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Old 03-10-2008, 11:02 AM   #1
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


Hello,

Yes, I did a search. This question is not about how to connect the wires in a previously existing ceiling junction box.

I normally consider myself a pretty smart guy, but for the life of me I can't figure out a reasonable way to get 120V power to a ceiling fan that I installed. What I've done so far is:
-installed the ceiling junction box/fan mount
-connected a length of wire to the fan and routed it into the "attic" through the junction box (by attic I mean the space above my ceiling which is filled with insulation, it's not a normally accessed storage space with lights or outlets)
-mounted the fan to the junction box

And what I still need to do is connect the wire to a power source. There are no junction boxes in my attic that have "hot" power that I can tap into for my ceiling fan. All I have are some recessed lighting junction boxes, therefore they only have power when turned on.

I've thought of the following ideas and did not do them for the explained reasons:
-connect in the junction box of a power outlet in the room below the fan. I didn't do this because I'd have to remove drywall to route the wire.
-run a wire all the way to the circuit breaker. I didn't do this because I would need to run about 60 feet of wire and it just seems ridiculous to have just a ceiling fan occupying a circuit breaker.
-cut one of the "hot" wires in the vicinity of the ceiling fan and splice into it inside a junction box. I didn't do this because there is no slack in any of the wires so I would need to do two junction boxes. I also heard that if I do this, I'm supposed to use an "accessible" junction box.

So, how do I get power to this fan? I'm just using the pull cords on the fan for switching the lights/fan on and off so I won't be installing a wall switch. All I need is a connection to a 120V constant power source.

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Old 03-10-2008, 11:07 AM   #2
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


Probably not the answer you're looking for, but my parents ran a long lamp cord from a wall outlet to their ceiling fan and then just ran it through a chain and hung the chain. Very 70's looking, but it's been functional for about 30 years too. You could do something similar with small wire channel too. Not the prettiest solution, but rather easy.

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Old 03-10-2008, 11:34 AM   #3
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


Quote:
Originally Posted by perpetual98 View Post
Probably not the answer you're looking for, but my parents ran a long lamp cord from a wall outlet to their ceiling fan and then just ran it through a chain and hung the chain. Very 70's looking, but it's been functional for about 30 years too. You could do something similar with small wire channel too. Not the prettiest solution, but rather easy.
Thanks, but not really an option for me. I have small kids in the house and I can't have them potentially swinging like Tarzan from an electrical cord. Also, I need to sell this house in a couple years, so it needs to be done "right".
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:41 PM   #4
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


can you fish a wire down your wall? fish a wire down to a receptical perferable one that is not used much,
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:26 PM   #5
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


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Originally Posted by frodo601 View Post
can you fish a wire down your wall? fish a wire down to a receptical perferable one that is not used much,
I did consider this, but it seems like it would be quite challenging!

The holes through the studs are just big enough for the existing wiring and I'm unaware of any tips on how to get the new wire specifically to an unused opening of the receptacle's junction box. I realize it's called "fishing" but it seems like a 1/1000 chance of getting the wire to go where it needs to go. That's why I was presuming I'd have to remove drywall to do it this way.
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:46 PM   #6
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


The fishing is not as hard as you make it out. I think your solution for a power source is to get it from one outlet in the room and run it over to the fan or switch.

You said that you are unaware of any tips on how to get the wire to an unused opening in the receptacles j-box. The best way is normally to remove the receptacle outlet box altogether and then fish the wire down the wall. By removing the box, you have enough room to get a hand or tool into the stud bay and grab the fished wire. You then route it through a new outlet box along with the previous connections and re-install.

If your existing outlet box is nailed in, you will need to cut the nails with a hack saw or reciprocating saw. You can then pull the box out (you may need to disconnect existing wire from receptacle first and allow wire to pull out of the back of the box). You can then use a new "old-work" box to put back into the wall once you have fished the wire.

This procedure is really not that difficult. Just make sure you fish the wire down from above in the correct stud bay.

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Old 03-10-2008, 01:57 PM   #7
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


If there are no Junction boxes in the attic, no closet lights etc, your gonna have to fish down the wall. The most logical thing to do is use the existing wall switch for that room. Get a 1" drill bit and drill down through the top plate above the switch. Be sure not to cut through any existing wire or your gonna have a much bigger job on your hands. Then your going to have to fish the wire down to the switch box. Green sticks work well for this and you can get them at Home Depot or Lowes.
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:10 PM   #8
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


Garage door outlet.

It is mounted in the ceiling and is hot all the time.


Yeah, I'm a genius.



Closet light that is operated via pull chain?

Ceiling mounted smoke detector?

Where is your doorbell transformer located?

Quote:
-run a wire all the way to the circuit breaker. I didn't do this because I would need to run about 60 feet of wire and it just seems ridiculous to have just a ceiling fan occupying a circuit breaker.

If your panel is accessable....accessible....this would be the way to go. It may be a "waste" of wire and a $4 breaker but time is money. You could then use it for future fans.

Last edited by 220/221; 03-10-2008 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 03-10-2008, 03:38 PM   #9
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


Thanks, everyone. I think I will try fishing the wire with borninpa's suggestions. If that fails, I'll probably go to the garage door outlet as 220/221 suggested, even though it's about 3/4 as far as the circuit breaker panel.
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:54 PM   #10
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


40' of romex versus 2 hours of fishing wire.

To me it's a no brainer.

If you are looking for an adventure, go for it







Quote:
The best way is normally to remove the receptacle outlet box altogether and then fish the wire down the wall.

Don't forget about possible blocking.



Quote:
If your existing outlet box is nailed in, you will need to cut the nails with a hack saw or reciprocating saw.

Unless its a bracket box or a 4s box/1G mud ring.



Quote:
This procedure is really not that difficult
.

Best case scenario, not that difficult.....but it can turn ugly quick.




Quote:
Just make sure you fish the wire down from above in the correct stud bay.
Just locating the chase can be a challange. To a novice, things look really different up there....and the existing cables do not always go thru the top plate directly to the Jbox.

Last edited by 220/221; 03-10-2008 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:18 PM   #11
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


are you entirely sure that the existing lights are fed from a switch and are only powered when the switch in on....could it be that the first light in the ceiling is in fact the power source for the switch?
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:16 AM   #12
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


Hello everyone,

I am, new to the DIY site. I am an advanced DIY-er but when it comes to electrical I need confirmation to validate my thinking. I am putting a ceiling fan in and the room has a switch that powers a duplex receptacle. I want to use the receptacle as my power source as the switch box is cramped with wiring already. The switch does have 2 cables and the outlet has only one. As Billie Y ask above, I am positive the power comes to the switch first and it controls the one outlet only. Thanks so much for your input.


Jbert

Last edited by jbert; 04-25-2011 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:11 PM   #13
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How do I get power to a new ceiling fan?


jbert, I suggest you start your own thread; it gets too confusing answering two people on one thread.

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