!)?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 08-11-08, 07:52 AM
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There's no way to meet code with this without buying a second remote transmitter, and mounting one transmitter on the wall at the top of the stair and one at the bottom (and yes, that would work). For safety reasons, code requires that you be able to turn on the stair lighting from both the top and bottom. You would need to permanently attach the transmitters to the wall so that they could not be moved.

One solution is to return this fan and replace it with a fan with a Hunter All-Fan remote. This type of remote allows you to still use the wall switches to turn the light on (which your Hampton Bay does not). It should also be possible to bypass the light feature of the remote (so that they are direct-wired to the switches), but then you could only turn the fan on if you also had the light on.

You say that you are pretty sure you did the wiring correctly, but you provided no details that would allow us to judge. If you are not 100% sure, please provide details of your connections.

Here are some things to consider. Make sure the switches are in the "on" position. With many 3-way switches, this means one is up and the other is down, but you cannot always count on this. Then make sure you have set the codes in the transmitter and receiver to match. If the fan has pull chains, make sure that they are in the "on" position too (although you can only tell by experimentation). Make sure the remote transmitter battery is fresh and properly installed.

I'm not sure what you mean when you said you "hooked the manual switch back up." Can you clarify?
 
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Old 08-11-08, 09:11 AM
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Thanks for replying John.

We had disconnected the wall switches, both the upstairs and down stairs, thinking this would be a fix though it wasn't. We reconnected the wall switches properly (red/black/white and ground), both of them, to see if the light would at least turn on, it doesn't.

The fan was hung and wired into the remote box (which is tucked in the wiring outlet box). Fan to remote box = blue/white/black to corresponding blue/white/black

The remote box was wired into the ceiling. Remote to ceiling = black/white to corresponding black/white wires(and the ground).

Is there a way to keep the complete circuit, i. e., splicing one of the wall switches red wire to the black wire? Would this allow the light to be operated by the wall switches and the fan to be operated with the remote?

The remote is powered by a 9 v battery and is not wired into the house at all.
 
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Old 08-11-08, 09:37 AM
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What wires were in the ceiling box? Just one white, one black and one ground? Nothing else?

There are about 8 ways to wire a pair of wall switches and the load they control, so we may need to figure out which one you have to fix this problem. Start with my questions above.
 
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Old 08-11-08, 10:14 AM
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The ceiling box had one white, one black one green. Wired the white/black to the fan remote box white/black.
 
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Old 08-11-08, 03:38 PM
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The black wire from the ceiling should connect to the black input wire on the remote receiver. The white wire from the ceiling should connect to the white input wire on the remote receiver. The output connections of the remote receiver should be color-matched to the wires from the fan.

If you do this, and if the fan is not damaged, and if you didn't mess up the switch wiring, and the breaker is on, and if you checked all the things I mentioned previously, then this cannot fail to work. If it does fail to work, perhaps you have a defective fan.

As an experiment, it is possible to remove the remote receiver and wire the fan directly to the ceiling. In this case, match white to white, and both black and black/white from the fan to black from the ceiling. This will determine if the fan is working properly, and if maybe the remote transmitter or remote receiver is faulty.

You can also test the wires coming out of the ceiling for voltage to determine if you have the wall switches wired correctly and the breaker is on. Do you have any kind of electrical test instrument? If not, spring for $2 for a neon circuit tester.
 
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Old 08-11-08, 07:32 PM
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If I understand you correctly...keeping both wall switches connected properly, the light should at least come on? I will try your suggestion on direct wiring the fan to the ceiling on Tuesday. As far as I can tell everythig is connected corretly and I double cheked as i was installing. I do have a volt meter and I will check the supply tuesday as well. Thanks for your help so far!
 
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Old 08-11-08, 07:53 PM
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Before climbing 2 stories up check for voltage and correct wiring of the switches you took and and re-installed.
 
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Old 08-13-08, 08:52 AM
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I have the switches disconnected, the wire out of the boxes. Need to start fresh. I'm positive the fan is attached correctly to the ceiling box.

The box on the second floor has more wires, with wire nuts, stuffed in behind the switches. I'm assuming this is the box that is routed from the service panel? There are 4 wires: 1 bare copper wire, 1 red wire, and 2 darn black wires.

The box on the first floor has the a dimmer switch and had just the red/black/white/bare copper, no other wires stuffed behind it.

Is black supposed to be the main feed. Will this wire go on the dark screw of the switch? The box on the second floor has a dark screw, the box downstairs does not. I may be calling in a faver to my buddies father.
 
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Old 08-13-08, 09:58 AM
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With the switches disconnected, there is absolutely no way this could possibly work.

You cannot tell a wire's function by its color. Black wires are used for many different functions. It is not certain that the black wire should go on the dark screw. The wire that was previously on the dark screw should go on the dark screw. If you disconnect things without carefully recording the connections first, you always make your job 100 times harder than it needed to be.

To even have a chance at resolving this, it is necessary to know all the wires and all the connections in all the boxes. I know this is a lot of information, but without it, we really know nothing. Even with all this information, we may not know enough to resolve the issue without further testing the wires.
 
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Old 08-13-08, 03:18 PM
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I had taken pictures and repleced the wires in the same manner and have tried several combonations as recommended by others.

Could the problem be that it's on a 3 circuit switch and the fan is a single pole fan? My friends father will be in town on Saturday to check it out. He's a certified electrician who thinks I may have a single pole fan.
 
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Old 08-13-08, 04:59 PM
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The wiring has no idea whether there is a light or a fan connected to it.

It sounds like you still have a problem with the switch wiring. This may be as simple as having the wrong black transposed on the screws.

On a side note any fan should be able to work using properly wired 3 way switches.
 
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Old 08-14-08, 08:55 PM
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Before I left to install a black aluminum roof in the middle of a bright sunny day, I took one more stab at my switch and switched the second floor box around....now the light works!

Now we have to reprogram the living room fan due to being the same brand, though 6 years older, is somehow on the same freq!

If the fan and the light turn on, it's ok to assume the wires are properly conneted right?

Thanks for you help.
 
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Old 08-15-08, 06:36 AM
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If the fan works properly with the switches and the remote it sounds like the connections are correct. The only thing that can't be assured by this is the quality of the connections.
Glad to hear that your dilemma is over.
 
 

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