3 way switch for ceiling fan/light fixture

Old 08-30-10, 11:31 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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3 way switch for ceiling fan/light fixture

I want to install a ceiling fan/light and have it controlled at two locations. I only have room for single-gang combo switches at both locations. We're remodeling and the walls and ceiling are open to run whatever wiring is needed. Is this possible, do I need special switches, and how do I do it?
Old 09-08-10, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
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You'll need to branch off a nearby 15A circuit (e.g. a plug) with a 14/2 wire to feed the first switch box, then run a 14/3 wire between the two switch boxes. Last wire to run is either a 14/2 or 14/3 to the fan box. Since you are using 3-way switches, you only need to use a 14/2 wire, but I would recommend using a 14/3 in case you decide (or the future homeowner decides) to change it to a dual switch (one for fan and one for light). I would also recommend feeding and switching the fan from one location rather than feeding one switch and switching the fan from another. This will allow more flexibility (i.e., allow you to install a dual switch). The following are the correct wire connections:

Working at Switchbox 1:
Black wire from plug/feed connects to white wire of 14/3 leading to other switch.
White wire from plug/feed connects to white wire of 14/3 leading to fan box.
Connect red and black wires from fan box together and splice with a pigtail (use black wire) which then connects to the black screw on the 3-way switch.
Lastly, connect the red and black wires leading to the other switchbox to the remaining two screws on the 3-way switch.

Working at Switchbox 2:
Connect white wire to black screw on 3-way switch.
Connect red and black wires to remaining two screws.
Lastly, place a piece of black electrical tape on the white wire to denote it as a "hot" wire.

Working at Fan Box:
White to white
Black to black
Red to blue.

That's it.

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