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Old 07-05-2010, 08:54 PM   #1
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


Ok. So I mounted a box in the ceiling. Ran 14/2 to the switch on the wall. Then ran 14/3 to the fan. Ran another piece of 14/3 to a switch on the opposite side of the room.

So the light is in between the switches. Now the Ceiling fan I picked out has a light on it as well. I only want the light on the switches. I want the fan to only be controlled by the chain.

My question is, Can I hook the fan motor to both travelers? This way it will have constant power. Or do I need to run another 14/2 to the box to power only the fan motor?



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Old 07-05-2010, 09:08 PM   #2
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


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Ok. So I mounted a box in the ceiling. Ran 14/2 to the switch on the wall. Then ran 14/3 to the fan. Ran another piece of 14/3 to a switch on the opposite side of the room.

So the light is in between the switches. Now the Ceiling fan I picked out has a light on it as well. I only want the light on the switches. I want the fan to only be controlled by the chain.

My question is, Can I hook the fan motor to both travelers? This way it will have constant power. Or do I need to run another 14/2 to the box to power only the fan motor?


You cannot connect anything to the travelers. They are to be run between the switches only.

You didn't ask, but its poor policy to change the colors of the travelers. They should be connected red/red and black/black at the light. The white from right hand switch is to be identified as a hot conductor.

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Old 07-05-2010, 09:13 PM   #3
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


so, you want to consider hooking both travellers to the same point on the fan.

Have you though about the fact that that means the travelers are now connected together? what that means is you will not be able to turn your lights off.

time to run another cable


and your picture isn't what your written description explains. If you had actually run a 14/3 from the one switch to the other switch, you would have a spare conductor in the 14/3 you ran to the light/fan box that you could use for a full time hot for the fan.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:50 AM   #4
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


I can run another cable. I am confused on what you are saying I can use to run another hot.

Maybe I should just make a drawing of what I did.
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Old 07-06-2010, 08:52 AM   #5
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


You need a separate hot conductor from the feed switch to operate the fan.
The neutral isn't necessary, but its there anyway.
You should consider making the feed switch box a 2 gang one. Then you could mount a switch for the fan on the wall and a dimmer for the light, in the other half!
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:08 AM   #6
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


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Originally Posted by chadwilliam1 View Post
I can run another cable. I am confused on what you are saying I can use to run another hot.

Maybe I should just make a drawing of what I did.
yes, please do. I thought the drawing you provided was what you did. If the 12/3 between the switches actually runs from switch to switch and does not go to the light box, and you have a 14/3 to the fan box from one of the switches, you already have 2 hots and a neutral going to the fan box; one for the fan, one for the light and then the neutral.

That is why I said your pic does not reflect what you said you did. In your explanation, you have all the wire run that you need. If you installed it per the pic, you will need another cable to the fan box from the switch.

we'll see how bad my drawings can look. This is what I understood how you ran the wire. If so, this is how you can hook things up to do what you want. As noted, you can add a switch or speed control in the first box (on the left) so as to be able to control the fan from that box. If you want to get fancy schmancy, you can also run another 14/3 to the second box and be able to operate the fan from there as well, at least on and off. There might be the ability to control speed from both locations as well. Not sure offhand.
Ceiling on three way switch questions-light-wiring.jpg

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Old 07-06-2010, 12:24 PM   #7
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


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I can run another cable. I am confused on what you are saying I can use to run another hot.

Maybe I should just make a drawing of what I did.
That sounds like a good plan! What you have written seems to agree with the diagram, at least to my mind.

An actual sketch may eleviate the confusion.
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:01 PM   #8
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


Here is how I did it. My switches are on the opposite sides of the room. I do not want the fan on any switch other than the one on the motor.


I ran another circuit off of an outlet on the wall.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:44 PM   #9
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


so what is the cable at the top going to the fan box and off to never never land? If it is the additional circuit, that will work. I would have just run another 14/2 from the switch #1 to the fanbox.
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


The reason I did not do that is because this box is already crowded. It has wires in it for an outside light. I did this too keep from having to force wires in and keep it clean.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:47 AM   #11
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


While running the travelers through the light box (or fan box) is permitted, the switched hot coming back from the far switch common (here, on the right) may not be white. Therefore you must mix traveler colors as the first diagram shows.

You have already seen a disadvantage of running travelers through the light box -- too crowded to add wiring for the fan.

Probably too late for you but when (preferred) running the 3 wire traveler cable directly from one switch to the other and the best route goes by the light box, it is perfectly okay to run the cable past the outside of that box.

Where does the outside light get its power?
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:10 PM   #12
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


The outside light gets its power from the same box the fan does. I will just have to split it because I have it on a photo cel and not a switch.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:49 PM   #13
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


So the outside light is also controlled by the 3 way switch setup that controls the fan light.

A new separate unswitched hot wire for the fan can also serve the outside light, both with pull chains. But it must be run as a separate 14-2 cable from the same switch box (on the left in your diagram) that feeds the light in the fan unit.

The fan unit probably has a black wire for the light, a blue wire for the fan, and one white wire for the neutral. With this common neutral, the fan and light may not be fed power from two different circuits. Neutrals from two different circuits coming into the same box must not be connected together.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 07-07-2010 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:54 PM   #14
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Ceiling on three way switch questions


The Neutral is from the same circuit.
Outside light is ran into a switch box. I am not going to put the outside light on a switch. I previously had it on a timer but I didnt like it. So now it will be hot all the time but it is on a photo eye. (light sensor.)
I do not want the fan motor on the switch. It has a pull chain in the center of the room.

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