Ceiling fan - separate fan & light switches

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firemantom123

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Hi. I recently added a few ceiling fans in my kids rooms. Now they would like the light and fan on separate switches since they have trouble reaching the pull chains. They are wired with 14/2 wire and the switch on the wall currently controls both the fan and the light.

Should I remove the existing 14/2 wire and replace it with 14/3, or is it acceptable to just add another romex wire (also 14/2 with the hot, neutral, and ground), and just pigtail the neutrals & grounds together for the ceiling fan light

I was not sure which is more exceptable. I figured both comply with code but was not sure.

I also want it done right and not sloppy. So since I would have to run an additional 14/2 wire anyway (with a hot, neutral and ground, - not just a hot wire) to have separate fan and light wall switches, is it just best to run the 14/3 wire and wire it the preferred way.

Thanks.
 

Stuff

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It would be easier and cheaper to replace the fans with ones that have a wireless remote control. Or add a wireless remote to what you have. Other option is to get longer pull chains.

For wiring - adding a 14/2 NM cable is OK if existing is 14 gauge and you have plastic boxes for both switch and ceiling boxes. Do not connect the neutrals together at both ends as that creates a parallel path. Do connect the grounds.
 

firemantom123

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It would be easier and cheaper to replace the fans with ones that have a wireless remote control. Or add a wireless remote to what you have. Other option is to get longer pull chains.

For wiring - adding a 14/2 NM cable is OK if existing is 14 gauge and you have plastic boxes for both switch and ceiling boxes. Do not connect the neutrals together at both ends as that creates a parallel path. Do connect the grounds.

THANKS for the advice!!! I will be looking into adding a wireless remote. That sounds like a really good option. Thanks. Im not an electrician but like learning about the electrical trade. I do not think i have read about parallel paths ever before, but did look it up after reading you response. I do not think i will be adding any wires, but I am curious how it would be done then without having parallel paths just so i understand parallel paths.

Hypothetical: If i would install a plastic box in the wall for both the switches and wires (hypothetical - two 14/2 wires), I assume I would pigtail the hot (black) together, pigtail the white (neutral) together, and pigtail the green (ground) together in the box at the wall switch (on the wall). So at the fan, I would pigtail the green (ground) together, use a wire nut to secure one hot to the fan, and secure the other hot (black) to the light. So now I would have 1 neutral coming off of the fan/motor, and two coming through the wall from the wall switches, how would those be tied together without creating a parallel path?

Thanks again!
 

jadnashua

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If you're going to run an additional wire, just abandon the existing 14-2 and use a 14-3.

Both the hot and neutral are current carrying lines...the ground is there for safety, and no current is on it except potentially during a fault.

In a combined fan/light assembly, it will typically have three current carrying leads - one hot for the light, one for the fan, and one neutral that is (usually) combined, but it could be separate in the device, and two wires just combined there. All you really need is one more current carrying line between the (new) switch and the fixture.

Exactly how to hook all of it up would depend on whether power comes from above at the ceiling box, or from the box at the wall, but obviously, it is switched there.
 

DonL

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Hi. I recently added a few ceiling fans in my kids rooms. Now they would like the light and fan on separate switches since they have trouble reaching the pull chains. They are wired with 14/2 wire and the switch on the wall currently controls both the fan and the light.

Should I remove the existing 14/2 wire and replace it with 14/3, or is it acceptable to just add another romex wire (also 14/2 with the hot, neutral, and ground), and just pigtail the neutrals & grounds together for the ceiling fan light

I was not sure which is more exceptable. I figured both comply with code but was not sure.

I also want it done right and not sloppy. So since I would have to run an additional 14/2 wire anyway (with a hot, neutral and ground, - not just a hot wire) to have separate fan and light wall switches, is it just best to run the 14/3 wire and wire it the preferred way.

Thanks.

Do you have the option of telling the kids no ? :oops:

X10 Socket Rockets are what I use for lighting. They are dimmers so dimable bulbs need to be used.

Seems that we get spoiled at a young age now a days.

Have Fun.
 

firemantom123

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If you're going to run an additional wire, just abandon the existing 14-2 and use a 14-3.

Both the hot and neutral are current carrying lines...the ground is there for safety, and no current is on it except potentially during a fault.

In a combined fan/light assembly, it will typically have three current carrying leads - one hot for the light, one for the fan, and one neutral that is (usually) combined, but it could be separate in the device, and two wires just combined there. All you really need is one more current carrying line between the (new) switch and the fixture.

Exactly how to hook all of it up would depend on whether power comes from above at the ceiling box, or from the box at the wall, but obviously, it is switched there.


Thanks. The power does come from the box at the wall.
If I do run a new wire, I will use 14/3 wire and abandon the existing 14/2 wire. I figured that was the best way, but was looking for other thoughts and opinions to make sure i was not over looking a better way. thanks!

From there is should be easy. I plan to tie the black hot with the black hot on the fan, the red hot (from the 14/3 wire coming from the new switch) with the ceiling fan light kit blue wire, tie the white neutrals together, and also would tie the grounds together.

Thanks again!
 

firemantom123

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(In addition to my last post/reply to Jim,)

Hi DonL, I just saw your post,

Tell the kids no...? that an option anymore? lol. I figured that they will try to pull the chains if they want to turn the fan &/or light on or off. So before they pull the chain too hard and I have to fix that, it would just be easier for me to either add a remote or rewire it now (with 14/3 wire to add a switch so the fan and light were on separate control) before they try to reach it and break it by pulling it too hard.
I have not heard of X10 Socket Rockets before. I did just read a little on them and that also sounds like a simple fix that would be an option.

Thanks for the information!!!
 

jadnashua

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X10 stuff has been around for ages. It does work (most of the time), but can get a bit tricky...not so much if everything is in the same room on the same circuit. Some of the other smart-home stuff also has some options. All of them require a controller of some sort to relay the information from the remote. X10 does it over the ac power lines...Insteon stuff does, too. Some other smart home stuff uses radio waves from the controller, and is often controlled via an app or computer via the internet.

Not sure if they even make them anymore, but I ran into that situation, didn't want to run new wires, and found a Cassablanca fan model that could control the fan and light from the wall switch while also dimming the light, adjusting the fan speed, and direction. It used a custom switch and proprietary receiver in the fan/light assembly to perform that task.

There's more than one fan out there that comes with a remote to do that same thing already built in.
 

firemantom123

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X10 stuff has been around for ages. It does work (most of the time), but can get a bit tricky...not so much if everything is in the same room on the same circuit. Some of the other smart-home stuff also has some options. All of them require a controller of some sort to relay the information from the remote. X10 does it over the ac power lines...Insteon stuff does, too. Some other smart home stuff uses radio waves from the controller, and is often controlled via an app or computer via the internet.

Not sure if they even make them anymore, but I ran into that situation, didn't want to run new wires, and found a Cassablanca fan model that could control the fan and light from the wall switch while also dimming the light, adjusting the fan speed, and direction. It used a custom switch and proprietary receiver in the fan/light assembly to perform that task.

There's more than one fan out there that comes with a remote to do that same thing already built in.


Thanks for the info. I like the idea of a wireless control via the home router/internet. That is also an option I am going to look at.

Thanks.
 

jadnashua

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Back last Thanksgiving, when it seems everything is on sale, I bought a bunch of Samsung Smarthome stuff. The controller was half price, Lowes had a garage door controller that was steeply discounted, and my electronic door locks had that capability in them, but I was not using it. I also bought some plug-in, dimmable lamp modules (they make wired in modules, too). The Samsung Smarthome controller supported multiple protocols, which gave me more flexibility on the modules that it could control.

There's all sorts of things you can do today that is fairly inexpensive in home automation. Throw in a smart speaker, and you could just tell the thing to turn the light on/off/dim along with the fan.
 

firemantom123

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Back last Thanksgiving, when it seems everything is on sale, I bought a bunch of Samsung Smarthome stuff. The controller was half price, Lowes had a garage door controller that was steeply discounted, and my electronic door locks had that capability in them, but I was not using it. I also bought some plug-in, dimmable lamp modules (they make wired in modules, too). The Samsung Smarthome controller supported multiple protocols, which gave me more flexibility on the modules that it could control.

There's all sorts of things you can do today that is fairly inexpensive in home automation. Throw in a smart speaker, and you could just tell the thing to turn the light on/off/dim along with the fan.


There are definately alot of wireless options and apps for a home. Garage door openers, lights controls, thermostats, appliances,...are a few some friends of mine use. I plan to stop at the electronic store, home depot and lowes to start with and see what they have. We have some lamps controlled by remote control, but did not really think about controlling over lights or ceiling fans with a remote
 

Reach4

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There are definately alot of wireless options and apps for a home. Garage door openers, lights controls, thermostats, appliances,...are a few some friends of mine use. I plan to stop at the electronic store, home depot and lowes to start with and see what they have. We have some lamps controlled by remote control, but did not really think about controlling over lights or ceiling fans with a remote
Remotes get lost. Maybe hang a ribbon from the remote to make it easier to locate if moved.
 

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Remotes get lost. Maybe hang a ribbon from the remote to make it easier to locate if moved.
I like the remotes that have a bracket that you attach to the switch plate. Then most of the time the remote stays there.
 

jadnashua

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Some of those sticky, removable pads can hold any remote in a convenient place. I use one next to my bed for an air cleaner, positioned where I can easily turn it on and off.
 

DonL

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Some of those sticky, removable pads can hold any remote in a convenient place. I use one next to my bed for an air cleaner, positioned where I can easily turn it on and off.

That is funny.

Can we get more lazy ? My air cleaner has a remote also, Only used it once to test it.

Smarthome stuff seems to use the same codes as X10. (In the computer world)

I have a IR controller and RF controller that can work everything. I can control things with my TV remote.

I have a computer interface to work everything remote also.

Now I know why my wife calls me lazy. :eek:

Cool stuff.
 
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Giving the fact that 2 years have passed already since your initial post, I would like to get an update from you. How are the kids doing? After reading all the comments on this thread I want to say that there is nothing wrong with spoiling your kids because what some might call spoiling I would call love at its finest. We all want to give the best to our children. Safety comes first. This is why, if I were you, I would ask an electrician about it, just to make sure that I get professional advice. I know that https://www.lightsonline.com sells ceiling fans that can be installed just like you wanted for your kids' room.
 
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