3-Way Switches with Ceiling Fan Control

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Old 07-11-09, 08:55 PM
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3-Way Switches with Ceiling Fan Control

I have a 3-way circuit and only use one switch. I would like to eliminate one switch and install a ceiling fan light dimmer and fan speed switch (all-in-one). Most of the switches I've seen require 3 wires. Is it possible to make this work by eliminating one of the 3-way switches. There is 14-3 wire to the switches and fan location.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
 
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Old 07-12-09, 08:40 AM
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Welcome!

Just to make sure we are on the same page:

A 3 way, is two switches in different locations, that allow you to turn on and off the same fixture. Such as a hallway light with a switch on both ends of the hall.

What it sounds like you have is two switches in the same box that controls two functions of the same fixture. Such a fan and the fan light.

Any of this correct?
 
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Old 07-12-09, 11:07 AM
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They are 3-ways... I have one in the hallway and one in the dining room that control the same fixture. I want to eliminate the one in the DR and connect a 3-wire fan/light switch in the hallway.

There are 2 14-3 lines coming into the fixture. The whites are tied together with a pigtail to the light and the blacks are tied together with a pigtail to the light as well. The reds are just nutted.

Hope the explanantion helps. Thanks!
 
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Old 07-12-09, 11:29 AM
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Ok, Next step. open the switch boxes and tell us what wires you have, how many cables are in the boxes and what wires are connected to the switches. Make sure you will us what wires is connected to the common screw of the three ways.
If you want t draw a picture that works too. Just upload it to photobucket.

Just so you know, I have my doubts that this is going to work but I'm willing to research this a little more.
 
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Old 07-12-09, 11:32 AM
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First we need to know where the power comes in. At one of the three boxes there should be a two conductor cable in addition to the three conductor cable.

P.S. Toyln posted while I was typing. I'm a bit more optimistic. I can see ways to wire this if power comes in at any of the three boxes.
 
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Old 07-13-09, 07:01 PM
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Ok, I checked it out and one of the wall switches has both 14-2 and 14-3. The other switch only has one 14-3...

ideas?
 
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Old 07-13-09, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by cherga View Post
Ok, I checked it out and one of the wall switches has both 14-2 and 14-3. The other switch only has one 14-3...ideas?
First if you have an analog multimeter or test light, mark the connections on the two conductor cable, disconnect and make sure there is 120v between the white and black temporally reconnect. Always turn power off when connecting or disconnecting.

Let us know if this is the box where you want the fan switch. If it is it will be simple. If not it is doable but a bit more work.
 
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Old 07-13-09, 07:50 PM
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ok, checked the black and white on two conductor and have 120v. I don't want the fan/light switch in this box though... I want it in the other location that only has the single 14-3...
 
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Old 07-13-09, 08:16 PM
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I think you are missing a cable. Not counting grounds, You said that there is a 3 wire cable at the fan/light location, a single 3 wire cable at the switch box you want to use and the switch box you don't want to use has one 2 wire and one 3 wire cable. There should be another 3 wire cable on either one of the switch boxes.
 
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Old 07-13-09, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
I think you are missing a cable. Not counting grounds, You said that there is a 3 wire cable at the fan/light location, a single 3 wire cable at the switch box you want to use and the switch box you don't want to use has one 2 wire and one 3 wire cable. There should be another 3 wire cable on either one of the switch boxes.
Toyln this was wired for lights not a fan so it sounds right to me. Or do you mean two 3 conductors at light. Maybe I misunderstood.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-13-09 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:27 PM
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There are two 14-3's in the ceiling fixture... one 14-3 in one switch box and a 14-3 and 14-2 in the other switch box.
 
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Old 07-13-09, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cherga View Post
ok, checked the black and white on two conductor and have 120v. I don't want the fan/light switch in this box though... I want it in the other location that only has the single 14-3...
OK. To keep things simple turn off power and disconnect all the wires except grounds.

At the switch box you plan not to use that has two cables connect the black and white of the two conductor cable to the black and white of the three conductor cable. Install a wire nut on the red wire. Place a blank cover plate on the box.

At the light you should have two three conductors cables. One of those should have a hot black and white wire from the switch box you just wired. Check with a volt meter to determine which cable. Wire nut the red wire of the hot cable it is not used..

Ok with a magic marker color the white wire of the cable going to the other switch box black and connect the black hot wire to it. The red and black wire of the cable from the switch will supply power to the blue and black (light and fan) wires of the ceiling fan. The white of the hot cable will go to the white of the fan.

You can at the remaining switch either replace it with a duplex switch or replace the box with a double gang box. and one switch for the fan and one for the light. Let me know which and we will go from there.
 
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Old 07-14-09, 05:37 AM
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Ok, I think I understand what you want me to do... The fan has a white, black (light) and black/white (fan) wire on it and the new switch I bought has black, red and blue. One side of the switch (single gang) controls the fan and the other side of the switch controls the light. What's next?
 
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Old 07-14-09, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cherga View Post
Ok, I think I understand what you want me to do... The fan has a white, black (light) and black/white (fan) wire on it.
Fan white to white of cable from removed switch. Fan black to black to switch. Fan black/white to switch red.
and the new switch I bought has black, red and blue. One side of the switch (single gang) controls the fan and the other side of the switch controls the light. What's next?
The switch should have a common screw or wire which is where power goes in. That is hooked to the white cable wire you rematked black. Can't tell from your description which it is. The remaining two wires go to the remaining two connections on the switch. Blue would almost certainly be for the light and red may be to the fan but you need to read the instructions ro be sure.

Were crossing colors here so be very careful. You may want to draw it out.
 
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Old 07-14-09, 06:54 PM
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Thanks for all the info! I was hoping to try this after work but the kids took precedence . I will try to give it a shot tomorrow.

If I'm thinking correctly, if I have other 3-ways within my home, I can remove the switch from one location, tie black to black and white to white, cap the red on both switches and use the other switch as a single pole... correct?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 07-14-09, 07:53 PM
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Some three-ways are code required such as top and bottom of stairs. I would never make a generalization how to change a different circuit from the one worked on. There are several ways to run a three-way.
 
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Old 07-14-09, 08:09 PM
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I have a couple of 3-ways that make absolutley no sense... 6 feet away in the same room on a different wall... in an ajoining room on the other side of the same wall... just bought the house and trying to clean things up. They're all wired the same way as the one you've been assisting me with...
 
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Old 07-24-09, 07:44 PM
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I finally was able to spend some time on the project and am happy to report all worked well. Thank you for all of the assistance!
 
 

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