SOLVED: Wiring of New Ceiling Fan

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Martina, Nov 4, 2021.

  1. Martina

    Martina Member

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    Round Rock, Texas
    Hello, everyone!

    We recently remodeled our master bathroom during which we removed our jetted tub and swapped it for a large walk-in shower. This in turn left us with a free dedicated circuit for the jetted tub that was controlled by a light switch on the wall. For the time being, we capped off the line in the attic, but now we would like to utilize the circuit for a new ceiling fan in our master bath. The problem we're running into is that the ceiling fan is wired for a 12/3 connection (red and black hots to individually control oscillation and speed), however, we currently only have a 12/2 connection that runs from the breaker to the switch and up into the attic. Is it at all possible to use our existing 12/2 wiring or do we need to replace everything with a 12/3 and fish them through the walls? I attached a diagram of what the new wall remote connection will look like as well as an image of what the switch currently looks like. Please let me know if you have any questions and thank you in advance for all forthcoming responses.

    Martina

    Update as of 11/15/21:

    The issue has been resolved as outlined in trail below. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply and help.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 15, 2021
  2. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you have already bought a ceiling fan, so what's the make and model number, or better yet, the manufacturer's webpage for the model?

    Ceiling fans with lights conventionally use a 3-wire circuit to provide separate control of fan and light at the wall switch. But there are ceiling fans designed to work with a 2-wire supply using an RF or PLC remote control.

    Cheers, Wayne
     
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  4. Martina

    Martina Member

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    Hello, Wayne,

    Thank you for your reply. The fan does not have a light, instead it has separate controls for oscillation and speed. Here is a link to the product: Home Decorators Collection Bentley II 18 in. Indoor/Outdoor Tarnished Bronze Oscillating Ceiling Fan with Wall Control-AL14-TB - The Home Depot

    Thanks for your help!

    Martina
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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  6. wwhitney

    wwhitney Well-Known Member

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    Ah, a ceiling fan that both rotates and oscillates (which I take to mean it moves the center of rotation around, like a stand mixer). That's a new one on me.

    Anyway, that fan comes with a custom wall control, and it definitely requires a 3 conductor (plus EGC) supply from the wall box to the fan ceiling box. So if you want to use it, you'll have to run new cable. The usual methods for achieving 2-wire control of both a ceiling fan and light kit wouldn't work with that fan.

    Cheers, Wayne
     
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Where is the neutral? If the neutral is at the box in the ceiling, then you only need two wires to the controller. Note, I don't know the details, but the codes seem to now require neutral at the switch location, even if the thing doesn't use it. Double-check that. If the neutral is at the switch location, then you need a 3-wire connection back to the fan. Do you really have 10'+ ceilings? The instructions call for at LEAST 10' from the fan blades when it is at its lowest point.

    If the existing breaker is 20A, and you decide to run 14-g wire, you should change the breaker to a 15A one.
     
  8. fitter30

    fitter30 Well-Known Member

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  9. Martina

    Martina Member

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    Thanks for your feedback, Jim. Neutral runs throughout the circuit (look for red wire nut in the picture and you'll see them). The ground is tucked away in the box, but it's also there. We have 10' ceilings and the fan will be positioned in the corner of the room, so we should be good on that. We actually just received it and will dry-fit it to ensure we have ample clearance. Not sure yet what amperage the breaker is, but I do know the current wiring is 12/2 from the breaker to the switch and into the attic. Given your message above, I suppose we still need to run a 12/3 to the switch in order to be able to use the oscillating and fan speed options? I was hoping I could do some pigtail in the attic, but I guess I'll have to fish this time around.
     
  10. Martina

    Martina Member

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  11. Martina

    Martina Member

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    Thanks again for your reply. I was really hoping there was a way to use the existing wiring, but given the fan controls, this doesn't seem possible. Well, I tried. :)
     
  12. Martina

    Martina Member

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  13. Martina

    Martina Member

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    Forgot to ask... can I utilize the 12/2 that runs from the breaker to the switch and simply replace the 12/2 that runs from the switch to the ceiling with a 12/3 or do I need to replace all wiring?
     
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    If your power coming from the panel is 12/2 and runs directly to the switch box, all you need is to run 12/3 to the fan. In the switch, it branches off the incoming hot to then go through the power and oscillating power lines through those individual switches. To complete the circuit, you need neutral at the fan, so three current carrying leads. 12g can be used on 15 and 20A circuits, but 14g cannot be used on a 2oA circuit, so you either have to change the breaker, or eliminate the 14g and use 12g there.

    If neutral is at the fan box, and there's only a 2-wire cable at the switch, you likely have hot and a switched hot, no neutral. All the switch is doing is connecting the hot lead coming in to the switched lead, back to the device you're powering....it's not a neutral...if done properly, it should be marked as a switched lead with tape or a marker to differentiate it from neutral.
     
  15. Martina

    Martina Member

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    Hi, Jim,

    Thanks for your feedback- I appreciate your time and assistance.

    I have given this issue a lot of thought and have come up with a solution that I believe may work (please correct me if I'm wrong). Rather than replacing the wiring with 12/3, I'm considering to just utilize it as is at the fan box and simply add a fan speed control to the switch box (Lutron Skylark Contour 1.5 Amp Single-Pole/3-Way Quiet 3-Speed Fan Control - White-CTFSQ-FH-WH - The Home Depot).

    With regards to the oscillation feature- since we are mounting it in the corner, there really is no need for oscillation control once we lock it into place. This will be achieved by temporarily connecting the oscillation wire on the fan to the fan box, flipping the wall switch to turn it on, determining the best angle, and then flipping the switch off to lock the fan into position. Based on what I've read in the online product comment section, this should be possible. I will then disconnect the hot from the oscillation wire and simply reconnect it to the fan speed wire which in turn will be controlled via switch box. Lastly, I will cap off the oscillation wire on the fan, since I won't be using it.

    I think/hope this is a viable solution and am attaching a wiring diagram that I created for illustration. Please be so kind and take a look and let me know if you think this is an acceptable configuration to safely power the ceiling fan.

    Thanks again for your help and forthcoming response.

    Martina
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 10, 2021
  16. Martina

    Martina Member

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  17. Martina

    Martina Member

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    Thanks for your reply, Wayne. I just posted a possible solution in the trail below (see response to Jim).
     
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    I have two Casablanca ceiling fans (don't know if they still make this series) that has a wall switch, and only power and neutral running up to the fan. The electronics at the wall switch 'talk' to the fan and allow six speeds, fan direction control, and a dimmable light with only those two power leads (hot/neutral) to the fan.

    As long as your fan and controller work together, you may not need more wires than what you have. The installation sheet implies that it should work, but verify that controller can handle the wattage (amperage) of the fan you are installing. That switch appears to be limited to 1.5A, or 180W. That's not a very big fan (less than 1/4 Hp motor).
     
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