need help wiring a Harbor Breeze wall remote

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Old 08-29-09, 07:55 PM
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need help wiring a Harbor Breeze wall remote

I just added a Harbor Breeze Fan to my bedroom and purchased the remote kit to work with it. There was not electric in the ceiling previously, so I tapped into another line in the attic and dropped it to the fan. I then wired the wall switch remote by making a single gang wall switch into a dual gang. I still want the existing wall switch to control an outlet in the room.

What's odd is that there are two black wires on the back of the remote and the directions want me to run a black wire from the wall to the fan. Why would I buy a wireless accessory if I'm still forced to run a hardwire?

Needless to say, the wall remote doesn't work when just spliced into the hot wire that's already in the wall. The handheld remote works great.

Is there anything I can do?

Thanks for any help!

- Chris
 
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Old 08-29-09, 08:15 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Remotes are "remotes", they can be wired or wireless. Which did you buy?
 
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Old 08-29-09, 08:19 PM
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I bought the kit that includes both the wired decora wall remote AND the hand held battery operated remote.

My goal is to allow both to work together.

The battery operated, handheld one works great, which is why I'm puzzled by the decora one in the wall that doesn't work and appears to require a hardwire back to the fan at the ceiling.

Thanks!
 
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Old 08-29-09, 08:38 PM
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Harbor Breeze fan

I installed a Harbor Breeze 3 years ago ($179) that was remote controlled from the start and off the shelf. All I did was use a drop form an attic circuit. All it needs is 2 wires plus ground. I used the remote in the holder or move it around instead of installing controlled power. About 1 to 1 1/2 hours to install including reading instructions with beer breaks. I hate wires.

It is the greatest fan I ever had (running 24x7 for three years for circulation to make the temperatures consistent). Remote forward/reverse, automatic thermally controlled or manual (normally continuous manual), separate up and down warm lights that are used rarely (not ugly octopus bulbs). With a vaulted ceiling medium and high it can be too much for continuous operation. No pull chains that are usually the big aging problem. I plan on buying one more for my wide open two story entry plus I am trying to to find a similar smaller version for my 3 bedrooms. I do not know who really makes the fan, but it could be Hunter or even made to retailer specs in China.

It definitely seems you have a wiring problem. Have you considering getting someone to sort out the problem? Could be cheaper unless you have a good ladder and all the time in the world.

Dick
 
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Old 08-30-09, 07:51 AM
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Bottom line, the handheld remote will work without wires. The switch will require a switch loop from the fan to the box. I believe their thinking is you will be replacing an existing switch (which you don't have), so the wiring wouldn't be a problem.
 
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Old 08-30-09, 10:18 AM
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The diagram on the back of the wall transmitter shows two black wires and a green. The green is wired to the ground at wall, so I wired that to the ground coming out of the Romex that's already there (recall I'm just adding this wall transmitter next to a wall switch). For the two black wires, one connects to the hot wire from the wall, while the other is to connect to the same hot wire that powers the receiver at the fan. However, if both of these devices (wall transmitter and fan receiver) are on the same 15A circuit, haven't I, in theory, tied them to the same hot wire?

Is it possible that my switch is just defective and all it needs is power and ground and I just have a bad one? I understand what you're saying about replacing a switch so a wire would already be run to the fan, but I don't understand the switch loop part.

Thanks again!

- Chris
 
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Old 08-30-09, 10:30 AM
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Since I know they're on the same circuit, do you think I can just tie one of the black lines to neutral and trick into working?
 
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Old 08-30-09, 11:55 AM
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Chris, you don't have a clue on electrical, do you? No, you won't attach a black wire to a neutral. I don't think you have a neutral in the switch box, anyway. You may have a white wire, but if it has a piece of black tape on it (even if it doesn't) it is probably part of a switch loop, and is, in essence a black wire. A switch only breaks the current running in a hot wire, causing the fan to come on or go off. Now, does the existing switch control the fan? If so, you have to replace that switch with the remote switch. Sort of fill us in on the wires in your switch box, and if it is a single or double box, and how many switches were in there to begin with.

Larry
 
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Old 08-30-09, 12:28 PM
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My ignorance on this topic is starting to show huh?

Okay, here's the setup: The existing switch is to remain as is because it controls power to an outlet across the room. Since there was nothing in the ceiling prior, I tapped into a line on the same circuit above the ceiling to power the fan.

Behind the switch was alot of wire. I suspect this switch became a junction point for alot of the power in the room. So into the switch box comes roughly 3 romex cables, which are stripped and butted together with wirenuts grouping the black, white and grounds together. There is also a black wire in the bundle that goes to the switch. Additionally there is a red wire going into the switch and running out from the box. My guess is this controls power to the outlet across the room.

My assumption was that the wireless transmitter needed nothing more than power and ground to allow it to send wireless signals to my fan as the battery remote does, but this appears to not be the case unless I just have a defective switch.
 
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Old 08-30-09, 03:28 PM
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No, the "remote" you have for the wall needs wiring from the fan to a switch box. Power exists to the fan. You would run a switch loop from the fan (breaking the hot incoming and the hot on the fan) down to a switch location and attach your wall remote. I don't think the remote is defective, it just needs hard wiring from the fan. The wires in the wall now won't help. What is the brand and model number for the remote. I'll do some research for you.
I didn't mean to come down hard, it just shocked me when you were going to hook two unknown wires together. We'll get it, just put up with us a little longer.
 
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Old 08-30-09, 07:41 PM
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Hey, don't sweat it. I don't think I would have actually wired it up, but there's alot of misinformation on the internet and without knowing the details of these things, it never hurts to ask. Plus, I'm desperate to get this project done and anything to get there, I'm open to try.

The wall unit is a WC-100L and the handheld remote is RC-103L. They're both designed to work with the same wireless receiver which I mounted at the fan. The brand on the front says harbor breeze, but the manual says Litex Industries. I think Harbor Breeze is a Lowes house brand so it must be rebranded for them.

Let me see if I can dig up and online manual and if I can, I'll post it here so you can see the directions.

As I've said before, I understand standard wall switches and how they cut power to overhead lights and fans, but this kit is (I think) designed as an add on to allow you switch access without cutting into the wall to fish more wires. However, given this information, I'm puzzled by the instructions.

Thanks again for all the help.
 
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Old 08-31-09, 05:10 PM
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Chris, I was in HD today and looked at the remote. Same design, but with HD markings and numbers. According to the wiring diagram on the side of the switch, it actually replaces a wall switch, using the 120 volts from the switch loop. No neutral. Just thought I'd throw it in.
 
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Old 08-31-09, 07:53 PM
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I appreciate you looking into that for me. I supposed I'm hosed here unless I fish a black wire down the wall. Bummer.

You'll have to help me understand why the switch needs power from the AC line at the fan. I can drop a 9V battery in the hand held version and it works great, so why wouldn't the wall unit just get 110V from a nearby source and work the same as the remote? We've already established the fan speed and lighting control are still being done wirelelessly even from the wall controller. It seems like an odd design. There must be some advantage to creating a loop from the fan and wall switch.

Oh well. I appreciate all the back and fourth you've done. If I find out anything else interesting about this product, I'll be sure to update this forum. Maybe I can help the next guy that gets confused by this.

- Chris
 
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Old 08-31-09, 08:47 PM
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Chris, because the "wall remote" is actually a hardwired switch, not wireless. Black "line" wire from the ceiling hot wire will travel down and energize the switch. The black "load" wire from the fan will travel down and receive the energy and send it back to the fan. Now, it is entirely possible it is sending radio waves, but part of it requires it to be hardwired as a switch in the wall.
Have you thought of trashing the idea of the wall switch and tying a big iron ball to the handheld remote so you won't misplace it?? Good luck.
 
 

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