Remote controlled fan.

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Top-Dad, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. Top-Dad

    Top-Dad New Member

    Jan 31, 2018
    1. Hi i would like to install a remote controlled fan light were an existing light is, from what i can see there is only a red & white cable going from the wall switch to the light.

    2. I previously got an electrician to install three remote controlled fan lights, it was wired so the remote would control the fan and the light switch would only turn the light off and on. In other words the remote fan would work regardless if the light switch was on or off.

    I assume where these lights were they also only had a red & white cable, but when i had a closer look at the cabling at the fan there is an extra 2 cables coming from the ceiling, but there is still only a red & white cable at the light switch.

    I am not sure where the 2 extra cables come from ?, it could not have been put in by the electrician as it is a double story house and you can't get into the cavity, and i was also home at the time.

    Did he somehow put a cable in that is looped, that would explain the 2 extra cables, or could i be wrong and there was always an 2 extra cables there ?

    The way it is wired at the fan is as follows, 3 red wires into the live block, 2 black wires into the neutral block, the 1 white wire looks like it is hard wired to the light cable so it bypasses the remote controller at the fan.

    The reason I'm asking is it possible to install a remote fan light with only a red & white cable going to and from the light and light switch as previously noted in point 2. I would like to know before i purchase a remote fan light and than get a electrician out to install it only to tell me it cant be done.
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    They have ceiling fans, with lights, controlled by a battery-powered remote control, like a TV.
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    I don't know if Casablanca still makes them, but I have two ceiling fans that came with a replacement wall switch that only needs the hot and neutral at the fan to control speed, direction, lights along with dimming. It sends signals on top of the ac signal that are interpreted by the fan assembly to do everything needed as a retrofit for a simple ceiling light fixture.
  5. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Oct 28, 2009
    Orlando, Florida
    If pictures could be provided it sure makes it easier to help with your questions.

    Just the mention of the color of wires is not conclusive as what they are used for but there are some general considerations. One issue is your country electrical code and practices could be different from North America. Here, I listed general comments for anyone trying to get things figured out.

    In North America in recent years 12 gauge cables sheaths are colored slightly yellow, 14 gauge is white. It helps electrical inspectors follow the cable where 20 amp 12 gauge cables are required.

    The cables sheaths may be marked as 12/2 or 14/2 with ground
    Black is almost always the hot wire. Always assume that is is live from the circuit breaker. The very least it is from a wall switch providing power to a light fixture.
    White is, most of the time, the neutral. What is mentioned above, from a wall switch to a ceiling box, it just might be a single cable of black and white wires. The black wire from a wall switch brings power to the ceiling box and the white returns the power back to the neutral in the wall switch box. However, the person who wired it may reverse the colors. In some situations a black wire may be used for neutral and then white tape is wrapped around the black wire at the fixture or switch. What is nearly common practice now in new construction is three wires to ceiling boxes for family rooms and bedrooms. The black would be for power to a ceiling fan motor, red for the light, and white as the neutral. However depending on the needs, one or both hot wires to the ceiling could be switched or not switched.

    Cable sheaths marked as 12/3 or 14/3 with ground.
    This is where things can be different. Generally cables wires are BLK, WHT and the third wire is Red. Blk and Red would be the hot wires. But where things change is when conduit is used. The electrician may pull , Blue, Yellow, or Red as hot wires along with the neutral and ground wires.

    Just last week while I stayed are our family's condo in Maui, Hawaii, I replaced all 40 year old outlets and switches (built in 1977). Black and white wires were used as required, however, any 12/3 circuits or switched circuits for outlets, the second hot wire was red, blue, or brown. That brown wire threw me off a bit since I thought it was from the wall switch and red was hot. As it turned out the brown wire was hot and the red was from the wall switch. I did find a yellow hot wire used in another condo unit the family owns.

    WHY so many colors? Since Hawaii is in the middle of the ocean, getting needed supplies is quite challenging and expensive. Using multiple colors allows easy identification when more than one circuit is in a conduit pipe. Materials available at the time was probably limited. On Maui there is now a Home Depot and Lowes. Talking to a contractor and making several trips to Lowes and Home Depot in a three week time frame, many contractors use these stores as their main supplier so materials now are more abundant.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  6. Ben_Z

    Ben_Z New Member

    Nov 7, 2017
    You can check this guide on indoor and also outdoor ceiling fans.
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