Ceiling fan + switch help

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by fixingup, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. fixingup

    fixingup New Member

    Messages:
    1
    In our bedroom, we have a 3-speed, no light on it generic ceiling fan with a pull chain. In addition to using the pull chain to turn the fan on/off or faster/slower, the ceiling fan is also wired into a wall switch.

    This wall switch also operates whatever is plugged into one wall electrical outlet. So when I flip the wall switch on, the table lamp we have plugged into the wall electrical outlet goes on as well as the ceiling fan. When I flip the wall switch off, both go off.

    We'd like to separate out these two actions. Have one wall switch that lets me flip on/off whatever is plugged into the electrical outlet -- in this case, it'd be turning on/off the table lamp. And another switch that operates the ceiling fan.

    What steps do I have to take to make that happen?

    Also, for the ceiling fan swich, is my only option a switch that turns it on or off? Or is there someting that will also let me control the speed of the fan?

    Any ideas/help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    As far as separate switches for fan and light, we cannot tell without seeing where your wires are, or how hard it would be to accomplish this. You could get a retrofit remote control for the fan to allow speed control, but can't tell how you would wire this given your present switch configuration,
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,235
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    fan

    Whether it can be done easily or not depends on how the switch is wired.
  4. jams001

    jams001 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Most problems with ceiling fans that have a controller are usually due to the controller. They have a solid state switch that switches the 120 volts line voltage on and off 60 times a second. That's a tough job. Anyway, they have a really high rate of failure
    The light bulb blowing probably caused a short circuit for an instant and damaged the controller. Surges in current or voltage will do that. The controller probably needs to be replaced. The remote is probably OK.
    If it was and you have already tried replacing the batteries in the remote. You will have to get a new one. This system uses the same circuit as a wall controller with the added complexity of a little computer, it's power circuit and a radio frequency circuit. I'm sure it's susceptible to the same high rate of failure as described above for wall controllers.
    What is it, it is a transformer mounted inside the fan canopy the remote works it, all on the same circuit. When dimming the lights and fan speed alot it wares down the unit. Some people on wall dimmers, instead of turning it off completely they will just dim it down. This creates heat and causes the unit to fail. When not in use turn remote off if equiped with an on and off feature, this will prolong the life of a dimmer as well as a fan control.


    Fanimation
  5. jams001

    jams001 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    wonderful post is this thanks for the information you have shared
    Most problems with ceiling fans that have a controller are usually due to the controller. They have a solid state switch that switches the 120 volts line voltage on and off 60 times a second. That's a tough job. Anyway, they have a really high rate of failure
    The light bulb blowing probably caused a short circuit for an instant and damaged the controller. Surges in current or voltage will do that. The controller probably needs to be replaced. The remote is probably OK.
    If it was and you have already tried replacing the batteries in the remote. You will have to get a new one. This system uses the same circuit as a wall controller with the added complexity of a little computer, it's power circuit and a radio frequency circuit. I'm sure it's susceptible to the same high rate of failure as described above for wall controllers.
    What is it, it is a transformer mounted inside the fan canopy the remote works it, all on the same circuit. When dimming the lights and fan speed alot it wares down the unit. Some people on wall dimmers, instead of turning it off completely they will just dim it down. This creates heat and causes the unit to fail. When not in use turn remote off if equiped with an on and off feature, this will prolong the life of a dimmer as well as a fan control.


    Fanimation
  6. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Remove the switch and describe the wiring in the box. Pics are worth 1K words.

    It will probably be easy with a slight rewire in the switch box or the recep box.
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