wireless remote to a whole house fan

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by jman1, May 5, 2008.

  1. jman1

    jman1 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Hello all. (san diego Ca)
    Had a quick question,I installed a whole house fan and also bought a universal remote for ceiling fans.My goal is to hook the remote up (if possible )to the fan so I can use that instead of having the ugly brass wire hanging down form the vent.
    The fan has two speeds. (wires from fan are black/white and ground) I noticed the remote also has those wires and maybe a blue or red one ( I would have to check) If I have to to I can use just one speed with the whole house fan (just slow or hard ) if the remote wouldn't operate both speeds for some reason.
    Also what would I do..just connect the two black wires from the fan motor and the black wire from the remote (labeled fan motor) and so on for the rest,and then run a 14/2 or 12/2 (which would be best for this) wire over to a box in the attic and splice in ?? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,
    J
  2. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    Some fans these days have an "electronic" control (with timer, display, etc.) rather than the old on/off switch. If power is lost to the fan and then power returns (like a power outage), then fan will usually be off when power returns.

    So if your fan has an electronic control and you are wiring to just the white and black, it might not work with the remote for this reason. The remote would remove power the same as with a power outage.

    If it has an old fashioned on/off switch, the remote could be wired to this and two speeds at that.

    As to the universal remote, some are radio frequency and others are by a light signal. With the light signal you need to be able to point it directly at the device so it can see the light (like a TV remote).

    With a radio frequency remote, many of these will not work through walls or ceilings. If this will be in the attic and you want to turn it on/off from downstairs, I don't think a remote would work.

    My advice would be to have an electrician install a switch downstairs for you to turn the fan on/off. Then the electrician can look at the fan and determine the correct wire size, etc. Should not be very expensive and you will sleep better at night.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,133
    Location:
    New England
    x10 remote controls can switch some fairly heavy loads. Depending on your house, they can pass the signal a good distance. you might try www.x10.com or www.smarthome.com for some ideas on what may be available that would work.
  4. jman1

    jman1 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Hey~
    Thanks for the reply,yeah I will go and check that site out.The whole house fan operates on a pull chain (just two speeds) Could I just leave it on slow and wire the remote to it? I don't need the remote very far,I probably could actually see it from the hallway through the vent in the whole house fan,so the distance or barriers would not be an issue.Is the problem the load of the fan??will some remotes not work? I couldn't imagine this having more juice than a ceiling fan (with dimmer,light four speeds etc)

    Also can I run some wire and splice into existing things in the attic,or should I be looking for something in particular up there to connect to.
    Thanks,
    J
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,133
    Location:
    New England
    Is the fan hard-wired or plugged in? X-10 has some hardwired controls as well as plug-in devices. You'd have to look at the fan motor to see how many watts or amps it draws. Some of those can be fairly big fans. There should be a dataplate on it somewhere.
  6. jman1

    jman1 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Hardwired.Its also a 2.8 amp motor.
    How hard would it be to just drop a line down the wall and cut out a box for a switch..I would need a switch for two speeds though (is that possible?) Also where can I hard wire this fan to up in the attic??
    Thx
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,133
    Location:
    New England
    It shouldn't be too hard for an elecrician to wire up a two-speed switch for this. The motor is about 1/3'rd of a HP, or about 340W (on high). You might also want to wire this through a thermostat, which might suggest using a relay and a low-voltage control. Depends on how complicated you want to get. If you are handy with electrical components and have some understanding of how things work. From the questions you are asking, it doesn't sound like you could safely do this yourself. Take a look at www.grainger.com to see if they have any thermostatically controlled relays that might handle the load. You might luck out and find something that already exists that does what you want.
  8. Billy_Bob

    Billy_Bob In the Trades

    Messages:
    422
    I'll say it is fun to wire things up and connect gadgets like remote controls, thermostats, relays, etc...

    However when doing wiring in a home, there has been a long history of fires and people being electrocuted from wiring which was not installed in a manner which was safe. Because of these accidents, electrical codes have been developed and updated to make darn sure these accidents do not repeat themselves.

    So accidents have happened in the past, homes have burned down, people have died, and electrical codes have been changed to prevent this from happening again.

    If electrical wiring is not installed to code, inspected, and a fire results from this wiring, insurance companies will not pay for the damage.

    Also keep in mind that a home can be sold and someone else might live there in the future.

    So before installing any wiring in your house, at least read a book on electrical wiring and read the National Electrical Code. Get that here...
    http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/product...008SB&src_pid=&link_type=category&src=catalog
  9. jman1

    jman1 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Ok,thanks for the help guys.
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