Wiring a ceiling fan to a switch that controls a split receptacle.


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Old 04-22-14, 07:28 PM
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Wiring a ceiling fan to a switch that controls a split receptacle.

I have a switch that controls a socket (I have floor lamp connected to it now, but I don't care if I can't use it any more in that manner). The bottom socket in the receptacle is always hot. I do not want to disturb that since I have all computer stuff connected to it using a power strip.

I am sure I can add a brace for the fan (from home depot) in the ceiling and run a new wire from there to the existing switch. Also I know I can find the wire going from the switch to the socket in the attic and use the same for the fan (except I see only two wires (red and black) connected to this switch. (side question: Why is there no neutral wire connected to the switch?)

Please see the pictures (first is the switch second is the socket/receptacle) and let me know what is the best/simplest way to handle this task. Switch and receptacle are on opposite walls and I have crawlable access in the attic up to the middle section where I need to put the brace for the fan.

Thanks
hs
 
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Old 04-22-14, 07:50 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

If you look at the receptacle you'll see a red(switched), black(always hot) and a white(neutral).
You'll notice that the brass bridge is removed on the red/black side of the receptacle so that there is an always live and a switched receptacle.

The red wire on that receptacle is the red wire at the switch.
I see white wires in your switch box so you do have a neutral there.

Is it your plan to have both receptacles always live and to use the switch for the fan AND
will you be running the wire from the switch location to the new fan location ?
 
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Old 04-23-14, 01:35 PM
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I am not sure. Whatever is the easiest and safest option. I am OK if I lose the use of the top receptacle (where I use a floor lamp now). It would be nice to make it always hot if its not going to complicate things.

Here is a question. IF (I hope I am not kidding myself), I am able twist my body at the right angles in the attic and find the red wire going from the switch to the top receptacle (would there be any other colored wires with it like the black and white?), could I snip it a foot beyond the length wher I would locate the fan in the ceiling and use that for the celing fan? And then tape over the top receptacle so noone can use it?

If not, the other option is to lay a new 14/3 wire from the switch to the fan hole (which I will make). Not sure if there is enough space in the switch box to hold the 3 new wires. Also I would need to make hold above the switch box to put the new wire into the box somehow.

I think I will complicate things for myself if I keep typing with my limited knowledge So I stop here now for expert guidence!

HS
 
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Old 04-23-14, 03:28 PM
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Whatever is the easiest and safest option
Multiple safe options. Easiest is run cable for fan to switch, disconnect and cap red at both switch box and receptacle, and replace receptacle with one that has an unbroken tab.
 
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Old 04-23-14, 05:33 PM
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What do you mean by 'disconnect and cap red at both switch box and receptacle'? Does this mean in essence, I am breaking the connection between the switch and the receptacle. And since the new receptacle will have an unbroken tab, both sockets will be always hot?

So in the new scenario, the fan wire(s)? will connect directly to switch. But, there is only one black wire on the switch (which I think is the incoming hot power, correct). Does this mean I cannot have a fan with lights?
 
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Old 04-23-14, 05:39 PM
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And since the new receptacle will have an unbroken tab, both sockets will be always hot?
That is correct.

The black wire left on the switch is always hot. You'll obtain the neutral from the white connection in the back of the box.

The easiest thing to do is to run a two wire cable. You can leave the switch on which means the fan and light are controlled from the remote.

If you want the fan to operate by remote and the light to just come on with the wall switch.... then you'll need to run a three wire cable from the switch to the fan.
 
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Old 04-23-14, 09:03 PM
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IF (I hope I am not kidding myself), I am able twist my body at the right angles in the attic and find the red wire going from the switch to the top receptacle (would there be any other colored wires with it like the black and white?),
All of the electrical conductors (wires) in your house run inside cables. Specifically, in your house, in Type NM (Non-Metallic) cable.

The red wire that connects the switch to the upper receptacle is one of the conductors in a 3-conductor cable that runs between the switch box to the receptacle box. The four wires in that 3-conductor cable are black, red, white and bare copper. It is unlikely that that cable is run through your attic.

could I snip it a foot beyond the length wher I would locate the fan in the ceiling and use that for the celing fan? And then tape over the top receptacle so noone can use it?
No, since that cable isn't in the attic, and unnecessary.

If not, the other option is to lay a new 14/3 wire from the switch to the fan hole (which I will make).
You can use 14-x/G cable to extend a 15A circuit. If this is a 20A circuit you will need to use 12-x/G cable.

there is only one black wire on the switch (which I think is the incoming hot power, correct). Does this mean I cannot have a fan with lights?
No. The number of conductors needed in the new cable is determined by the choices you make for the fixture you install and how you want to control it. A 3-conductor cable is needed if you want to install a fan with a light and you want to control each one with a hard-wired wall control, or control one (usually the light) from the wall and have the other be always hot -- controlled by its pull chain.

If you want to control the fan and light with a remote control, including a wall-box-mounted remote control, then you only need to run a 2-conductor cable between the switch box and the ceiling box.

Not sure if there is enough space in the switch box to hold the 3 new wires. Also I would need to make hold above the switch box to put the new wire into the box somehow.
If you remove the existing wall box you can reach into the opening and pull the new cable through. You can replace that box with a single-gang or two-gang old work box to house your new control(s), depending on which type of control you choose.

I am sure I can add a brace for the fan (from home depot) in the ceiling and run...
You need to install a ceiling box that is rated for fan support if you will be mounting the fan to the box. One type of fan-rated box comes with a brace that attaches to the ceiling framing.
 
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Old 05-08-14, 12:20 AM
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OK.. Need more help now

I have bought the old work fan box/brace rod and a ceiling fan with light which includes a remote control.

So I turned off power and really pulled the switches out to see look inside. It seems that I have a 2 wire (black+white+ground) bringing in power into the switch box. Also there is a 3 wire (Red+Black+White+Ground) coming in (I think this is what is connected to the "bottom always hot & top switched" recepacle). The Red is connected to the top part of the switch, the black is connected to the bottom part of the switch and the three blacks are spliced together.

This is a two gang switch box where the other switch has many wires connected to it since it is a part of a three way controlling lights in a long hallway.

The top middle and top right inlets are occupied with existing wires. I was able to break the tab off the top left inlet. Please see the attached pics.

I am thinking (this is where it gets dangerous that:
1) I can run a small two wire cable to a new switch right above the existing one. On the existing two gang side, I connect the new black to the existing three black pigtail (this will be the 4th one) this will give me incoming power/hot, connect the white to the existing white pigtail (neutral), connect ground to exisint gground pigtail.

2) On the new switch box side, black from the old two gang connects to bottom of switch (bringing power to the switch. What to do with white ground?

3) I lay a new 2 wire cable from new switchbox to ceiling fan hole. On the new switch box side, this new black (going to fan) will connect to the top of the switch (this will take power to the fan). The new white (going to fan) will connect to the white from the old two gang box. The new ground (going to fan) will connect to the ground from the old two gang box.

4) On the fan side, can I use the black coming from the switch to power both fan and light? I will ask these connections later if I cannot figure them out but for now, I just would like help/confirmation on the above please...

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Thanks
HS
 

Last edited by ray2047; 05-08-14 at 05:18 AM. Reason: Enlarge and coretly insert image>
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Old 05-08-14, 05:31 AM
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the black is connected to the bottom part of the switch and the three blacks are spliced together.
Actually don't you mean the black of the power in is pigtailed to both switches. Can you restate what you want to do. I don't understand your post. Why are you adding a switch? You just use the existing switch for the fan.

Note switches don't have inlets or a bottom or top (they can be turned any way you want), neither do receptacles. Switches and receptacles have screws or terminals. The two screws (terminals) on a non 3-way switch are interchangeable (doesn't matter which wire to which). Receptacles have a hot side and a neutral side (brass and silver). Switches and receptacles have holes on the back for inserting wires. We call them back stabs. We recommend never use them. Instead pigtail if there aren't enough screws.

A pigtail is a short wire 6-8" long length of wire the same size and color of the wire it is connected to. Often pigtails are used when a single wire needs to be connected to two or more places or two are more wires need to be connected to a single place.

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Last edited by ray2047; 05-08-14 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 05-08-14, 02:55 PM
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Sorry about the confusion I have caused now. This is because the thread heading does not reflect what I plan to do now. Since I was told (and I think it is true) that the existing wire from the switch is not running through the ceiling/attic to the switch socket, I wont be able to use that to power the fan.

So now I want to take the power that is coming into the existing switch (the one which turns on the floor lamp today connected to the switched receptacle) and run that to the new ceiling fan fixture. Hence I would need a new switch. This way I do not mess/bother with the existing set up of the floor lamp/always hot socket combo on the opposite wall (which was my original plan).

So in essence I am trying to figure out 1) getting power to the new switch, which I will add right above the existing one and then 2) getting that power to the ceiling fan fixture. The fan has a remote so I will only need a black/nutral/ground wire going from the switch to the fan is what I am being told (at HD). I want to confirm here though that I can use that one hot wire to power both fan and light fixture on the fan.

Hope I am making sense now Thanks!
 
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Old 05-08-14, 03:37 PM
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Just use a duplex switch for the receptacle and the other load.and a simplex switch for the fan. That way no new box needed.

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Old 09-03-14, 06:01 PM
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Thank you, all!

Sorry about the delay in response! Thanks to all the help I got from the forum. I did accomplish what I set out to do!

Here is what I did:
1) Power off
2) Sawed a round hole in the ceiling where I wanted the new fan.
3) Cut out square hole above the existing switch plate so I could maneuver the cable into the existing switch box (had to break one of the top tabs (easy with long nose pliers).
4) Crawled in the attic and laid a 3 wire cable between the two holes.
5) Attached brace for the fan between the joists.
6) Replaced one of the two switches with a duplex switch wiring as suggested
7) Such that one of the duplex switches controls the existing light and the other, the fan.
8) Wired and hung the fan.
9) The fan's remote controls the speed and lights which I perfectly fine with.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 09-03-14, 06:49 PM
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Good job. Thanks for letting us know.
 
 

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