DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Electrical (
-   -   Replacing light w/ ceiling fan, 3 switches? (

burnt03 07-05-2012 06:28 PM

Replacing light w/ ceiling fan, 3 switches?
Have vaulted ceilings in our split level, would like to replace a light fixture with a ceiling fan. Light is controlled by 3 switches (bottom of stairs, front door/middle of stairs and top of stairs). I need a remote with the fan since it's too high to get at without a ladder.

Can I:
- install the fan with a wireless remote, supply power with any of the switches and use the remote to change speed/direction?
- install the fan with a wired remote on one of the switches?(

Probably a pretty stupid question, thanks for your patience

Thadius856 07-05-2012 07:52 PM

You have a light that can be turned off my any of three switches.

If you just remove the light and install the fan as-is with the wireless remote, you'll be able to use the fan and remote any time the old light would have been on. If you turn the switches to where the light would have been turned off, the remote and fan will do nothing.

You technically don't need a switch to operate with a wireless remote. My porch fans are not switched in any way other than the breaker and remote. You could probably remove the switches entirely and nut the wires a specific way to always be hot and cover with a cover plate.

You could probably instead install a fan control in the light switches place, but doing that at 3 places will great expensive quickly and its easier to just buy multiple remote controls and set them all to the same channel.

Lowes has a decent Harbor Breeze 52" (Crosswinds) on sale around half price if you stack discounts.

Edit: direction is switched on my units at the fan blades. Cant speak for your unit.

Thadius856 07-05-2012 08:01 PM

Btw that remote in wall you linked will work wirelessly so you don't even have to hook it to anything.

If you wire it in, you need an electronic version for multiple locations, with one master and two slaves. Also, wired units are usually not compatible with dimmable CFLs. And don't wire it on any fan which the instructions say not to attach to a dimmer.

burnt03 07-05-2012 08:02 PM

Great, thanks for the reply :thumbup:

burnt03 07-06-2012 07:50 PM

One more question...

I'm guessing the current steel box is for a light fixture. I can't get into the attic to brace the box. Is there anything I can do to reliably fasten the existing box to the rafter without cutting out a chunk of drywall?

Thadius856 07-06-2012 08:39 PM

If the box is fan rated and attached very well to a sturdy framing member or blocking, you're golden.

If not, you can either cut out a section of drywall and use a sturdy new work fan box kit that requires mailing to joists ( or try an old work expandable kit instead (

I personally would opt to remove the drywall and patch it after using a pumpkin cut. I don't trust old work fan boxes and drywall patching is easy once you get the hang of it. Would be a huge shame if the old work box failed, the fan fell, and somebody was seriously hurt. Maybe I'm just being paranoid... :)

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:14 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1