Confusing ceiling fan wiring

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  #1  
Old 09-08-16, 03:12 PM
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Confusing ceiling fan wiring

I have a single switch that turns on/off a ceiling fan with light. At this time, I cannot turn the fan light or just the fan separately, once the switch is used, it turns both features on. So here is my confusing existing setup.

The switch has a red wire hooked up that goes to the wall.
Two black switches hooked up -- one of them goes to the cap, joining two other black wires on the right side of the image, and the other goes back to the wall.

Additionally, there are three white wires capped off (to the left on the image), and as previously stated, three black wires capped off (right side of the image), where when goes back to the switch, and the other two to the wall.

With that said, i would like to know how i could convert this setup to isolate the fan light and switch on a new outlet, and also learn why or when two black wires would be used at the same time on the switch as my picture shows.

Sorry for the long post.

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  #2  
Old 09-08-16, 03:33 PM
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We're going to have to dissect your post a little, since terminology and grammar were not consistent. Sorry.
Two black switches hooked up
Is this what you meant?

where when goes back to the switch
Clarification needed.

isolate the fan light and switch on a new outlet
Not sure what you meant here.

The white wires should remain bundled as they are the neutrals.

The black wires are hot and the one to the switch is looped over the screw for continuity, although poorly done. It energizes the switch. The red wire goes to the fan/light combo. What does the wiring look like in the fan canopy? Is there a black wire capped off not being used?
 
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Old 09-08-16, 03:43 PM
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So it seems like you have power coming in, power going out to another location (perhaps a receptacle somewhere or another light), and switched power going to your fan/light. They took a shortcut and used the hot terminal of the switch as a junction point by running the wire to and from the terminal and then to the wire nut.

Power coming in is a black and a white wire, power going out is a black and a white wire, and switched power to the fan/light is a red and a white wire.

In order to control the fan and light separately, you need another wire running from the switch location to the fan/light. If the wiring is in conduit you may be able to pull another wire. If these are cables (romex), then you would have to pull another cable.
 
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Old 09-08-16, 04:59 PM
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Sorry for the confusing post.
Let me try to clarify.
My attempt is to replace my single switch today, with a switch that contains two buttons, one that would turn the ceiling fan on and off, and the other button would power the fan.

The current switch has 3 wires currently connected to it. One red, and two black. One of the black wires is twisted around the screw, while the other is connected through the back of the switch. One of those black wires is coming from the wall, while the other is going to the cap on the right, where it connects with other 2 black wires. Does that clarify?
 
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Old 09-08-16, 05:29 PM
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One of the black wires is twisted around the screw, while the other is connected through the back of the switch.
Something that should never have been done really. Instead connect those to wires together. On a conventional switch you would pigtail them to the switch screw. On a switch with wire you would connect them both to the same wire from the switch.

Tell us about the new switch. Is it a special switch that works with a special control in the fan.

Note this type won't work. You don't have enough wires.

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Old 09-08-16, 08:42 PM
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Hi ray, at this point I don't have a real preference, but I was thinking about something like this Lutron Maestro 1 Amp Single-Pole 7-Speed Combination Fan and Light Control - White MA-LFQHW-WH at The Home Depot - Mobile in summary, just something I would be able to turn the fan or the light separately.

You mentioned the current setup is wrong, could you explain how I could fix it (if I decided to leave as is and not change the switch, just fix what's wrong.)

Thank you
 
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Old 09-08-16, 10:04 PM
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but I was thinking about something like this Lutron Maestro 1 Amp Single-Pole 7-Speed Combination Fan and Light Control - White MA-LFQHW-WH at The Home Depot - Mobile
Good choice. That switch will work because it uses a module that you install at the fan.
You mentioned the current setup is wrong
Not wrong just not best practice. The back stab connectors (wire pushed in back) are less reliable then screws and over time can fail. Also newbies often are confused by them. Best is to pigtail them. That is using a wire nut connect the two wires to a 6"-8" length of wire the same gauge and color and then connect that wire to the screw on the switch.

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Old 09-09-16, 02:55 PM
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Thanks Ray, one more question as a follow-up to what you said.
Your approach suggest capping the two black wires that are connected on the switch, and buying a new piece to go from the switch to this new cap setup.
On my switch there is already a cap with 3 black wires (right side of the picture), should i just cap the two from the switch together with the existing 3 meaning i would have one cap with 5 black wires?

Thank you
 
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Old 09-09-16, 03:44 PM
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See photo below. Are "A" and "B" the same wire?

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Old 09-10-16, 09:32 AM
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Yes, it's the same wire. The other wire that is on the switch is coming directly from the wall, it doesn't go thru the cap
 
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Old 09-10-16, 11:05 AM
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Then the wire on the screw should go to the wire nut. And the back stabbed wire to the screw.
 
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Old 09-10-16, 02:41 PM
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Not sure if I did it right, but here is my new setup.

I connected the wire coming from the cap into the switch, and the second wire that was on the switch is now on the cap as well. So I only have 1 black wire in the switch, and 4 blacks capped in the right. Is that correct?
 
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Old 09-10-16, 03:12 PM
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Sounds right. If it works it's right. What you are doing is connecting the hot in and all hots out together and running a pigtail from there to the switch screw.
 
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Old 09-10-16, 05:17 PM
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Something went wrong because when I turn on the switch, the fan light flickers on and off non stop
 
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Old 09-10-16, 06:08 PM
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Is this the original switch or the new switch?
 
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Old 09-10-16, 06:35 PM
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So here is an update.
The new switch is a dimmer from Lutron with a remote control. The light bulb in the ceiling fan was a CFL spiral type, and that was why the crazy flickering was happening.

I replaced the bulb with a dimmable LED light, and the flickering stopped, however, when I turn the switch to off, the light bulb in the ceiling fan glows very lightly and non stop.

I am not sure if it's a defective switch, or if it doesn't work with LEDs.
 
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Old 09-10-16, 06:41 PM
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It doesn't work with LED's..... or CFL's. Usually the instructions will say incandescent only.
 
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