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Old 06-26-2011, 11:54 PM   #1
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Dimmer for fan and light


Hi - I currently have a ceiling fan/light combo hooked up to a single pole switch that appears to be part of a switch loop (2 wires in switch box - white and black). I want to replace this with a fan and light dimmer, but I need an extra wire to split up the fan and light.

Can I just run another 12 gauge wire up to the light from the switch for the light portion of the dimmer? I can use the existing wire for the fan portion.

Am I missing anything? Thanks!

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:14 AM   #2
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Dimmer for fan and light


you can run 12 gauge but 14 gauge is enough.

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:16 AM   #3
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Dimmer for fan and light


Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyT
you can run 12 gauge but 14 gauge is enough.
Not if it's a 20amp circuit. Then, under the NEC, it's got to be 12.

OP, what's your location.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:23 AM   #4
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Dimmer for fan and light


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Originally Posted by Elkie View Post
...Can I just run another 12 gauge wire up to the light from the switch for the light portion of the dimmer? I can use the existing wire for the fan portion.

Am I missing anything? Thanks!
You can run an individual 12ga wire only if it's in conduit of some sort. If it's run with cable, you'll have to run another cable.

Have you thought of using a remote instead of running a new cable?
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:27 AM   #5
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Dimmer for fan and light


My question was more about if this approach would work (running an individual line from the switch to the fan when the switch is currently part of a switch loop?

Essentially the fan power would be coming from the box in the attic (current wire) and the light power would be coming from the switch (new individual wire).
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:09 AM   #6
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Dimmer for fan and light


Quote:
Originally Posted by Elkie View Post

Can I just run another 12 gauge wire up to the light from the switch for the light portion of the dimmer? I can use the existing wire for the fan portion.

Am I missing anything? Thanks!
Is the existing wiring in cable or conduit? If conduit, you can run a single #12 THHN wire.

If cable, you will need a 12-2 cable. Power down to the switches on the 2 whites (re-marked black) and use the 2 blacks as switched power back to the fan and light.

If you are under NEC2011, this is non-complaint as you also need a neutral in the switch box (in this case run a (12-3 cable instead of 12-2, use the black and red for the hot and switched hot).
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:49 AM   #7
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Dimmer for fan and light


Existing wiring is in cable (black and white wire in a white casing), so I was just going to run one insulated red 12 gauge wire from the switch to the fan.

But you're saying this won't work? Not sure I understand.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elkie
Existing wiring is in cable (black and white wire in a white casing), so I was just going to run one insulated red 12 gauge wire from the switch to the fan.

But you're saying this won't work? Not sure I understand.
It's not that it won't work .... It's that it is NOT CODE COMPLIANT and it creates a hazard for anyone down the road.

Buy yourself a fan remote, install in 10 minutes and be done with it.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:21 PM   #9
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Dimmer for fan and light


To expand, all the conductors of the circuit need to be run together. adding another conductor outside the sheath would not comply with the rules. You could however run a new cable.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:39 PM   #10
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Dimmer for fan and light


Kyle mentioned remote....An X10 conversion at the switch with receiver in the fan/ir housing will allow circuit isolation from each function. Cost is about 25 bucks.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:45 PM   #11
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Dimmer for fan and light


The X10 will not work if using a dimmer control, and Jim Port is correct for using a switch and dimmer setup.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:50 PM   #12
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To expand, all the conductors of the circuit need to be run together. adding another conductor outside the sheath would not comply with the rules. You could however run a new cable.

Jim,

My suggestion was to run a new 2 wire cable and send the power down on the 2 whites (re-marked) black and use the blacks for the switch returns. That makes 2 different circuits (switch loops), one for the fan and one for the light. I believe that complies with the code requiring all conductors for a circuit be in the same sheath.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:55 PM   #13
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Dimmer for fan and light


I think the switch loop would need to be in the same cable, ie down and back in the same sheath.

All of this ignore the 2011 requirement for a neutral at each switch, whether needed or used or not.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:59 PM   #14
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Jim,

My suggestion was to run a new 2 wire cable and send the power down on the 2 whites (re-marked) black and use the blacks for the switch returns. That makes 2 different circuits (switch loops), one for the fan and one for the light. I believe that complies with the code requiring all conductors for a circuit be in the same sheath.
I might have misread your solution, but one neutral return must remain white.
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:04 PM   #15
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Dimmer for fan and light


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I might have misread your solution, but one neutral return must remain white.
Not unless you are under NEC 2011.

Under NEC 2011, the wire companies will sell a lot of 4 wire cable.

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