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Thread: wiring ceiling fan

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Master Brian's Avatar
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    Default wiring ceiling fan

    I am curious what the best method for wiring up a ceiling fan with light, so that the fan is controlled at the fan itself, the light via the switch on the wall.

    Currently, I have knob and tube wire, so turning the switch off turns everything off. I will be replacing the wire with romex.

    For a normal light, I would wire the hot to the switch, but if I am correct that will not work for what I want. Should I run 14/3 from the switch to the fan and run 2 hots to the fan, one for the fan and one for the light? Switching the hot for the light....

    Thanks

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    DIY Senior Member Master Brian's Avatar
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    I should probably mention, I prefer to make the switch in the middle of the circuit. Would it be better if the switch was at the end and the fan in the middle? Or is that just a matter of personal preference or depending upon the installation? I know both are acceptable...

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default fan

    To answer your original question, (and your asking it implies that maybe you should not be doing the installation), you need an unswitched hot wire for the fan, and a switched one for the light, but why you would do it is somewhat inconceivable. The average user would want switches for both the fan and light.

    I should probably mention, I prefer to make the switch in the middle of the circuit. Would it be better if the switch was at the end and the fan in the middle? Or is that just a matter of personal preference or depending upon the installation? I know both are acceptable...

    The SWITCH has to be in the wire ahead of the fan. Where it is located in the room, or even in the house, or relative to the fan's LOCATION is immaterial. Even when the switch is "at the end", it is still located ahead of the fan as far as the wire is concerned.

  4. #4

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    To save wire and to make it simple. Run power to the switch first then a 3 wire cable to the ceiling fan rated electrical box. Use the black wire for the light and the red for the fan from the switches in the box.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  5. #5
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    (and your asking it implies that maybe you should not be doing the installation),
    This is the best advice you could recieve from anyone on this or any other site.

    If you don't understand a simple switch then please call someone instead of getting hurt

  6. #6
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    Knob and tube. I still haven't seen it in person. I only heard about it. That stuff must be very fragile. Don't touch it or it may turn to dust.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  7. #7
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    I have a dual switch single gang for my fan/light
    I can dim the lights, or I can adjust the fan speed
    To me that is the best setup

    I can still turn the fan or light off at the fan/light individually once the main switches are on
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member Master Brian's Avatar
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    The original question must have been a bit misleading. I understand what I need to make it happen as for a hot for both items, just curious as to the best way to go about this.

    There are several reasons for a single switch for the lights only. Location, between two doors, prevents a double box in the main location. I really don't want to install a duplex switch as I'm not real fond of them for this type of scenerio and I am adding a 3-way switch to turn the lights on off, as there are doors on both sides of the room. I'll admit the switch for the fan might occaisonally come in handy, but I rarely turn the fans off, so it's not a big deal to me. I have also considered going with the pushbutton switches, which are more period correct for this house and it's limited on the types. I can get single and 3-way, but not sure about duplex.

    hj, I also understan what you are saying about the location of the switch being ahead of the fan.... Again, that was probably somewhat mis-understood. I don't have the jargon perfected! I just know, it is possible to run the wire up the wall, go into the switch box, then up to the fan. I call this the middle, read it somewhere. Or run the power overhead in the ceiling, with a "runner" going down the wall to the switch. I'd call this the end. It's actually currently how my lights are. So right now, when the switch is turned off, everything goes off. Only two wires.

    I think jar546's method is what I'll do. I just needed to pick up some more 14/3, to finish the run. I have to get this knob and tube out as it is getting old and it has been insulated over, which I understand to be a bad thing.

    GabeS, stop by I have some I'd gladly show you! Actually it's pretty interesting stuff. It is confusing and takes some careful thought when dealing with it. If they need a hot or a common, they just tap into whatever is close. Makes it tricky when eliminating a bit at a time as you have to insure what you unhook isn't leaving something else inline. You mention it turning to dust, that isn't far from the truth, which is another reason, I don't want it in my house. I had a small piece I pulled out of my bath about a month ago, I threw it with some other scrap and went to pick it up last night, when I bent it, the insulation, just flaked off!! Luckily these bedroom lights are all that is still knob and tube, the rest has been replaced long ago....

    Thanks for the feedback, I think I've got it from here....

  9. #9
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    My MIL's 2nd floor has knob & tube, 2nd floor is unused
    But I have to insulate the attic

    My old house I found knob & tube in the "crawlspace" attic
    Kinda made the hairs on the back of my neck rise until I was able to verify it was all disconnected

    This looks like my fan/light switch
    Except both buttons are gone

    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
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  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member Master Brian's Avatar
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    Dave, I kind of do like that. I'm going to see what my wife thinks and may go with one of those. I've probably seen them before, not sure why I didn't think of using them.... Wonder, if they have those in a 3-way for one of my rooms.

  11. #11
    DIY Member PeteD's Avatar
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    They do come in 3-way. Also, you can get dual switches with presets, so you don't have to adjust the speed all the time.

    Here are some examples:
    http://www.passandseymour.com/litera..._DimmerBro.pdf

    Also, smarthome.com is always good to check for funky types of switches.

    Pete

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