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Old 07-19-2008, 08:45 PM   #1
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changing a light switch switch configuration


I have three lights controlled by two separate switches:



I installed a ceiling fan in one of the lights spots so now in order to have the fan going the other two lights have to be on. My question is how can I make it so one of the switches control two lights and the other switch controls only the ceiling fan?


Thank you for your help.


Last edited by chriscathedral; 07-19-2008 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:56 PM   #2
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changing a light switch switch configuration


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Originally Posted by chriscathedral View Post
I have three lights controlled by two separate switches:

[light/fan] [light] [light]
l l l
l_____________l___________ l
l l
l l
[light switch] [light switch]

I installed a ceiling fan in one of the lights spots so now in order to have the fan going the other two lights have to be on. My question is how can I make it so one of the switches control two lights and the other switch controls only the ceiling fan? Thank you for your help.
Chris-

Need a bit more information. Do you mean that you originally had three lights all of which were controlled by two switches, i.e. one at either side of a room for instance (so you could turn on/off all three from either location)?

Jimmy

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Old 07-19-2008, 09:44 PM   #3
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changing a light switch switch configuration


thats it big jim. Three lights controlled by two separate switches located on opposite sides of the room. I updated my diagram so it might shed alittle more "light" on the subject. Now I want to use one switch for only the ceiling fan and one for the other two lights. Is it a simple as disconnecting wires from the back of the switch?
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:04 PM   #4
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changing a light switch switch configuration


no, you have to have your two original switchs. They are 3-way switches and you need both hooked up to work properly. You need to add another switch to control the fan
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:23 PM   #5
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changing a light switch switch configuration


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Originally Posted by chriscathedral View Post
thats it big jim. Three lights controlled by two separate switches located on opposite sides of the room. I updated my diagram so it might shed alittle more "light" on the subject. Now I want to use one switch for only the ceiling fan and one for the other two lights. Is it a simple as disconnecting wires from the back of the switch?
Well, let's think about this for a mome. At one end, you probably have a 2/c feeding the first switch. In that same box, you probably have a 3/c cable leaving to the first and subsequent lights (two ungrounded/"travellers" and 1 neutral wires). In order to make one of those outlets independent of the others, you will likely need to run another 2/c or 3/c cable to the fan. I don't see a way to do this otherwise (unless, perhaps, you want to eliminate one of the two switches).

Also, you need to make sure that your old light fixture box is rated for a ceiling fan application.
Jimmy
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:43 PM   #6
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changing a light switch switch configuration


"Also, you need to make sure that your old light fixture box is rated for a ceiling fan application.
Jimmy"


What do you mean "rated." Rated for safety or for running the proper juice to it.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:36 AM   #7
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changing a light switch switch configuration


Rated to support the weight of the fan.
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:54 AM   #8
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changing a light switch switch configuration


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Rated to support the weight of the fan.
Not just weight. A fan does 2 things a light doesn't do - vibrate and move.
A fan box is tested for the weight, torque, and vibration of a ceiling fan. If the box is the sole support, it must be rated for a ceiling fan. Or the fan must be independently supported to the building structure.

As to the switch question, we need to know what wires are in the boxes. Almost certainly, you will need to run some wires to have the fan controlled separately from the lights.

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