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Old 03-07-2011, 08:26 AM   #1
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Power for ceiling fan/light


I am installing a ceiling fan/light in my living room. There is currently a switch that feeds an outlet (single outlet of duplex is switched). Is there any reason I can't just replace that switch with a pair of switches to control the fan and light separately and keep the outlet as is? The light switch would control the single outlet and the fan lights and a second switch would control the fan, but all 3, the outlet, ceiling fan, and ceiling lights would be powered from the same hot wire feeding the existing switch.

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Old 03-07-2011, 10:08 AM   #2
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Power for ceiling fan/light


So you would be bringing a wire from the switch then?
What wires are in the switch currently?
If there is a 14/2 and 14/3 --- Not a problem making it a 2 gang and running a wire up.

If there is only a 14/3 -- see above
If there is only a 14/2 -- Then you will be losing the ability to switch the plug and you will only need one switch(unless you wish to have fan control as well as light control(14/3 up)). You will need to rewire the plug to bring both the neutral and hot to the switch.

Note: I reference 14 AWG wire as it is code where I live. You may sub 12 AWG wire if acceptable by local codes.

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Old 03-07-2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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Power for ceiling fan/light


Your current switch may be wired as a switch loop and would not have a neutral needed in order to power the fan. How many wires and what colors are in the switch box and connected to the switch?
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:30 AM   #4
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Power for ceiling fan/light


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Your current switch may be wired as a switch loop and would not have a neutral needed in order to power the fan. How many wires and what colors are in the switch box and connected to the switch?
There are only 2 wires white, black and gnd (and the white one is not remarked black), so I guess that means it is as you say a switch loop.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:20 PM   #5
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Power for ceiling fan/light


So given that that there is only the 2 wires (and gnd) coming in to the switch. What is my best solution?

Can I replace the 2 wire with a 3 wire from the outlet to the switch bringing the neutral into the switch. and use the red and black as the switch loop. Then use 3 wire line up to the fan/light, white neutral and black and red as the 2 hot leads?

I was considering leaving the fan / light un switched and just using the pull cords and remote, but I don't like that.

I was also considering just adding a new set of switches and an new breaker just for the fan / light, but that seems like overkill and I don't think I would be real comfortable adding a breaker.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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Power for ceiling fan/light


Another option is surface mounted wire mold raceway run up from the plug to the light/fan location.

That way your switch controls the light AND you can still have constant power for the fan.

The only box you have to get into is the plug box then.

Options do exist, they just need more time for the creativity!
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:55 PM   #7
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Power for ceiling fan/light


Quote:
Originally Posted by hhuggles View Post
Another option is surface mounted wire mold raceway run up from the plug to the light/fan location.

That way your switch controls the light AND you can still have constant power for the fan.

The only box you have to get into is the plug box then.

Options do exist, they just need more time for the creativity!
I did consider this, especially since the walls in my living room are tongue and groove knotty pine panels (that are about the be painted). But I was able to cut a whole in the sheetrock in the adjacent room and got hole down to the basement. Still have to get into the living room ceiling tho, but that is now just the top cap.

But anyway, would it legit to do what I said above, replace the 2 wire romex with a 3 wire romex form the outlet to the switch and then send out the neutral and 2 hot leads to the fan/light, or is there something wrong with that ?

John
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:19 AM   #8
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Power for ceiling fan/light


If you are wishing to change the 2 wire to a 3 wire, that is okay.
The option of leaving the 2 wire and changing the connection in the plug to send hot and neutral to the switch will only make the plug a constant on and not switched.

If you don't mind running the 3 wire and have access to minimize damage, go for it.

Depends on how important having the plug switched is to you.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:04 AM   #9
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Power for ceiling fan/light


Quote:
Originally Posted by hhuggles View Post
If you are wishing to change the 2 wire to a 3 wire, that is okay.
The option of leaving the 2 wire and changing the connection in the plug to send hot and neutral to the switch will only make the plug a constant on and not switched.

If you don't mind running the 3 wire and have access to minimize damage, go for it.

Depends on how important having the plug switched is to you.
oh! I think I like the idea of changing the 2 wires coming from the outlet to a hot neutral pair. (I guess I missed that in your earlier post - sorry) So then the only thing that might be weird is if each outlet in the duplex are on different breakers. If that is the case then I would set it up such that both outlets in the duplex are on one breaker and the other just feeds over to the switch. I guess that is ok tho? Just seems dangerous that some one could assume that the power is off based on the outlet not having power but the other leads in the box could be hot. But I guess that is no worse that having an duplex with each outlet tied to a different breaker. I am not even sure that is how it is setup, it could be just one breaker feeding both outlets in the duplex ... will have to check when I get home.

Last edited by npn_; 03-09-2011 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:40 AM   #10
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Power for ceiling fan/light


What you have currently is a "back feed"(switch loop) to the switch from the plug. In order for half of the plug to be switched, they broke the "bridge" on the hot side which connects both halfs so the constant and switched half stay seperate.
For simplicity sake when you change the connection at the plug, change the plug. Or you can reinstate the bridge on the hot side of the plug.
The connection is simple. blacks with blacks,whites with whites.


Most likely you will only have 1 circuit in the plug box.
Multi circuits in one plug are more so seen in other sectors.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:10 PM   #11
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Power for ceiling fan/light


I finally got my wires pulled today. So here is what I hope is my last question on this.

The outlet box that I am going to use for power has power coming in and going out to an other outlet already, so that along with the connections to the outlet and the power being sent to the fan would mean a total of 4 connections for each wire. This is actually a double outlet box (4 plugs).

What is the preferred way to make the connections?

I am thinking one of the existing black wires to one screw, a short wire from the other screw to a wire nut connecting the black wire to the fan and the other existing black wire. same for white and gnd. That seems like the most compact solution, but if I have to sacrifice one of the 2 duplexes for space to make the connections some other (better way) that would be fine too.

I am not sure which of the 2 existing wires is the load and which is from the service, does that factor in at all?

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