Celing Fan wiring

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by crabapplemcn, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. crabapplemcn

    crabapplemcn New Member

    Messages:
    16
    I am building new construction and will have an electrician hard wire but will install ceiling fan myself. I wanted to have 2 wall switches control the fan. One to control the light and another (knob) to control the various speeds of the fan. Is that possible and if so, how does it need to be wired
    (anything special) and what wiring must the fan have (I have seen 2 wire vs 3 wire options when purchasing fans)
    thanks
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Central Florida
    That depends entirely on the way the variable-speed controller works. If it's continuous, like a rheostat, you can get away with 3 wires (plus ground) from the switch to the fan (neutral, light, fan). If it's a multi-speed control, like low-medium-high, then you will probably need a separate wire for each speed, plus the one for the light, plus the neutral and ground.
  3. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
    It is best to simply run a 3 wire so you can have 3 switches.

    Most quality fans these days actually have remote control devices at both ends and you can completely control the fan from that. The remote control will be installed inside the canopy of the fan.

    Just go to an electric supply house and tell them what you want and they will direct you.

    You may not even need the 3rd wire but have him pull it anyway, just incase you buy a cheap piece of crap.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    My (ancient) Cassablanca fan controls fan speed, direction, light and dimmer with a two-wire circuit but requires their controller. Haven't looked at anything recent.
  5. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    Always, ALWAYS run a 3 wire cable to a ceiling fan.

    Generally it is a 14/3.

    When you hang the fan, use the black for the fan and the red for the light. Black/black (fan motor), red/blue (light kit)white/white (common/neutral), green/bare (ground) Hunter brand fans use black for fan motor and black/white stripe for light kit.

    I think you meant two switches rookie ;)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2008
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    In my case, I was replacing an overhead light with a fain/light combo and wanted to control the light and fan. The cassablanca does that electronically with only the two wire circuit. If you are running a new wire, the extra wire gives you a lot more flexibility.
  7. jar546

    jar546 In the Trades

    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    USA
    yes,............why yes I did
  8. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    huh ???!!!???
  9. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,713
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Yup. I've seen older fans with (apparently) multi-tapped windings and low-medium-high switches to set the speed. You'd need a common plus one wire for each speed if you wanted the switch on the wall, instead of on the fan. I'd be really surprised to find one for sale anywhere today, but I've been surprised before.
  10. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Learn something new... every day.
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