Remote Ceiling Fan Install

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Old 05-27-13, 10:51 AM
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Remote Ceiling Fan Install

Long time lurker, first time poster. I am installing a ceiling fan that uses a remote control module. I have red, black, white, and bare copper in the ceiling. I'm pretty confident in the wiring of the receiver to the ceiling (black to black, white to white, green to bare copper, red unused). However, I have had two fans fail after about 3 days of installation so I want to cover all of my bases before installing the third. The first two fans worked perfectly fine initially so I don't know if I randomly got 2 bad units. This time I took the switch off the wall to see what was going on there. The switch on the right in the pic controls the wires in the ceiling, the one on the left is a dimmer switch for some lights above the fireplace, therefore, I focused on the switch to the right. Checking the voltage on the bottom right wire I found it is always hot (121.1v). The following states yield the following readings from the black wire above it and the red wire to its left.

Switch On:
Top Right Black - 121.1V
Red Wire - 45.4V

Switch Off:
Top Right Black - 37.5V
Red Wire - 121V

Is that a common switch setup for a ceiling fan/light combo (assuming the previous one wasn't remote controlled)?

Would it be a good idea to change out the switch and cap the red wire, or could I just disconnect the red wire, cap it, and leave the switch as is?

Thanks for the help gents!
 
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Old 05-27-13, 11:00 AM
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Voltage is not normally measured across a switch. The setup is common for the switch. The box in your bottom oicture though does not appear to be fan rated. Is it?

Would it be a good idea to change out the switch and cap the red wire, or could I just disconnect the red wire, cap it, and leave the switch as is?
That would disable the three way switching function. Not sure what you are trying to do.
 

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Old 05-27-13, 11:06 AM
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I don't believe it is either, so I mounted the bracket to the stud in the ceiling.

Sorry didn't see the question in the second part of your post...

"That would disable the three way switching function. Not sure what you are trying to do."
Is the three way switch still necessary since the red wire in the ceiling is no longer being used since the wireless receiver controls both the light and fan function? Just wondering if something in that setup is causing the fan to burn up or something. Just strange the first two failed after such a short while.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 11:10 AM
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The three way switch you have pictured is the hot (feed) side of the three way. Visible by the black wire on the common screw connected to a group of wires. The other top wires (black and red) on the switch are the travelers.

Please post a picture of the other three way switch box so we can see the switch leg side of thing going up to the ceiling box. I am curious where the red wire of the ceiling box is coming from.

Ray - That is a saddle box. One of the best fan boxes out there IMO. Screws go through the box and into the framing.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 11:18 AM
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I'm not 100% sure if you're referring to the switch directly next to it or not. I posted a more clear pic of that switch. Sorry if this isn't what you're referring to.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 11:21 AM
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No, that is not it. You have a single pole dimmer that controls the lights by the fireplace. The other switch is a three way that controls your fan. There should also be another 3 way switch that also controls the fan in another location. We need a picture of that switch box just like you took of the first box with the dimmer.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 11:28 AM
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Ray - That is a saddle box.
Thanks, Tolyn. Your eyes are a lot better than mine.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 11:34 AM
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BIG screen!
-----------------
 
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Old 05-27-13, 11:38 AM
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Okay, so just around the corner is another switch (see pic) that may be what you're looking for. However, this switch also affects some of the lighting in the kitchen (so I don't know that it is tied to the fan). If that is the case then I don't know that there is another switch nearby that controls the fan as well! The first pic shows location of both switches, the second pic is a close up of the one closest to the door, the third pic is of another dimmer switch for some kitchen lights (mentioned above) that is also affect by the switch in the second pic.

BTW, not sure whats up with the pics getting rotated, iPhone...
 
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Old 05-27-13, 11:55 AM
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In the 2nd picture, does any of the single pole switches have a red wire connected to them in that box? It will likely be grouped with the black off the three way common screw.

Also please confirm that the red wire is not off the three way common screw in the very first picture.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 11:59 AM
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Other than the one that is pulled out, none of them do.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 12:09 PM
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Humm...odd. However, we are getting a little bogged down in the details.

You should be able to connect the ceiling box as normal to the receiver of the fan. Black to black, white to white, green to ground, and just cap off the red in the ceiling. Leave the switches as is and they should work normal.

Make sure that there is no dimmers switches that control the fan. Dimmers will burn out a fan.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 12:26 PM
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I agree, and yes there aren't any dimmers that control the fan. I just made some extenders for my multimeter leads and was able to reach the switch and the wires in the ceiling at the same time. The red wire from the ceiling and the red wire from the first switch posted are the same line (continuity check). Also, the same for the black wires both in the ceiling and top right of the first switch. Would this be indicative of a three way switch ...? Seems right now all the switch does is change the 120V line from the red in the ceiling to the black in the ceiling depending on the switch position.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 02:14 PM
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Did you do your continuity checks with the wires disconnected from the switch? Otherwise you could be easily be reading through the switches and give you false readings

Also please confirm that the red wire is not off the three way common screw in the very first picture.
You never did answer this I posted in post #10.

Would this be indicative of a three way switch ...? Seems right now all the switch does is change the 120V line from the red in the ceiling to the black in the ceiling depending on the switch position.
No, this would not be a normal 3 way setup. There is really no reason to do this because if you had a fan and light separately connected, you could only have one on at a time, and one would always be running.

Try reading up in the ceiling box from red to ground, and black to ground, with the 3 way switches in the up an down position.

Also, you might want to study this: http://www.electrical-online.com/wp-...way-switch.jpg This is a "normal" 3 way setup.
 
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Old 05-27-13, 04:04 PM
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Yes, I disconnected them from the switch before doing my continuity check. I've already closed up all the switch covers and rough hooked up the fan (didn't attach blades, canopy covers, etc.). Just connected for the raw features of the fan, currently works exactly as it should (remote, light, fan). Going to wait a couple days before I put the rest of the pieces together in case it fails and I have to take it down.
 
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