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BCeagle08 01-29-2012 03:34 PM

Converting switch to switch & constant power outlet
I installed a ceiling fan at my girlfriend's condo. I tapped into some power from the attic to power the fan, and there is a wireless RF remote that controls the fan. This wireless remote can be hardwired into the condo's electrical system so you don't have to change the batteries. My plan was to add this fan controller next to an existing wall switch near the door. The wall switch controls an outlet on the other side of the wall. I converted the single box into a double gang box and found the following wires inside:

--Green ground, spliced together
--White wire, spliced together
--Black wire, one into bottom of switch (hot), one into top of switch (cold)

Basically, the wall controller for the fan needs constant power. It is NOT wired in any way to the fan in the ceiling. It has two black wires coming out the back, and one ground. I tried just hooking the black wires from the fan controller to the black wires inside the box where the switch was. It worked perfectly fine, controlled the fan just fine.

However, I wanted to have both the fan controller and the switch operational. I also wanted the switch not to interfere with the fan controller at all. So basically, it would end up being a double gang box with wiring just like a switch and a constant power outlet.

So, I tried using this setup. I pigtailed the hot black into both the switch and the fan controller. I hooked the other black wire from the fan controller to the white wire in the box (I assumed it's just a return wire, to complete the circuit). I hooked the remaining black wire to the switch. Both grounds hooked into the same ground wire.

I turned everything on. The switch worked perfectly, controlling the wall outlet. The fan controller had power for a split second, then lost power all together and doesn't work at all. Any ideas as to what I could have done wrong?

(Yellow in this diagram is white)

Techy 01-29-2012 03:39 PM

should be hot black to fan controller and one terminal on switch, other black to other terminal, all whites(neutral) together, all grounds together as you described. check your connections

BCeagle08 01-29-2012 07:31 PM

Speaking to someone else, apparently this harbor breeze controller is not actually wireless? It sends a signal through the electrical system in your house to the receiver attached to the fan, and that's how it controls it.

It's this model.

Looking at the wiring instructions, it does say "black in" and then "black out to fan" for the two connections on the back of the controller. So I suppose I need to find a way to wire this into the black wires in the wall, while keeping it independent of the switch. I can't use the constant power white return like you would for an outlet. Any ideas?

Techy 01-29-2012 09:07 PM

to use that you'll have to get a cable(xx-2 if switch does not require a neutral, xx-3 if it does.) from the fan box to the switch box

BCeagle08 01-29-2012 09:34 PM

Sure defeats the purpose of buying a wireless remote! Stupid design. Looks like I'm running a wire down from the attic to the box. Oh well.

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