Ceiling Fan

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gmagic

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Jan 9, 2007
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We have a ceiling fan/light fixture in our family room which has one wall switch at the front of the room and another at the other end of the room. There are also switches for other lighting at each location, but the wiring for the fan/light has me puzzled. The light can not be turned on unless the fan is turned on. However, the fan will run without the light being on. We have the same fixture in other rooms and either the fan or light can be run separately. What should I look for so the light will turn on without the fan running, incorrect wiring at the wall switches or the fan/light fixture?
 
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the switch for the light on the fan would have to be wired after
the switch for the fan, known as being in series.

you didn't state if the lights in the fan were switched at
the wall or at the fan. either place it can be wired that
way.

if the lights in the fan are switched at the wall then it
is easy to change it so that both the fan and lights
could work independently from the wall switchs.

if the light is only switched on at the fixture then
depending on the wires leading to it will determine
if it could be changed without running new wires
in walls and ceiling.
 
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GMAGIC...


I just "fixed"a fan like that for a neighbor. He was a real do it yourselfer..but kinda inexperienced. What he did was...the light kit that attached to the fan, he hooked up the neutral from the light kit, to the hot wire of the fan, and the hot from the light kit, to the neutral wire from the fan..the puts the light in "series"with the fan motor, as johnpost stated above..
 

buck52

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sounds like you have a three way switch ie: one fixture controllable from two locations...

From your description the wiring at the fan must be changed but...

To have a fan/light combo independently controlable from two...ie: seperate locations... is not that hard to do... I have a couple in my house that I wired... but not very easy for me to explain...

maybe johnpost can explain it...

buck
 
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gmagic if you could describe the situation in more detail.

you seem to be saying the fan can be controlled by wall
switches in two locations. that correct?

is the light for the fan switched at the wall switch,
one or both, or at the fixture?
 

gmagic

Thread Starter
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Jan 9, 2007
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That's correct, the fan can be controlled by the wall switches in two locations.

The light (and fan) is contolled at both wall switches, but will only come on if the fan has been switched on, and there are the normal 2 pull chains at the fixture.
 
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gmagic said:
That's correct, the fan can be controlled by the wall switches in two locations.

The light (and fan) is contolled at both wall switches, but will only come on if the fan has been switched on, and there are the normal 2 pull chains at the fixture.

is there only one switch (i know there are wall switches at each side of
room, speaking of at each location) that controls both fan and light?
or at each wall location are there two switches, one for fan and
one for light?
 

gmagic

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Jan 9, 2007
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At each location the toggle switch on the left is for the light and the one on the right is for the fan. At the front location, if the fan is switched on, the light can be turned on and off. If the fan is off, the light will not turn on.

At the rear location, if the light and fan have been turned on at the front location, the light can be turned off and on, but the fan can not be turned off or on. If the light and fan are turned off at the front location, the rear location will not operate the fan or light.
 
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gmagic said:
At each location the toggle switch on the left is for the light and the one on the right is for the fan. At the front location, if the fan is switched on, the light can be turned on and off. If the fan is off, the light will not turn on.

At the rear location, if the light and fan have been turned on at the front location, the light can be turned off and on, but the fan can not be turned off or on. If the light and fan are turned off at the front location, the rear location will not operate the fan or light.

here is my take on what you have, i think maybe

i could try ascii diagrams also but i won't. the wiring you have to do
takes some knowhow so if you don't have a good diy wiring book
then you will need to get one from library or bookstore or web.

at the front location the switch for the light is being fed from
the tail (wire going to fan) of the switch for the fan. you
want to change that so that the switch for the light
is being fed by the other wire on the fan switch (you
can make a stub on that terminal to run off to the two
wires). that is an easy fix requiring 8 inches of wire
and enough room in the box for a few more wire nuts.

the rear switches for light has been wired in
series with the front switch.

you made a confusing statement in regard to the
fan and the rear switch. both sentences can't
be true as you've typed them. a change in either
sentence would determine if the fan switches are
in series, parallel, disconnected or broken.

did you mean to say if the front switch turned the
fan on (and it is spinning) that the rear switch
would not turn it off, then the rear fan switch is
disconnected.

if you would like to have the light and fan be
controlled independently from both wall locations
then you need to install 3-way switches for both.
this will also require having 2 runs of 3 wire
cable (red, black, white and ground) between the switches.

i would assume that 3 wire cable wasn't
already in place or it would probably have
been wired different.

if this is first floor and you have basement then
you can run cable without putting holes in walls.
if it is top floor and you have attic then you
can run cable without making holes in walls.

there are new fans that have remotes
and you would have to do no wiring in
the walls, just replace the fan and
light and leave the switches in the positions
that would switch both the fan and light on.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2001
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I don't know just how you would do the wiring on a 3 way switch.

But where I lived years ago I had tapped into the plug in the living room from the garage side and went up up the wall and put in a switch. I then put in a button dimmer switch to control the light. Did not want to have to use the chain for the light and fan. But to get so I had more control I used 3 wire so I had a added wire to take up to the fan and even if power was off at the wall switch I could turn the fan on from the chain.

Did the same thing here for the ceiling fan but not sure I needed the added wire because of the way this fan was made and wired. I mean the light is part of the fan unlike the fans years ago were addon kits so you had all the added wires to deal with.
But the fan I got now I leave the wall switch on because I got a remote that controls everything.
 
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gmagic said:
At each location the toggle switch on the left is for the light and the one on the right is for the fan. At the front location, if the fan is switched on, the light can be turned on and off. If the fan is off, the light will not turn on.

At the rear location, if the light and fan have been turned on at the front location, the light can be turned off and on, but the fan can not be turned off or on. If the light and fan are turned off at the front location, the rear location will not operate the fan or light.

as they say...a picture is worth a thousand words..but unfortunately my wife just woke up, and wants to read the online newspapers...so I am going to insert a wiring diagram in this post, for you to ponder over, ubtil I can get back to you with an explanation of what I drew on the diagram...PLEASE wait until I get back here, before you attempt to do any work on the fan in your house..ok???
 

Attachments

Joined
Sep 7, 2005
Messages
1,498
from what you've described in your earlier post's..
1-it sounds like you have 2 switches, in 2 different locations, (4 wall switches in all) controlling (or supposed to be controlling) your ceiling fan and ceiling fan light...yes or no ?

2-did you install the ceiling fan yourself ?

3- do you have a multimeter, otherwise called a voltmeter?

4-have you done any household wiring, or electrical work before?

I live in the Netherlands right now, have for the last few years, so our time zone differences may not make this as easy as it could be, however I retired in the U.S. before I moved here, I have been a master electrician, amongst other things since 1970.

If you are interested in going further with this problem, please let me know here,:rolleyes: and I will walk you thru fixing the problem. I would much rather fix this kind of problem over the internet, than try and do what the Tech support staff here does in the security forum(s), I really admire their calm, knowledgeable help.(y)
 
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Dec 17, 2005
Messages
317
paisanol69 said:
as they say...a picture is worth a thousand words..but unfortunately my wife just woke up, and wants to read the online newspapers...so I am going to insert a wiring diagram in this post, for you to ponder over, ubtil I can get back to you with an explanation of what I drew on the diagram...PLEASE wait until I get back here, before you attempt to do any work on the fan in your house..ok???

to be clear

paisanol69 posted a diagram of how 2 pairs of 3-way switches
would control the light and fan separately from 2 locations.
it is what you would do in new construction to wire it up
or what this situation might be able to be changed to
(actually what is probably wanted to be changed to).
also that is a wiring diagram and has no meaning as
to its actual physical appearance or where or how you
would place the wires or switches if you were making
that circuit.

it is not an explanation of what qmagic has for a current
situation, that is still partially unknown.
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
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Oct 19, 2002
Messages
106,429
Another way to deal with multiple locations is X-10 switches and remote controls.
 
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