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christo
08-16-2008, 04:02 AM
I want to install incandescent track lighting on either side of the fan. I want the fan and the track lighting to work off a dimmer switch. How can I accomplish this. Currently the fan box has three wires. Green,White & Purple attached to a single pole switch. Please explain in simple terms as I am a bit challenged by this. Thanks for any help.

jimbo
08-16-2008, 05:19 AM
You can't run a fan motor off a dimmer. It requires a specialized speed control. If you only have the hot an neutral wires, you have no way to separate the fan from the fan-light. You will need to run more wires so you can put in more switches and fan controls.

hj
08-16-2008, 07:18 AM
You may have room to install a wireless controller in the fan mount which uses just 2 wires and the ground to it and then it separates the current to the fan and light, with dimmers and fan speed controls. The main switch has to be a single pole without a dimmer or speed control.

christo
08-16-2008, 07:30 AM
I think I would like to try and run additional wires. As the Purple (The Hot When grounded and tested) Green and White are in conduit and I believe I can pull additional wire through. I hope there is enough space in the conduit. Can I eliminate one wire and use that as a pull.

Can you explain in simple terms how I go about wiring this. I hope I am being clear.

Billy_Bob
08-16-2008, 09:40 AM
...Can you explain in simple terms how I go about wiring this..

Wiring is not a simple thing! There is a lot of danger to life and property if this is not done correctly. You or someone from your family could be eletrocuited or a fire could result from an improper installation.

Furthermore if something does happen (like your house burns down), and this electrical work was not done to code and inspected, your insurance company does not have to pay a cent!

If you want to learn about electrical wiring, I suggest you get some books on wiring and learn the basics first.

Also think about how *you* would do this. Then hire an electrician to do the work and see if he does it the same way you would have done it. If it is done differently, it is for safety. Learn why the wiring was done the way the electrician did it.

Another thing is electrical "codes". This is an "instruction book" on how to do wiring so accidents will not likely happen. Good stuff! It is called the "National Electrical Code" and should be at your local library.

christo
08-16-2008, 10:44 AM
your information may very well be correct, now don't you think i understand the ramifications. my project is not complicated. furthermore i thought this was a diy forum. the only people that achieve success are persistent despite obstacles. btw, i am trying to get a professional to no avail yet, apparently the job is too small, im only guessing. your response is not appropriate. spare me, don't clutter this forum with rhetoric. anyone care to help, i would sincerely appreciate it.

jimbo
08-16-2008, 01:26 PM
Well, yuu haven't helped us a lot..... A picture and/or diagram of what you have would help. A purple wire is rather unusual, so we don't know what we are dealing with.

Do you want the fan lights to be separately controlled from the new track lights? Do you have the manual for the fan? Is a remote or speed control module available?

hj
08-16-2008, 02:14 PM
If you were a competent DIY'er in electricity, you would know that you cannot "eliminate" one wire, but you can use one of them to pull TWO new wires. The extra one you need and one to replace your pull wire. But you would also probably have known how to do it in the first place without asking here. Why didn't you tell us it was in conduit originally? That would have made a difference in our responses.

christo
08-16-2008, 05:29 PM
I am in a condominium and the ceiling is a concrete slab. This conduit is a gray plastic tube that the three wires are in. The box in the ceiling is metal that supports the fan. The purple wire (Hot when tested and grounded by a tester reads 120V)and Green and White wire are also in this box. At the single pole switch the purple and a black is on this single pole switch.
The channels are in place already. One on each side of the room, with the box for the fan in the center. My ideal project would be to have a fan running, no light attached to it, and it does not have to have variable speeds perhaps just set to slow to medium. My priority is to have the track lighting on a dimmer. Again, thank you very much for your help.

jadnashua
08-16-2008, 07:44 PM
So, the switch that activates the fan has a black and the purple wire on it?

You need at least one additional wire. But, in the electrical box where the switch is, are there also any white wires? Many dimmers need a neutral. If that box doesn't have any, you'd need two new wires, and there should be a ground in there as well.

How would you get the wires out of the fan box to the track lighting?

christo
08-17-2008, 04:48 AM
Yes the switch that activates the fan has a black and purple on it.
The electrical box has a total of three single pole switches. One for the fan, one for the outside light, and one controls a receptacle in the wall. There are several white wires in the box all tied together but do not go to any of the switches. I have used a light aluminum casing to attach the wires from the fan box to the lights.

I am not clear what wires from the light get tied into the box that has the 3 wires, purple,green and white, and what wires are tied into the switch. Also what new wire do I run from the switch to the box. One last thing, what type of switch do I buy and what wires are attached where on the switch to make the lights and fan function. I hope I was clear, and I wish I could understand it by now. BTW I am trying to obtain an electrician, however to no avail. I guess the job is too small. I sought advise from this forum thinking that this was not that involved. Thanks again all for your patience and help.
Edit/Delete Message


So, the switch that activates the fan has a black and the purple wire on it?

You need at least one additional wire. But, in the electrical box where the switch is, are there also any white wires? Many dimmers need a neutral. If that box doesn't have any, you'd need two new wires, and there should be a ground in there as well.

How would you get the wires out of the fan box to the track lighting?

Billy_Bob
08-17-2008, 05:59 AM
Are you in a highrise building? Sometimes in a highrise they use colored wiring which would not be typical to "home wiring".

Anyway following is a wiring diagram of a switch and light bulb...
http://www.make-my-own-house.com/images/ellightbulb.jpg

In the above diagram, black is connected to the switch, then to the light. The light could instead be a ceiling fan. Same wiring. In your case it sounds like they used purple instead of black.

To be clear on what color is what...
Purple connects to the switch terminal and this switch turns on the fan and the fan light?

And white is passed through and also goes to the fan and fan light?

Then green should be ground. A ground wire would also connect to the metal in a metal electrical box or the metal covering of the ceiling fan.

Now if the above is true, the big question is...
Are there several conduit pipes going to this 3 switch electrical box?
Is there one conduit pipe in which only the fan wiring goes?

So from the ceiling fan switch, there are 3 wires going into a conduit pipe and these are purple, white, and green? And these are the only wires in that conduit pipe? And only the same three colors come out the pipe at the ceiling fan electrical box?

The reason I am asking is that sometimes a conduit pipe will go to several points before arriving at its "final destination". So the question is if that pipe goes directly to the ceiling fan from the switch box?

jimbo
08-17-2008, 06:22 AM
I have used a light aluminum casing to attach the wires from the fan box to the lights.



Please explain or photo that!

christo
08-17-2008, 07:25 AM
I am in a multiple dwelling 3 stories.

Yes Purple connects to the switch and turns on the fan. It is attatched to a wireless remote that turns on the light. I don't have to have the light work if this is a big problem however it would be nice if I could. I could always disconnect the light assembly.

Yes white is passed through and goes to the fan and also connected to the light.

Yes, green should be ground.

Yes there are several conduit pipes each going to there respective points. Only one conduit pipe for the fan wiring.
Yes only 3 wires going into a conduit pipe and these are purple, white, and green. These are the only wires in that conduit pipe.

Yes directly from the ceiling fan to the switch. These are the only wires in the conduit pipe.


Are you in a highrise building? Sometimes in a highrise they use colored wiring which would not be typical to "home wiring".

Anyway following is a wiring diagram of a switch and light bulb...
http://www.make-my-own-house.com/images/ellightbulb.jpg

In the above diagram, black is connected to the switch, then to the light. The light could instead be a ceiling fan. Same wiring. In your case it sounds like they used purple instead of black.

To be clear on what color is what...


Purple connects to the switch terminal and this switch turns on the fan and the fan light?

And white is passed through and also goes to the fan and fan light?


Then green should be ground. A ground wire would also connect to the metal in a metal electrical box or the metal covering of the ceiling fan.


Now if the above is true, the big question is...
Are there several conduit pipes going to this 3 switch electrical box?
Is there one conduit pipe in which only the fan wiring goes?


So from the ceiling fan switch, there are 3 wires going into a conduit pipe and these are purple, white, and green? And these are the only wires in that conduit pipe? And only the same three colors come out the pipe at the ceiling fan electrical box?
And only the same three colors come out the pipe at the ceiling fan electrical box?

The reason I am asking is that sometimes a conduit pipe will go to several points before arriving at its "final destination". So the question is if that pipe goes directly to the ceiling fan from the switch box?

christo
08-17-2008, 07:28 AM
They connect together to get your respective length. It is sold in Home Depot. You can also get left or right angle to make turns. They come in white or beige. Used mainly in condos. Basically conceals the wire. Hope that helps.


Please explain or photo that!

Billy_Bob
08-17-2008, 08:02 AM
Ok, now just decide what you want for your switches to control.

What kind of switches do you have?

Regular toggle switches like this?
http://images.hardwareandtools.com/T/u325977.jpg

Or "Decora" like this...
http://www.asihome.com/images/lev-80411-w.png

The following is a "double switch" which can fit in the place of one switch...
https://www.theelectricalexchange.com/user_images/9526342.jpg

This is a light dimmer switch...
(One of many different types)
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/211N9D2PDPL.jpg

These are various ceiling fan speed controls...
http://www.foxelectricsupply.com/content/products/ProductCatalog.asp?qscategoryId=24666

Billy_Bob
08-17-2008, 08:42 AM
Other things to find out if you can is what size conduit you have? Typical sizes are 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch.

Then what size wire is used. Typical sizes are 14 gauge and 12 gauge. To confirm your wire size, go to your circuit breaker panel and turn off the breaker which turns off the ceiling fan. There should be a number printed on this breaker. Like 15 or 20. This is the "amperage" of the breaker and determines what size wire should be used. So 15? 20?

Then with just this breaker turned off, might want to see what all this breaker controls in addition to the ceiling fan. There is a possibility that the additional lights could overload the circuit, but probably not.

If you know the total wattage of each track lighting fixture, that would help. Or the wattage of each bulb and how many bulbs you plan to have on each track light.

Billy_Bob
08-17-2008, 08:46 AM
And do you have a budget for this project? Want to keep expenses down?

Or want to get everything working like you want and OK to spend what it takes?

Bob NH
08-17-2008, 09:05 AM
I think I would like to try and run additional wires. As the Purple (The Hot When grounded and tested) Green and White are in conduit and I believe I can pull additional wire through. I hope there is enough space in the conduit. Can I eliminate one wire and use that as a pull.

Can you explain in simple terms how I go about wiring this. I hope I am being clear.

You can run eight #12 or eleven #14 THHN in a 1/2" PVC conduit; one more of each in 1/2" EMT. Since you need only one ground and one neutral that would leave 6 or more for the hot and controls.

You might want to remove the existing wires while installing a pull line; then pull all at one time in a bundle. It can be difficult trying to pull in more while there are also some in the pipe.

You should use some kind of lubricant. One electrician told me that corn starch will work. You can use your imagination; lubricant is lubricant but I would avoid petroleum-based lubricants.

You can use one switch to apply power but I would keep the fan and light separate for dimmer and speed control.

You may need to increase the size of boxes to accommodate the wires if you pull a lot of them.

It will be a lot easier if it is run on #14 with a 15 Amp breaker; and not on the required bathroom receptacle circuit. Pulling the wires is not much different but making up solid #12 is much harder. I like stranded wire in conduit.

You do not need GFCI protection if there is no receptacle. There are AFCI requirements if it is a new circuit under the 2008 Code.

Mikey
08-17-2008, 09:09 AM
Step 1: Turn off breaker, and disconnect all wires at the fan. Tape them together with a polypropelene pull-string at the fan, and pull them all back from the switch box end. Regular old electrical tape works good to hold everything together. Don't skimp on the tape. You will now have a coil of three wires -- purple, green, and white -- lying neatly on the floor, and the pull-string leading back into the conduit up to the fan box.

Step 2: Having checked the breaker for capacity (15A or 20A), add a 4th wire (black or red would be nice) of appropriate gauge (#14 for 15A, #12 for 20A -- use STRANDED wire for easier pulling) to the bundle, taping it to the bundle at the end where the pull-string is attached. Now have your lovely assistant gently pull the new 4-wire bundle back through the conduit up to the fan box, while you carefully feed the bundle into the conduit at the switchbox end. A "pulling lube", aka "slime" makes the job easier, but probably isn't necessary for a short run like this.

Step 3: Reconnect the fan as it was, and pull more of the new wire into the fan box to allow extending it to the light, if necessary. The light needs the new wire, a white (connected to the white in the fan box), and a green.

Step 4: Choose switches appropriate to your needs and switchbox style. One of BillyBob's links showed switches specifically designed to control both a fan and a light using a single gang in the switchbox, which may be just what you need. The existing black wire in the switch box needs to be split via a pigtails and a wirenut to the 2 switches -- this is the "hot" wire supplying power. The other sides of the switches go to the purple -- for the fan -- and the new wire for the light. Some of these dual fan/light switches may use a common power wire, which would eliminate the need for the pigtailed hot.

That should do it. Turn on the breaker and bask in your success.

hj
08-18-2008, 06:40 AM
You can run eight #12 or eleven #14 THHN in a 1/2" PVC conduit; one more of each in 1/2" EMT.

the only problem would be finding a six hundred pound gorilla to pull them through the pipes. But what relevence does that have when all he needs is one more wire for the lighting?

christo
08-18-2008, 03:17 PM
I'm almost there. I was able to run a new wire. I am not clear on the switch part of this. I have 3 single pole switches with this type of a wallplate.
http://images.hardwareandtools.com/T/u325977.jpg
One switch is for the fan, one for an outside light, and the other is for a wall receptacle. Can I eliminate this and just have permanent electric to the receptacle and use this for the lights. The fan can be controlled by the wireless remote.

jadnashua
08-18-2008, 03:41 PM
You should be able to take the wires off of the switch that is currently switching that outlet and put a wire nut on them, connecting them together. If you wish, add a 6" or so wire to that connection, run it back to the switch, then put the new wire you ran on the other terminal of the switch. Up at the fan box, that new wire will be switched and you'll need to connect to the neutral and ground wire and run them to the track lighting.

Mikey
08-19-2008, 06:16 AM
I wouldn't use the receptacle power for the fan or light, without some more research to make sure there isn't a neutral or ampacity issue somewhere.

Chris75
08-19-2008, 03:27 PM
I wouldn't use the receptacle power for the fan or light, without some more research to make sure there isn't a neutral or ampacity issue somewhere.

Why not? a fan draws one amp tops, it will be perfectly fine. not sure what you mean by the neutral issue. Besides, when I rough a house I don't seperate lights and receptacles, that's just silly.

christo
08-19-2008, 04:35 PM
It appears as though I have it wired correctly. I tested the fan and one track light and seems to be working great. I just need to tie in the other track light, then put it all back together. I sincerely want to thank all that took the time and respond. I am most greatful and the project will be a wonderful addition to my home. All the best.

Mikey
08-19-2008, 06:45 PM
Why not? a fan draws one amp tops, it will be perfectly fine. not sure what you mean by the neutral issue.
If the receptacle circuit were wired as a 20A circuit, but the wires to the fan were #14, there would be an ampacity issue, I would think. I also just don't like using a neutral from one circuit to serve as the neutral in another. Probably legal, I just don't like to do that.

Chris75
08-19-2008, 06:48 PM
If the receptacle circuit were wired as a 20A circuit, but the wires to the fan were #14, there would be an ampacity issue, I would think. I also just don't like using a neutral from one circuit to serve as the neutral in another. Probably legal, I just don't like to do that.

I probably missed the boat, because I didnt read the whole thread, :) but your correct with your first statement, that would be an issue... Your 2nd statement wouldnt happen if somebody new what they were doing, but you are correct it would be a violation to connect two seperate neutrals together.

christo
09-05-2008, 01:57 PM
I used a 300w 1.5A Light/Fan Switch for a fan and two track lights. Each track light has 6 50w incandescent lights. When I leave the lights on for a short time the switch especially the metal part gets pretty hot. The original single pole switch is connected to a 10 Amp breaker, which is what my current configuration is using. I used a #10 wire for the lights and the additional wire I added. Am I doing something wrong here to cause this overheating of the switch. If so how can I resolve this. Thanks for further help.

jwelectric
09-05-2008, 02:11 PM
I used a 300w 1.5A Light/Fan Switch for a fan and two track lights. Each track light has 6 50w incandescent lights. When I leave the lights on for a short time the switch especially the metal part gets pretty hot. The original single pole switch is connected to a 10 Amp breaker, which is what my current configuration is using. I used a #10 wire for the lights and the additional wire I added. Am I doing something wrong here to cause this overheating of the switch. If so how can I resolve this. Thanks for further help.


Hire an electrician before your house get hot

jadnashua
09-05-2008, 04:47 PM
Why would you think that 600W for the two tracks would work well on a 300W rated switch? You ARE overloading the switch, and it likely will fail, and could very easily start something on fire in the process.

Bob NH
09-05-2008, 06:43 PM
Wiring is not a simple thing! There is a lot of danger to life and property if this is not done correctly. You or someone from your family could be eletrocuited or a fire could result from an improper installation.

Furthermore if something does happen (like your house burns down), and this electrical work was not done to code and inspected, your insurance company does not have to pay a cent!


I checked my homeowner's policy and it has no such provision.

I suggest this is a scare-mongering tactic to discourage homeowners from doing their own work.

Please provide the name of insurance company and policy provision that would disallow payment for such loss.

Billy_Bob
09-06-2008, 06:01 AM
I checked my homeowner's policy and it has no such provision.

I suggest this is a scare-mongering tactic to discourage homeowners from doing their own work.

Please provide the name of insurance company and policy provision that would disallow payment for such loss.

No I will not. I have better things to do than reading through insurance policies! Note that there is more than what the policy states. There is also state insurance law, state administrative rules, and court case history. This is not fun stuff to research!

However, here is one of many sources on this...

[Electrical work by the homeowner might affect not only safety but also fire insurance coverage. If a fire loss claim results from wiring you installed, the company may classify you in a higher risk category or in some cases your insurance company may fail to honor your claim entirely.]

http://www.inspect-ny.com/electric/Electrical_Code.htm

Billy_Bob
09-06-2008, 06:46 AM
P.S. The way this works, is the insurance company will find *any* reason they can, not to pay a claim. They like to receive money, but not pay it out.

Then you go to court...

Then the insurance company says "Well the wiring was not installed properly as it should have been. It is not reasonable that we should have to pay for this damage because the homeowner did not take care to install the wiring properly, etc., etc."

Then what can the homeowner say?

Then a judge or jury decides....

christo
09-07-2008, 04:54 PM
If someone could help me to resolve my dilemma, I would appreciate it. Is there anything like a 1000W/Fan switch available. Or would an 800W/Fan switch be okay. Any other suggestions.

jadnashua
09-07-2008, 06:52 PM
You have a load of 600W with the lamps, not counting the fan when it is on for that switch. You need to find a switch rated for what you have, which may not be easy. The switches are designed for lights attached to the fan itself, not externally mounted lamps, so the total Wattage available on a switch is unlikely to provide more capacity. Now, there's nothing preventing you from separating the light circuit entirely from that fan/light switch and adding one dedicated exclusively for the lamps. Most standard wall switches are rated at 15A. If you want a dimmer for the lights, you might want to get a 1000w dimmer since for space purposes, you may need to remove the heat sink tabs, which will derate it from the maximum, and should still meet the 600W capacity. If the wall electrical box is not big enough to add a switch, then you'll need to take the existing one out and put in a larger one. This may be beyond your capability. It should be easy for an electrician. Basically, in the electrical box, you'd find the wire that controls the lights. Take it off of the existing switch, then put it on one terminal of the new switch, then jumper power from the box to the other terminal of the switch. That's one example for a typical situation, which MAY NOT be what you have - as in many things, there is more than one way to make a connection, and we're not there to tell exactly what you have to tailor it to what is needed.